If you live, or travel, anywhere near Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC no doubt you have seen hundreds of small produce stands that dot the countryside going in all directions on the highways.
I stop in several different ones from time to time to see what treasures I can find for my family. My children learn a lot about local food, business, and meet a variety of people from different cultures, and learn about lots of different foods by visiting these venders.
We talk about what we found that was produced locally in our region, and what was produced far away from other regions. We talk about what was produced by the vender on their own farm/garden, or what they had to buy at wholesale from others to resell at their produce stands. I often let the children pay the vender for the items we buy to help them develop their purchasing skills too.
There is a special little local produce stand I want to tell you about in the foothills of the Blueridge mountains. We have been stopping in to pick up a few fresh items, including my favorite local sourwood honey, for the past 4 years.
Maybe I shouldn’t give away my sourwood honey secret, but it is too wonderful not to share. Sourwood honey is the best honey on the planet!!! Soon I will write a story telling you all about wild sourwood in the Blueridge mountains. In my humble opinion, this honey is the best!
I have tried out lots of honey over the years, and sourwood honey is my all time favorite! It just tastes better to me than other kinds of honey. According to some science data I found, sourwood honey has a lower level of salicylates compared to other kinds of honey. That means that folks with salicylate intollerance, including some kids with ADHD and spectrum disorders, and folks on the Feingold diet, should be able to tollerate this honey better than other honeys.
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Hog Heaven Produce sits on the westside of Highway 25 just south of Highway 11 near Travelers Rest, South Carolina. See the map above to learn where Travelers Rest, SC is located.
Hog Heaven Produce is owned by Rodger Lindsey, a local native to Travelers Rest, SC. Rodger can help you find anything you are looking for. He sells produce, but he also knows all the local farmers and points travelers in the right direction to find local free range eggs, local beef, local pork, and fresh raw milk. He has lots of local friends who come and help out in his produce stand too. Everyone is friendly and helpful. Since moving to the blueridge mountains in Hendersonville, NC 4 years ago, this little stand has provided me with information about where to find local producers who make quality foods my family can use.
Hog Heaven Produce has lots of variety to choose from during different times of the year. These pictures were taken during my stops there over several weekends during late April and early May, and the variety of items, including locally available produce, is increasing each week. It won’t be long before he is overflowing with local garden produce. But even now, you can find fresh strawberries and garden greens produced by himself and local neighbors.
It is a great place to buy a variety of local honey. I have searched high and low in these mountains for good honey at a fair price. Rodger has it!
He keeps several varieties of local honey on hand. Some of the different kinds of honey include wildflower from Pickens SC, wildflower from Lake Lure NC, clover honey from SC, sourwood from Asheville NC, Star Thistle from Virginia, Orange Blossom, Poplar, Locust, and more. Currently, his honey’s sell for $5-$7 a pint, to $10-$12 a quart depending on what kind of honey you choose.
He has various fresh local produce when it is in season. Right now, SC strawberries are in season. These sweet beauties are from Strawberry Hill farm in Chesnee, South Carolina.
Check out my stories about easy strawberry cheese pie, strawberry greek yogurt parfait, and other recipes we love to make and eat with these fresh delicious strawberries.
He has lots of peaches and apples from SC, NC, and GA.
Most of his vegetables and fruit produce comes from upstate South Carolina, and within just a few miles of his produce stand. He also carries items from through out the mountain region made in SC, NC, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia. In the off season, if he can’t buy local grown produce, he buys his produce from markets further south in Florida and Georgia. But there is a long growing season in the foothills of SC region and he is able to offer a lot of local food.
As the season warms over the next few weeks, and through out the summer and clear in to late fall, his shelves will be overflowing with fresh produce. Today he had two kinds of onions, three kinds of potatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and fresh cabbage. Last weekend when I stopped in he also had fresh greens.
He also has lots of canned items like apple butter, pickles, and jams produced in Asheville, NC and surrounding mountain regions. There are several different kinds of BBQ sauces. He has bottled juices from the mountains made with various kinds of fruits like peaches, apples, blackberries, and muscadine grapes. He also has a few Amish type foods like peanut butter spread. Yummy!
Can you guess what Rodger makes in this?
He makes his own boiled peanuts.
These sell for $4 a quart. You eat them hot, right out of the boiler. Yum! My kids and I enjoy a handful of them. You peel the shell off, and eat only the nut inside. They are soft, salty, and taste a little bit like a pinto bean.
He also has fried peanuts, baked goods, and macaroon cookies for sale too. It is amazing he manages to sell all this different variety of foods from a small three sided shed on the side of the highway.
Each week it is something different, so be sure to stop in when you get a chance and see what he has to offer. If you are out this way traveling on vacation to visit the beautiful mountain and foothill area, be sure to stop in at the Hog Heaven Produce roadside stand to get some delicious local produce and the best mountain honey!
We just love these strawberries and have made several trips to pick up more. For some reason, they don’t last long at our house. Actually, they don’t last very long when I just pick them up and put them in the van. They are a family favorite!
I think more than anything, I love to visit with local people and learn about their lives. I love sharing this learning opportunity with my children. And, the rewards of this learning expedition are delicious!
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind; and God saw that it was good.
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I Saw It On Vacation