|Doug Carrigan, with local asparagus|
At his Carrigan Farms, Doug Carrigan has been growing asparagus and pick-your-own strawberries outside of Mooresville ("Intersection of 150 & 152" says his business card) for several decades. "I was local food before local food was cool," he quipped this morning.
Now that local foods are thoroughly cool – or really hot, choose your cliche – I asked him what changes he's seen in the 30 years he's been farming. I expected him to say something about people being more interested in a broader range of vegetables, heirloom varieties, more local outlets to sell his bounty, etc. etc. No.
Used to be, he said, people would come out and pick quarts and gallons of strawberries, take them home and put them up: preserve or freeze them. Nowadays, he said, people just buy a few. "They don't even know how to make a pie," he said. If he could sell them by the slice, they'd buy that, he said.
I bought strawberries at the market, too – the first picking. No pies though. I am eating them right from the container.