Leavitt Farm puts moonshine on the breakfast table

Moonshine—it’s what’s for breakfast. Well it may be once you try some of Shari Leavitt’s moonshine jelly.

Shari Leavitt with her latest creation: Moonshine Jelly
Shari Leavitt with her latest creation: Moonshine Jelly. She produces and sells The Leavitt Farm brand of jellies, pickles, and relish from her Jackson County, WV, farm.

Shari has been making and selling small-batch gourmet jellies from her Jackson County, West Virginia, farm for years. But her moonshine jelly is a recent addition.

Leavitt - 1 (4)Shari originally achieved notice among  jelly aficionados with her Tea Jellies. Unusual flavors like Bengal Tea, Chocolate Tea, Lavender Tea, and Chai Tea stood out and gained a following.  She also makes traditional fruit jams and jelly styles. Her The Leavitt Farm brand products are popular at specialty/fancy food retailers around West Virginia. Continue reading “Leavitt Farm puts moonshine on the breakfast table”

Strawberry Day at Chesterhill

There is something so magically special about strawberry season in Appalachia. Rich, hill-country soils and micro-climates, the gardening savvy of accomplished growers, a sunny day in late May—all these combine to produce such a remarkable, ruby-red experience.

Appalachian strawberries, heaven on earth

If heaven were red, it would surely be flavored with Appalachian-grown strawberries. Continue reading “Strawberry Day at Chesterhill”

Appalachian chefs, restaurants compete for James Beard Awards

James Beard Award

Appalachian chefs and restaurateurs are well represented among the list of James Beard Award semifinalists announced yesterday. Fifteen different Appalachian region chefs and restaurateurs made the cut.

Damian Heath of Lot 12
Damian Heath of Lot 12 Public House in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia is a James Beard Award semifinalist for the ninth year in a row. He is competing for Best Chef, Southeast region. He is one of 5 Appalachian region chefs named as semifinalists in the Southeast category. Photo: Facebook

The James Beard Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in the United States.  Eight Appalachian chefs and restaurants became semifinalists in 7 of the 11 national categories. Seven more made the cut for Best Chef in their respective geographic regions.

Continue reading “Appalachian chefs, restaurants compete for James Beard Awards”

Swover Creek Farm Brewery opens Nov. 26

Swover_Creek_Farm_brewery_logoSwover Creek Farms officially opens its new farm brewery this Wednesday (Nov. 26) from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. The farm is located about six miles west of Edinburg, Virginia in rural Shenandoah County.

On tap will be a Blueberry Wheat and a Dark Cascadian Ale. The Blueberry Wheat features blueberries raised on the farm.

Farm owner Dave St. Clair, who also handles the brewing duties, says they are only able to open with two beers; however, he has more brews in their final conditioning stages, including a Black IPA, that will be available real soon.

Continue reading “Swover Creek Farm Brewery opens Nov. 26”

September farmers market and Bramwell Oktoberfest

Sept Farmers Market
September is a great month at the local farmers market. It’s the change out between summer and fall crops. You get some of both.

I love to visit a farmers market this time of year here in Southern Appalachia, but I also know that the summer garden season is coming to an end.

Apple harvest is in full swing and cider production is well underway. Local wineries and cideries are busy places now. It will likely be a few months though before we get to taste the magic of the 2014 vintage, especially for the red wines and hearty ciders that need a good bit of time in the barrel to mature. Continue reading “September farmers market and Bramwell Oktoberfest”