Supported by the Golden LEAF Foundation since 2007, Buy Haywood has enjoyed success promoting the county’s farms.
Its first project targeted grocery store chains and successfully enlisted Whole Foods, Ingles, Food Lion, Bi-Lo, Lowes Food and others into carrying tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers grown in Haywood.
Next, it tackled the limitations of a short growing season and encouraged farmers to create “value-added products,” like salsa, jams and sauces to keep their products on the shelves year-round.
The group has also published a handy farm map to point tourists and locals alike to scores of Haywood’s farms, farm stands and farmer’s markets.
Now, the project’s organizers are tackling the challenge of connecting farmers with local restaurateurs.