Once upon a time a trip to the butcher case meant a choice between sirloin or strip streak, chuck roast or round. Today it’s not so simple.

Sitting under the whirling fans of the Purple Onion, on Main Street in Saluda, the late summer and early fall are just about as pleasant as can be.

There currently aren’t enough hops produced in Western North Carolina to brew more than a few batches of beer. Hop farming is risky, labor intensive, and requires a large capital outlay.

The Poinsett Bridge looms in the forest like something medieval. You half expect to find a troll lurking under its gothic arch.


After planting variety of beet seeds, Anne and Aaron Grier of Gaining Ground in Leicester watch and wait, both patiently and anxiously, for the Golden Grex, Chioggia, Early Wonder Tall Tops, and Robin seeds to germinate.

Roasted, steamed, pickled, chopped into relish, or—as she is sharing here—rendered into crispy chips, Ashley English takes beets any way she can get them.

With root beer and sorghum, the tastes of sassafras and Appalachia’s favorite homegrown syrup blend to create a perfect combo for fall.

Agriculture is a multigenerational affair at Hickory Nut Gap Farm, which has been in the family for a century. Jamie and Amy Ager have transformed a modest family business into one of the region’s largest suppliers of pasture-raised meat.

This recipe is a variation of one created by chef Nate Sloan of Hickory Nut Gap Farm for Farmer and Chef Asheville.

Rutherfordton, North Carolina, population 4,222, is home to a business you wouldn’t expect to find in a small Appalachian town: American Miso Company, the world’s largest producer of organic miso.