National Food Day brings information to campus about sustainability

Chelsey Fisher

Students dress up as fruit and vegetables as part of the National Food Day celebration on Sanford Mall. The event was aimed at promoting local farmers and sustainable lifestyle choices. Justin Perry | The AppalachianA fair in honor of High Country Food Day was held on Sanford Mall Thursday.

Booths were set up by organizations on campus and the community.

An international organization, Slow Food, has a chapter on campus and was at the event, said Caroline Wheeler, sophomore sustainable development major and treasurer of Slow Food.

“We promote local food and sustainable eating,” Wheeler said. “It’s important to know where your food is coming from and what’s in it and what you’re putting in your body because it makes a big effect on your health.”

The Slow Food booth had lemon kale salad, and members informed students about how kale is a “super food,” Wheeler said.

Galen Wilkes, one of eight children on Faith Mountain Farm, was explaining his family’s farm to students at Food Day.

“We have honey, granola, baked goods and we do special orders,” Wilkes said. “My sister has a wedding cake business.”

Faith Mountain Farm sells to multiple places in Boone and Blowing Rock, Wilkes said. Everything they sell is food that they have grown or made themselves.

“We are normally at Watauga County Farmers’ Marker,” Wilkes said.

The Farmers’ Market is located at Horn in the West every Saturday from May through October, Farmers’ Market Manager Tori Cox said.

“It’s a great way to connect with the Boone community,” Cox said. “Our tag line is, ‘we’re Boone’s town square since 1974.'”

There’s normally live music and cooking demos, and it’s a great way to connect with people, Cox said. It’s a 100 percent local market, so all of the food comes from Watauga County or the surrounding counties.

When you buy from locally owned businesses, the money stays in the community because the people who own the businesses shop here too, so money continues to circulate, said Mary Scott, co-founder of High Country Local First.

HCLF is a non-profit organization that works to support and strengthen locally owned businesses and farms in the high country, Scott said.

They are about to launch a Farm to School grant for Watauga County schools to help start a garden, make a garden bigger or just incorporate it into their curriculum, Scott said.

HCLF just launched a rewards card that costs $20 and allows members to get discounts at approximately 40 locally owned businesses until June, Scott said. This was done in the hopes that the promise of discounts will make people want to go there first.

“If you have something you need to buy, think about, is there a locally owned business that you can support?” Scott said.

Story: LINDSAY BOOKOUT, News Reporter

Photo: JUSTIN PERRY, Staff Photographer