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September 2019



Page 27

Published by

New promise for industrial hemp page 14

Find a ‘Drive Electric Week’ event near you page 6


It’s that time of year! Enter our annual photo contest —p   age 33 Sept covers.indd 1

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Before we offered our first hosiery product, comfort was—and still is—our goal. We start by selecting the softest, easy-care fabrics and combine them with timeless styles that flatter all body types and never go out of fashion. Discover clothing designed with your comfort in mind.

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Volume 51, No. 9

Blacklands Botanicals



Favorites 4 Viewpoints 6 More Power 25 On the House 30 Carolina Compass 32 Adventures 34 Tar Heel Tidbits 36 Carolina Gardens 38 Marketplace 39 Classifieds 40 Carolina Kitchen 42 Where is This? 42 Carolina Music

8 14 16 27

Helping Veterans Through Tough Times

EnergyUnited funding supports service dog training.

New Laws, New Promise for Hemp NC farmers are discovering how industrial hemp can be grown and used.

Solving the Plastic Problem Bonnie Monteleone is tackling ocean plastic pollution by sea and by land.

Life Along the Water

On the Cover “A beautiful October morning sunrise in Manteo. No wind on the sound made for wonderful reflections and great color,” says photographer Tom Brennan of Hertford, a member of Albemarle EMC. Read about waterfront towns on page 27.


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Revitalized waterfronts offer access to long-traveled rivers and sounds.


Chetola Resort Getaway We’ve partnered with Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock on a drawing for a weekend getaway package. See page 33 for details.

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Flexibility is the Key to a Brighter Energy Future By Joshua L. Winslow, PE

The energy industry in the United States is embracing new and exciting technologies that hold promise to revolutionize the way electricity is generated, delivered and consumed. Advances in clean and renewable energy sources, communication, smart devices and energy storage, just to name a few, are enabling an electrical grid that is more efficient, less costly and more sustainable. This energy transformation is not reserved solely for far-away corners of the country, nor is it to occur at some distant point in the future. It is happening right here at home, and it is happening now. North Carolina electric cooperatives are positioned to lead the way. But how? What is the key to unlocking the potential of this brighter energy future? The answer is grid flexibility. So what does flexibility in the power grid mean, and why it is important? To describe how and why our electrical grid must be flexible, we should first consider why we characterize the existing electrical grid in the U.S. as inflexible. Our current structure is robust; it has matured over the last 130 years into a highly reliable and efficient system, but it is optimized for power that flows in one single direction. Large, centrally located power plants generate electricity to meet what consumers use at a level forecasted hours — even days — in advance. The energy is moved over long distances by transmission systems with little visibility of what is occurring down the line, and distributed to homes and businesses on

local systems that need little input for daily operation. Power use and weather conditions are anticipated and planned for in advance, and the system is coordinated to operate nearly autonomously until there is a problem. But what happens when conditions are not predictable? When power can come from multiple sources throughout the distribution system, when loads can change almost instantly and when conditions require multiple reconfigurations every hour? That’s when an inflexible grid becomes more cumbersome and less reliable. A flexible grid is one that can move power from those large centralized generation plants, as well as from smaller, distributed generation sources, like community solar farms or rooftop solar. A flexible grid can accommodate new loads like electric vehicles charging at home overnight, and it can adapt to split-second changes in energy sources, such as a cloud passing over a solar panel, or a windless afternoon across a wind farm. These changes are currently offset by “quick start” fossil fuel generators that can ramp up on demand, but all eyes are on battery storage as another viable option. Batteries are quickly becoming the hero of flexible grid resources, working not only to improve reliability (switching on when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow), but also to provide more power to the grid at peak times (when demand for energy is high), and to store energy in the event of some other disruption, like a power

outage following a storm. Lastly, the flexible grid must not only serve consumer demand, but interact with it, communicating with and coordinating loads that can decrease either when demand is too high, or to take advantage of favorable cost conditions. It can make for a more efficient system, creating cost savings for how electric co-ops do business. And as nonprofit, member-owned cooperatives, those savings are either reinvested into the system or passed along to you, the members. As cooperatives, it is just as important for us to apply the characteristics of flexibility in the way we interact with our members as it is for us to construct a flexible grid. Offering flexible options in our rates and in the services we provide can enable our members to invest in renewable energy and behind-the-meter technologies such as smart thermostats, water heaters, and battery storage. Energy efficiency programs such as Brunswick Electric’s Weatherization Loans Program offer flexible payment options for members to make home improvements that reduce their energy consumption. The solid relationships electric cooperatives have established with our members is unique in our industry, giving us the opportunity to lead the nation in providing cost savings and greater reliability through a more flexible grid. Joshua L. Winslow is CEO and general manager for Supply-based Brunswick Electric.

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A Sustainable Future Two articles in this issue feature ways North Carolinians are putting in hard work with an eye to the future. For one, new laws are opening up options for hemp farmers in NC, exploring how the crop can be grown and used (page 14). And a researcher with a passion for plasticfree oceans and coastlines is cleaning up our shores, one bottle at a time (page 16). —Scott Gates, editor

Land of Lincoln? I’m an artist and journalist in California doing some research on a project about the Lincoln/Enlow/ Enloe connection. My family is from Hodgenville, Kentucky, and I grew up hearing stories about how our own Abraham Enloe was the father of President Lincoln. I only recently learned of the North Carolina Enloe connection [through archived articles on]. I’m looking to find and speak to living descendants of Abraham Enloe and Enlow. If you might know of any who still hold on to this story, I’d love to speak more. Jeff Enlow, San Francisco Editor’s Note: If you have information to share with Jeff, contact him at

Gone But Not Forgotten In reading the article on Walter Pinchbeck in the May issue of Carolina Country (“A Life in Postcards,” page 20), special memories came back to me. I was very active in Boy Scouts in Lake Waccamaw until I was 17, and Walter was a very special person to me. I’m now 79, and he remains one of the most spiritual persons I have ever met. There was just an aura about him —I felt that I knew who he really was. In addition, he cared very greatly about the boys in his troop, and I think he was committed to preparing them for manhood with genuine principles. He was truly a special person. Wendell Prescott, Jr., Atlanta A member of Brunswick Electric

Lighting the Way I’d like to thank Eddie Stephens and Lindsey Listrom for the two articles in the August issue on the volunteer work that NC’s electric co-op workers did in Bolivia (“Changing Lives, a World Away,” page 4; “Building a Brighter World,” page 10). Tears came to my eyes as I read how meaningful the work was to both the villagers and the volunteers. The articles were a great reminder of how much we have to be grateful for, and how the simple gift of sharing our talent and energy can make others’ lives so much easier. Kudos to all the volunteers who helped light the way! Aida Doss Havel, Rodanthe A member of Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative

Contact us Phone: 919-875-3091 Fax: 919-878-3970 Mail: 3400 Sumner Blvd. Raleigh, NC 27616 Web: Email:

Change of Address: Experiencing a power outage? Please contact your electric co-op directly to ensure prompt service. Visit to find yours online.

(ISSN 0008-6746) (USPS 832800)

Read monthly in more than 700,000 homes Published monthly by

3400 Sumner Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27616 919-875-3091 Warren Kessler Publications Director Scott Gates, CCC Editor Renee C. Gannon, CCC Senior Associate Editor Karen Olson House Contributing Editor Tara Verna Creative Director Erin Binkley Digital Media Tom Siebrasse Advertising Joseph P. Brannan Executive Vice President & CEO Nelle Hotchkiss Senior Vice President & COO North Carolina’s electric cooperatives provide reliable, safe and affordable electric service to 1 million homes and businesses. The 26 electric cooperatives are each member-owned, not-for-profit and overseen by a board of directors elected by the membership. Why Do We Send You Carolina Country Magazine? Your cooperative sends you Carolina Country as a convenient, economical way to share with its members information about services, director elections, meetings and management decisions. The magazine also carries legal notices that otherwise would be published in other media at greater cost. Your co-op’s board of directors authorizes a subscription to Carolina Country on behalf of the membership at a cost of less than $5 per year. Has your address changed? Carolina Country magazine is available monthly to members of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives. If you are a member of one of these cooperatives but do not receive Carolina Country, you may request a subscription by calling Member Services at the office of your cooperative. If your address has changed, please inform your cooperative. Subscriptions: Individual subscriptions, $12 per year. $20 outside U.S.A. Schools, libraries, $6. Carolina Country is available on digital cartridge as a courtesy of volunteer services at the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Raleigh, N.C. 888-388-2460. Advertising published in Carolina Country is accepted on the premise that the merchandise and services offered are accurately described and willingly sold to customers at the advertised price. The magazine, North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives, Inc., and the member cooperatives do not necessarily endorse the products or services advertised. Advertising that does not conform to these standards or that is deceptive or misleading is never knowingly accepted. Should you encounter advertising that does not comply with these standards, please inform Carolina Country at P.O. Box 27306, Raleigh, NC 27611. 919-875-3091. Carolina Country magazine is a member of American MainStreet Publications that collectively reach more than 27 million readers every month.

Periodicals postage paid at Raleigh, N.C., and additional mailing offices. Editorial offices: 3400 Sumner Blvd., Raleigh, N.C. 27616. Carolina Country® is a registered trademark of the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. (See DMM 707.4.12.5); NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to Carolina Country, P.O. Box 27306, Raleigh, NC 27611. All content © Carolina Country unless otherwise indicated.

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Morris McClelion

Edward Oldham

Central Electric’s Morris McClelion Retires After 30 Years with Co-ops Board selects Edward Oldham as co-op’s next CEO and General Manager Morris McClelion, CEO and general manager for Sanford-based electric cooperative Central Electric, has retired after serving in the position for 16 years. His career with electric cooperatives spanned 30 years. “A few have asked, ‘what will you look back on as your most noteworthy accomplishment?’ My answer would be twofold,” McClelion said. “First of all, it has always been a team effort, versus me alone doing anything. And second, we have faithfully served our members and improved the organization in many ways. From managing rapid member growth to building a more robust grid, improving storm response time, supporting our soldiers on Fort Bragg and supporting our communities — all of these will yield a sense of pride in reflection.” Following McClelion’s announced retirement, the Central Electric Board of Directors called on Edward Oldham to serve as the co-op’s next CEO and general manager. Oldham’s first official day in the leadership position was July 6. McClelion will remain as a general advisor through September 15 during the transition.

“The board could not have selected a finer individual to guide this co-op into the future,” McClelion said. Oldham has been with Central Electric since 1999, first serving as a field engineer before later being promoted to assistant general manager and vice president of operations and engineering. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from NC State University, and is a licensed professional engineer. “I am very honored and humbled to have been selected by the board as the new CEO and general manager for this great organization,” Oldham said. “I look forward to building on the strong history of our co-op and working closely with the board and our excellent group of employees to continue providing the outstanding service our members deserve.”

What Makes EVs Tick? Ever wonder what’s under the hood of an electric vehicle (EV)? It’s not as complicated as you might think. EVs can have lower overall costs of ownership than a gasoline-fueled vehicle due to lower fuel costs and fewer moving parts.

National Drive Electric Week | Sept. 14–22 Electric co-ops around the state will be hosting events to introduce members to the benefits of driving electric—find what’s happening near you at or check with your electric co-op.

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Dylan talks about his experience in Afghanistan while Tech, a Pitt Bull mix, keeps a watchful eye on his young son.

Left to right: Dylan (with Tech), James (with Rebel), Kat Carter (lead trainer), Brigette Parsons (program director), Tommy (with King) and Don (with Bear).

EnergyUnited Funds Veteran Service Dog Training Saving Grace K9s helps veterans through tough times By Erin Binkley | Photos by Jason Binkley


ommy, an Iraqi War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, is casually scratching the surface of a heavy memory, the way veterans tend to do. “I always had issues, and everyone knew it, but nobody would say anything,” he admits. After his tours in Iraq, Tommy was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). For a long time, he struggled with his injuries. But that was before he encountered Saving Grace K9s. On the floor beside Tommy, calmly observing the room, sits King, a 5-yearold German Shepherd. King is Tommy’s psychiatric service dog. At Saving Grace K9s’ storefront headquarters in Lexington, veterans and their dogs gathered to talk about their experiences. “I couldn’t be around crowds,” says Don, a Vietnam veteran who was paired with a chocolate lab named Bear. “I would have a problem going into Walmart, especially during the holidays. I can go in now.” Funding grace Saving Grace depends solely on donations to cover the cost of training a service dog — nearly $1,500 each. In April, Statesville-based electric co-op EnergyUnited provided a $10,000

Operation Round-Up grant to the group, funded by members who opted to round up their bill to the next dollar. “I get to see the changes. Within a couple of weeks, you can see the difference,” says the program’s director, Brigette Parsons. “They have purpose again — they have a goal. It’s huge.” Saving Grace was Brigette’s dream. Her husband, James, was the first graduate of the program. She handles much of the grant writing and fundraising needed to keep their training funded. She even creates handmade items, including leashes fashioned out of paracord, that the organization sells online and at street festivals. Training to serve Katherine Carter is the lead trainer for the organization. Kat has worked with every dog that has come through the program since it began in December 2014. She designed the training and has used it to successfully pair 85 dogs. The group typically trains 35 to 40 veterans at a time, working with groups and individuals. All services are provided at no cost. Qualifying veterans carry a diagnosis of combatrelated PTSD and/or a TBI. Service dogs are particularly helpful for veterans with this diagnosis. “Once you’re in civilian life, you

Saving Grace K9s 314 E Center St., Lexington, NC 27292 1-800-319-1592 Find out how you can support Saving Grace by visiting and clicking “How You Can Help.”

don’t have that fellow servicemember that you trust anymore,” Brigette explains. “The dogs have their backs.” Saving Grace trains psychiatric service dogs in specific tasks to help the veteran. Service dogs are legally distinct from therapy dogs, which provide therapeutic assistance, often in hospitals and nursing homes. They also differ from emotional support animals, which offer support in the home but are not permitted public access. Sometimes the dogs are even mistaken for retired military working dogs. But though all these animals have important jobs, the service dog is unique. “A service dog can go anywhere that the handler can go,” Kat says. “They are the same as a wheelchair or an oxygen tank — they are legally considered medical equipment.” But you don’t need to fully understand what a service dog is to experience the benefits. “We were at the VA, and this woman was having a really hard time. I was doing alright, so I took King over there. It made her feel 100 percent better,” Tommy says. “Sometimes it helps others, too.” Photographer Jason Binkley is a disabled combat veteran. His wife, writer Erin Binkley, is on staff at Carolina Country.

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Resilient Recovery for a Small Town Doctor Trenton Chiropractic Center is among those benefitting from disaster recovery funds By Camila Molina Photos by Logan Cyrus

Dr. Ashley Simpson always knew she wanted to work in a small town. Even when she graduated from chiropractic school in South Carolina in 2012 and moved to Durham to work in a chiropractic office as an independent contractor, she looked for practices for sale near New Bern, her hometown. In 2013, she found a chiropractic doctor in downtown Trenton, about 24 miles southwest of New Bern, who was selling his practice. She bought the practice and rented out its building in Trenton, then a population of 300. With the established practice, she inherited the retired doctor’s patients and equipment, and changed the name of the practice to Trenton Chiropractic Center. “I fell in love with the town and people immediately and have been here since,” Simpson said. Sandwiched between farming land and the Trent River, downtown Trenton has all of the things she needs. Her pharmacy, lawyer, bank, post office, and favorite barbeque restaurant are all within walking distance from her practice. Many of her patients, however, don’t experience that same convenience to get access to healthcare. Simpson is the only chiropractor in Jones County. She saw the medical center in downtown close two years after she took

over the practice. The closest medical facility to Trenton is in Pollocksville, about 12 miles southeast of Trenton, and the nearest pediatrician and dentist offices are in Maysville, about 20 miles southeast of Trenton. “There’s a need here,” Simpson said. “Having a chiropractor in town is more than just a short drive for patients. It’s about having care close enough that it is not a burden to them.” That’s why she stayed in Trenton with the volunteer EMS squad in September 2018, when Hurricane Florence churned over Eastern North Carolina for two days. “I wanted to be down here in case we had something come up,” Simpson said. During those two days, the Trent River swelled. Storm surge, 20 inches of accumulated rain, dangerous winds and historic flooding in Trenton made it impossible for Simpson to visit her practice for almost two weeks. Many areas of Jones county were without water and electricity for almost a week.

The EMS squad couldn’t send out volunteers during the storm because of the risk of injury. After the storm passed, Simpson helped with recovery efforts — distributing MREs (military rations) and bottled water; checking in on residents, especially the elderly. When she returned to her building, she found dead fish on the sidewalk in front of her business. Everything in the building was ruined, except for her laptop. In the weeks that followed, her family helped her rip out the flooring and walls. She ran her practice from her uncle’s chiropractic practice in New Bern for a few weeks after the storm. She even made house calls for a few patients — some of whom still had their homes flooded, so she treated them on their porches. The practice is located in a large brick building between the town hall and Jones County Tire & Wheel Alignment. It’s locked up for now, with a sign on the window that says: “We are temporarily located in Realo Discount Drugs.” That’s where

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Dr. Ashley Simpson in her Trenton office during renovations

Simpson and her therapist have been running the practice, a few steps away from her building. The journey to restoring her building has been a challenge. Almost a year after the hurricane, the inside of the building where she ran her practice still doesn’t have drywall. The plumbing and insulation are visible. Simpson was renting the space, but after it flooded its owner sold it to her for a fair price. Her costs went up exponentially when she bought the building. Add to that repairs, which she was paying

The loan program helped 25 small NC businesses during Thread Capital’s 2018/2019 fiscal year, with a total $1.8 million in loans.

for out-of-pocket, until she received a Resilient Recovery loan from Thread Capital, a nonprofit subsidiary of the NC Rural Center launched in June 2018. The loan provides long-term funding to small businesses that have suffered significant economic and physical damage because of a natural disaster. Before she found Thread Capital, she sought funding from FEMA, SBA, and even a traditional bank loan. She came to the same frustrating roadblock every time: student loans. The student loans she acquired to get her doctorate increased her debt-to-income ratio, making her look like a risky investment to a traditional bank. “I’m just really grateful for Thread Capital,” Simpson said. “I could not have done this without them. I feel like they didn’t just look at one or two points on a QuickBooks spreadsheet. They tried to get a picture of who I was as a whole. It wasn’t just about ‘We’re giving you this loan so we can make money back,’ but ‘We care about these small businesses in North Carolina and we know that they make an impact in their community and we want that to continue.’” With the Resilient Recovery loan, Simpson will buy drywall and flooring to finish repairing the building and some new equipment. The

For more information about Resilient Recovery loans from Thread Capital, a subsidiary of the NC Rural Center, visit or call 919-212-4950.

loan program helped 25 small NC businesses during Thread Capital’s 2018/2019 fiscal year, with a total $1.8 million in loans. Simpson hopes to be back in her building in a few months, and she plans to stay in the community she loves. Many of the businesses in downtown Trenton did not have flood insurance before the hurricane, making it even more difficult to reopen. She’s seen at least two business close. “There’s still a lot of people who did stay,” she said. “Hurricanes are going to come again, but this is home to a lot of people. That’s really important to them, not just to get back in their building again, but to be around the people they care about.” Camila Molina is a Thread Capital loan associate and former writer for the Raleigh News & Observer.

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Triangle Hemp

New Laws, New Promise for


Triangle Hemp runs a 6-acre hemp nursery in Durham. Its two greenhouses total 10,000 square feet of growing space, providing field-ready starter plants to farmers up and down the East Coast.

NC farmers are discovering how industrial hemp can be grown and used

By Donna Campbell Smith


here is a lot of excitement over North Carolina’s newest cash crop: industrial hemp. There is also a fair amount of confusion about hemp, which is a type of cannabis. Yes, that cannabis, one form of which is also known as marijuana. Industrial hemp is different from marijuana, however, in that it contains much less of the psychoactive chemical THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which produces the “high” effect. Otherwise, there is little difference. Both marijuana and industrial hemp are the same plant species and look the same. The only way to tell the difference is by chemical analysis. “Most marijuana contains 20 to 30 percent THC. Industrial hemp, by law, must contain less than 0.3 percent THC,” says Rowan County Extension Director Amy-Lynn Albertson. “But it’s the same plant, right? Well, yes and no. Sweet corn and field corn are the same, but you wouldn’t serve field corn at your church picnic. Through traditional breeding, both have traits that have been selected for their different purposes.” Specifically, hemp varieties have been selected for their seed oil and fiber properties, marijuana for its narcotic properties, she explains.

One plant, many uses

Growing hemp is by no means a new concept. Colonial farmers were required by England to grow hemp, used to make rope, cloth and oil for lamps. In John Lawson’s 1709 travel log “A New Voyage to Carolina,” hemp is mentioned several times as an important crop. These days, one heavily marketed hemp-based product is CBD (or cannabidiol) oil, mainly extracted from flower buds and credited with relieving arthritic pain, anxiety and insomnia. But industrial hemp has much more to offer than CBD oil. The whole plant can be used for a host of products, including bio fuels (much like corn to make ethanol), textiles, building materials, rope, mulch, animal bedding and paper. “CBD is just the tip of the iceberg,” says Jessica Seymour, a registered dietitian and business partner at Lazy Gator’s Hemp Farm in Kinston.

“There are over 140 identified natural chemicals in hemp which are beneficial to our health.” Hemp seed oil, extracted mainly from the seeds of the plant, is used in cosmetics and as food. It isn’t good for deep frying, but it can be used for stir-frying and shallow frying. Its nutty flavor makes it ideal as an ingredient for salad dressings, marinades, smoothies, and in various recipes that call for oil. Hemp seeds are tasty to snack whole or hulled, and to use in recipes. The seeds are a good source of protein, having all nine essential amino acids, and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

The hemp belt

Until recently, the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 made it illegal to grow, manufacture, possess, sell, import and distribute all forms of cannabis, including industrial hemp. That changed in the 2014 federal farm bill, when it was left to states to allow growing and cultivating of industrial hemp for research purposes — under certain strict conditions. North Carolina launched a pilot program at that time, through which farmers must first apply for and obtain a

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The 2018 federal farm bill included provisions that treat industrial hemp more like other agricultural products, although how that affects policy has yet to become fully clear. In the meantime, North Carolina will continue to operate under the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program authorized in 2014. The legality of CBD oil is also in flux. The 2018 law should open up more legal uses of the oil, but its use in food products remain unclear.

Donna Campbell Smith is a Carolina Country contributing writer who lives in Franklin County.

Blacklands Botanicals, a member of Tideland EMC, makes highperforming seed for farmers. Lazy Gator

A future in flux

“Under federal Food and Drug Administration laws, CBD is considered a drug,” NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Joe Reardon, assistant commissioner of consumer protection, stated last February. “North Carolina state laws mirror federal laws. This means that CBD cannot legally be added to any human food or animal feed that is for sale.” Jessica Parker, owner of Wake County-based I Can Hemp Products, is a manufacturer, retailer and wholesaler of hemp products. She first became aware of the benefits of CBD oil when her husband started using it to treat chronic pain — it worked where heavy doses of Ibuprofen had failed. She used it herself to treat wrist and shoulder pain, and now touts the extract as a life changer. “We first started making our own hemp salve on a whim, just to see if we could do it,” she says. “Then we were giving it away to friends and family, who were finding the same benefits we were, and it just grew from there.” Jessica uses organic, locally grown hemp flowers to create her handmade hemp-infused products, which she markets at craft fairs, local shops and via her website. Most of what she sells are bath products, salves and massage oils. About a third of her CBD oil products are edible, which she has pulled from shelves until it becomes clear how the regulations will pan out. Being a pilot program, North Carolina’s hemp industry will evolve as federal policy is interpreted and implemented at the state level. But Blake Butler, executive director of the NC Industrial Hemp Association, is working for a future where hemp is a common commodity once more. “With the exponential growth, the CBD market has become increasingly competitive,” he says. “Farmers need to diversify, and start growing industrial hemp for fiber and grain.”

Blacklands Botanicals

license from the NC Industrial Hemp Commission. Crops are routinely tested, and if a farmer’s hemp tests above the 0.3 percent THC limit, they will lose their license. North Carolina now has 1,106 licensed industrial hemp growers, representing 13,167 licensed acres and more than 5 million square feet of licensed greenhouse production, according to the Industrial Hemp Commission. There are currently 621 registered processors in the state, including Hemp Inc.’s mill in Spring Hope, the largest industrial hemp processing facility in the country. Gator Williams — another business partner at Lazy Gator’s Hemp Farm, along with Lester Anderson, Tommy Parker and Kory Williams — has held a license to grow industrial hemp since summer 2017. His farm sells hemp plants and seeds, as well as its own hemp products like a hemp oil skin cream. It also offers consultation to those looking to establish their own hemp businesses. Having raised tobacco, Gator was able to adapt the same equipment for hemp as he used in growing tobacco by making a few adjustments, such as the planting distance of the rows. He has found the bright leaf tobacco belt of Virginia and North Carolina, ranging east from Wake Forest, wellsuited for growing the crop. Hemp is grown in the field April through October and in greenhouses for the rest of the year. In order to flower, hemp needs at least 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of dark.

Spring planting at Lazy Gator’s Hemp Farm in Kinston

Learn more about industrial hemp in NC NC Cooperative Extension Service Extensive information on hemp, including dates for workshops, meetings and tours NC Industrial Hemp Association The trade association for NC industrial hemp growers, with a mission is to support and educate NC Industrial Hemp Commission Develops rules and oversees the licensingfee structures for the industry in the state NC Department of Agriculture Provides information about the state’s hemp pilot program

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Solving the

Plastic Problem Bonnie Monteleone is tackling ocean plastic pollution by sea and by land By Greta Burroughs | Photos by Bonnie Monteleone


onnie Monteleone is out to make a positive difference in our world. The Wilmington-based researcher can often be found along the gunwales of a boat off the Carolina coast, net in hand. But it’s not fish she’s after — it’s plastic. Bonnie first took an interest in the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans as a student at UNC Wilmington. Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste makes its way into the oceans, according to National Geographic, or the equivalent of rimming every foot of coastline around the world with five bags of trash. For Bonnie, it was not enough to obtain facts and figures from other people’s work; she wanted to see the problem and conduct the research herself. Her first research venture was aboard a research ship sailing the northern Pacific, documenting the trash making up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. “My biggest question was if it was just an urban legend, or if the garbage patch really was a floating island, twice the size of Texas, thousands of miles away from land,” she recalls. She has since collected plastic marine samples from around the world, including four of the five main ocean gyres, or systems of ocean currents, and has seen that the plastic problem stretches well beyond the Pacific Ocean. And it is made up of something even more insidious than an island of trash: microplastics. “That’s where the real danger is,” Bonnie says. “Microplastics are small enough to enter the smallest form of life on this planet and are bio-available all the way up to the largest animals … Plankton can’t eat a bottle but can eat microplastics.”

Problems and solutions

Bonnie wanted to share her knowledge and experience, and teach others that together we may be able to make a dent in the problem. Most of the plastic entering the ocean originates from land-based sources. If we clean up

the land, rivers and shoreline, less plastic will enter the ocean, she explains. Her realization that most people are unaware of the plastic dilemma sparked the inception of the nonprofit Plastic Ocean Project, Inc. (POP), which she co-founded with Paul Lorenzo in 2012. POP has initiated local awareness campaigns, clean-up activities and projects around the Wilmington area focused on eliminating plastic waste from our environment. In addition to the clean-up activities, POP is researching methods to recycle reclaimed plastic. Their innovative projects have spread internationally — POP research on the ingestion of microplastics by zooplankton was featured in the documentary, “A Plastic Ocean.” And the organization is scheduled to open a Plastic Ocean Research and Innovation Center in collaboration with UNCW in Wilmington on September 21. “It’s a huge deal, because we’re looking at the plastic problem and the solution side. There are other places that look at one or the other, but we’ll be doing both,” she says. “We hope to expand our curriculum into a degree program through UNCW, attracting bright minds from all over the world to come to Wilmington and study.”

A hurricane, a change of plans

Plans for the innovation center hit a snag in September 2018, when Hurricane Florence destroyed UNCW’s science building. The building was a loss, though for other North Carolinians, the damage was much worse. Communities in Eastern North Carolina were devastated by the storm. POP’s priorities switched, and Bonnie focused on doing all she could to help her community recover from the carnage. “It was heartbreaking. People’s lives were washed away during the storm,” she says. “We’ve found photo albums, toys, baby shoes, trinkets and things near and dear to people’s lives scattered along the side of the road. It was terrible.”

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Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic waste makes its way into the oceans. That’s like rimming every foot of coastline around the world with five bags of trash! Storm recovery became Bonnie’s central focus. She and POP volunteers initiated a clean-up campaign, although it turned out to be a project much larger than just a handful of volunteers could tackle. Not only were people affected by Hurricane Florence, but the environment suffered a heavy blow as well — vast numbers of trees had fallen victim to the storm’s high winds and floodwaters. “The destruction from Florence was so massive. It’s hard to know the number of trees we lost,” remarks Connie Parker from the Alliance for Cape Fear Trees. “In Wilmington alone, tens of thousands of trees were destroyed. It was the same outside of the city, and even more in the outlying counties where there was flooding. We must have lost at least 100,000 trees overall.” “Something needed to be done to inspire people to come out and do this very important clean-up effort and replant trees, so we can get back the canopy we lost,” Bonnie explains.

Replacing trash with what belongs

Putting Bonnie’s thoughts into action, POP formed the Trees4Trash initiative. Once a month, volunteers gather trash, weigh the bags, separate out recyclables and transport the garbage to the dump. In return, POP and other local groups will plant one

hardwood tree for every 25 pounds of trash removed from the environment — “removing what doesn’t belong there and replacing it with what does,” as Bonnie puts it. Other individuals and organizations see the promising future of Trees4Trash and are partnering with POP. “Trees are the building block for a lot of our habitat ecosystems, whether they’re providing nesting for owls, hawks and songbirds, resting areas for turkeys at night, or the forage they’re providing from the seeds, nuts and fruits they bear,” explains Tim Gestwicki, CEO of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. “Marine debris is a huge problem for our aquatic and wildlife species. Getting that debris out of the terrestrial ecosystem before it reaches the ocean is huge. So we need to clean one ecosystem in order to enhance another.” “The wonderful thing is, Trees4Trash can be replicated anywhere,” Bonnie says, sensing that POP’s efforts thus far are only the beginning. “We hope to continue to build partnerships and restore the environment by removing manmade debris and increasing the tree canopy across our country.” Greta Burroughs has worked as a freelance writer since 2005. You can usually find her typing madly away at her home in South Carolina, where she resides with her husband and three dogs.

Above top: Volunteers go to great lengths to remove trash from waterways before it makes its way to the sea. Above bottom: Bonnie (middle) and UNCW POP members catalog the types of plastic retrieved from the ocean. The most unusual items they have found are toilet seats and a fish trapped in a plastic oil bottle.

Visit for information about the grand opening of the Plastic Ocean Research and Innovation Center on September 21, and to learn more about Plastic Ocean Project, Trees4Trash and other POP initiatives.

Bonnie Monteleone is a researcher and activist, as well as an artist. Watch her explain her ocean plastic-focused art installation, “What Goes Around, Comes Around.”

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Special Advertising Feature

National Keeps Customers ‘Living the Comfortable Life’ NC business stays focused on personal connections and its small-town roots By Belinda Thomas

Lynda Smith Swann, president and owner of National Wholesale, a women’s apparel business, recalls a sweet story about a time long gone. Then just a small girl growing up in Lexington, her father, Eddie Smith, came home waving an envelope. His arm slipped around her mother’s waist and she watched them dance around the kitchen. “It was National’s first order,” Lynda recalls with a smile. “I was just a kid, but I will forever remember that joyous dance.” Six decades later, under Lynda’s supervision, National continues to grow. Although Lynda grew up at National, she went into counseling after receiving her undergraduate in psychology and her master’s in education from the University of North Carolina. In 1984, after the birth of her second child, Parker

Wilson, Lynda was asked by her dad to join National full-time. “As a business owner, the skills I learned as a counselor I put to good use every day,” she says. “Having an open line of communication with your employees is key to being successful.” She goes on to add: “I learned so much from my father, not only about business but about setting yourself apart from your competitors by really focusing on customer service. Daddy’s motto of, ‘Treat every customer as if she were our only customer,’ is still the guiding principle by which we operate National today.” Lynda hopes to create that same sense of good fortune and business opportunities for her daughter, Parker, as she assists the National family, too. What began as a one-color mail-order flyer for hosiery in 1952 is now a multi-channel apparel business with 155 (mostly local) employees, complete with website, blog (which Parker writes, at and full-color catalog. The fashion assortment goes beyond hosiery. It now includes brand-name apparel, loungewear, intimates and shoes. With her master’s in business and undergraduate degree in fashion, Parker transitioned from lululemon to National in 2013 to help develop new strategies and products that resonate with the company’s slogan: “Living the comfortable life.”

But why make the switch from a thriving yoga-wear company to an older traditional line? “I see promise and opportunity as we tweak current styles to meet the needs of our growing demographic,” she says. As for why she has kept it local when so many like companies have outsourced those services, Lynda quotes her father saying, “Lexington is an ordinary, extraordinary town with ordinary, extraordinary people.” Her family’s love for Lexington goes back to her father’s days as an orphan at the Lexington Junior Order Orphanage, now the American Children’s Home. The day he left there he was given $5, and through the generosity of so many area people, he was able to thrive. He not only built a company, he also built a legacy that Lynda and Parker continue today. With funds given to build the Sarah and Edward Smith Health Sciences Center at Davidson County Community College, the renovation at the Junior Orphanage, the renovation of the Family Services Home for Women and the Lexington Hospital — business has never been just about selling product, but more about building lives. Like my father always said, “Do the right thing for the right reason, because truth and time travel together.” It has worked well for 67 years, our mission is to continue his legacy.

A f

This article is sponsored by National. Learn more at or 1-800-480-4673.

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Carolina Living

Upgrades That Matter These projects will update your older home

Do you own an older home? Strategic enhancements not only increase a property’s resale value, but also its functionality. This is particularly important for young homebuyers, who report feeling disappointed with the dated features of their homes, and unsure of what and where to renovate. Here are some leading homeimprovement projects for older homes.


Wall removal Removing a wall between the kitchen and living room can enhance functionality and provide a modern, open design. Cutouts in walls are another option if the wall cannot be completely removed. You’ll need to ensure any wall is not load-bearing before removal, so you don’t impact the structural integrity of the home.


Tankless water heaters These heaters, which heat water on demand, can work well for older homes because they take up less space and can reduce energy costs. To learn more about them, visit Manufacturers that offer 25-year warranties include Noritz.


Energy-efficient insulation Many older homes have little to no insulation, but fortunately there are many modern insulation options available today that weren’t around

when these homes were built. In addition to insulation, remember to seal spaces for air loss, such as air ducts, doors, windows, pipe inlets and the attic.


Technology additions Smart-home features are often requested in new construction. Fortunately, your older home can become a smart home, too, when you implement technology such as home automation. Examples include smart thermostats, smart music and programmable lighting. Thanks to Wi-Fi, there’s usually no need for costly rewiring.


New paint/wallpaper That ’70s pea-green paint in the bathroom and the ’80s floral wallpaper in the bedroom instantly date your home. Dedicate a weekend to painting or covering the walls in your favorite spaces and you’ll be amazed at the transformation. Painting your

walls in neutral colors is usually best for resale. That being said, you can always go bolder if you simply wish to freshen your space. Along the same lines, wallpaper has made a huge comeback, thanks to contemporary prints and materials that are easier to install and remove. Consider a modern design for an accent wall.


Painting old grout Grout in bathrooms and kitchen spaces really takes a beating and turns a dirty color that’s impossible to clean. It can be time-consuming to replace grout, so to get a fresh look, consider painting it instead. Specialty grout paint makes the process simple with easy application features that roll on.


Hardware updates Hardware throughout a home gets dingy and dated. Installing modern, metallic cabinet knobs, drawer handles and towel racks can make a space feel fresh again without much investment. Don’t forget about air registers.


Light fixtures Lighting styles change through the years and replacements can make a world of difference. For example, replace an old brass chandelier with a modern pendant design. Not only will it be a style update, but the directed light output can make the space more usable. —Brandpoint

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Carolina Living

Paw-some Pix

Capture your pet’s personality with these tricks Whether you’re hoping to make your dog or cat an Instagram sensation or you just want a nice portrait, you’ve likely discovered pets can be elusive around cameras. Here are tips for getting your fur-baby to sit for the camera, from creative photographer Taylor Graham. ■■ If you’re shooting outside, situate

your pet in a shaded area. A flat, overcast day makes for the most flattering pet photos.

■■ Add flair with bowties, hats, vests,

scarves and colorful bandanas that showcase your pet’s personality. You can find pet fashion accessories at local pet stores and through online retailers such as Zulily.

■■ Get low to your pet’s level and

frame the face tightly, focusing on eyes for maximum impact.

■■ Remember to photograph the most

endearing parts of your pet. Often overlooked, paws and ears can be some of the most adorable features of your furry friend.

■■ Hold a toy or treat as close to

the lens as possible. This will get your pet’s gaze right where you want it to be.

■■ Most cameras and camera phones

have a “burst mode” that takes pictures quickly in a row. Later, you can select the perfect frame. —

January 2019


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Carolina Living

Appliance Word Search Did you know major appliances account for a large portion of your home’s energy use? Circle their names below. Use the word bank for clues!

















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Carolina Living

Go Bananas!

Put this creamy multi-tasker to work in your kitchen


ananas may be one of the most versatile fruits available. They are a natural alternative to sugar to sweeten desserts, are easily digestible, and come in their own easy-to-open container. You can slice up fresh bananas to enhance your breakfast cereal, yogurt and on-the-go smoothies. They are also good frozen for fruit smoothies and shakes. Bananas are a source of natural sugars and carbohydrates, which help provide sustained energy. Its fiber slows digestion and gives the body time to use it as fuel instead of storing it as fat. They’re powerhouses when it comes to nutrition, too. Just one banana has 35 percent of the daily recommended B-6, which helps with cell growth. In addition, it offers

nearly 10 percent of the recommended daily value for potassium and other important vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, magnesium, manganese and copper. One of the most popular ways to bake with bananas is bread. Banana bread was the creation of thrifty housewives during the Great Depression who had to stretch their family’s food supplies, including utilizing overly ripe bananas. Recipes have evolved over the years to include different ingredients, such as adding in nuts, chocolate chips and flavorings like almond. This nut bread recipe offers a twist on the classic recipe by adding a coconut cream topping. For additional recipes, visit

Banana Nut Bread 4 ripe bananas 3 eggs 1 cup almond flour or spelt flour 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup ¼ cup pecans, chopped ¼ cup walnuts, chopped 2 tablespoons baking powder 2 tablespoons ginger powder 1 teaspoon vanilla powder** 2 tablespoons cinnamon Topping 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk* 1 tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon vanilla powder** Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Purée three bananas with a hand mixer. Scoop into a big bowl and add all other loaf ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Pour batter into greased pan. Cut the fourth banana lengthwise in half and place the slices on top. Bake for 45 minutes. For topping, scoop only the top layer of cream from the can of coconut milk into a bowl. Add honey and vanilla powder and mix until smooth. Serve with the banana nut loaf. *Note: The night before baking, put the coconut milk in the fridge (to separate the fluid from the cream). **You can substitute 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract for vanilla powder.

How to freeze bananas You’ll want to freeze your ripe or overripe bananas, which have the most flavor. Peel and slice the fruit into 1-or 2-inch chunks and arrange them in a single layer on wax paper on a baking sheet. Slide the sheet into your freezer. Once the banana chunks are frozen, transfer them into freezersafe bags. This method prevents the chunks from freezing into one clump and lets you allot portions.


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On the House

Water for the Birds

Considering costs of water features By Hannah McKenzie


I love watching the birds in my garden and have decided to take the next step of adding a water feature for them to drink and bathe. There are so many options — a simple birdbath, fountain or even an artificial stream — and many use a recirculating water pump that consumes electricity. How much could a water feature increase my energy bill?


For as little as the cost to operate one LED bulb, a fountain can be a great low-cost garden feature. Watching birds is such a calming hobby and enjoyed by all ages. North Carolina is a year-round home to songbirds like the chickadee, cardinal, tufted titmouse and my favorite — the wily Carolina wren. We also host a variety of migratory birds like purple martins, orioles and thrushes who arrive every spring to build nests and raise their young. While birds typically get the water they need from their food, puddles, morning dew, or nearby ponds or streams, a garden water feature may be a welcome respite during a drought. Plus, the soothing hum and bird bathing antics should be a delight. The sound of moving water attracts birds, but as you pointed out, the addition will likely increase your energy bill. Shockingly, submersible water pumps for most birdbaths and fountains use between 2.5 and 23 watts, which translates to just $3 on up to $25 per year for nonstop operation. Before purchasing a pump, you can confirm its energy use by looking for its wattage and then doing a little math. This is especially

important when considering a larger water feature, like a koi pond or waterfall, which could increase your energy bill by hundreds of dollars. Pump wattage x 365 days x 24 hours x $0.12* $ ÷ 1,000 $ Cost for $ running pump (non-stop for a year)

* To be more precise, use your kWh electric rate in the formula

Other options that won’t increase your energy bill include: ■■ A simple shallow basin with a

non-slip surface. I am always amused to watch birds bathing in my sons’ Tonka dump trunk after a rainstorm.

■■ Use solar power. Some fountain

pumps come with a solar panel similar to solar garden lights. Solar panels with battery storage, often found at agricultural supply stores, can also power a water feature,

which is especially appealing if an electrical outlet is far away. This option will continue to be more affordable as solar energy and battery storage technology becomes less expensive. Cleaning a birdbath or fountain weekly is crucial for keeping the birds healthy and preventing mosquitoes from breeding. An old dishwashing brush and a cleaner like Bon Ami will do the trick, but any soap and chlorine bleach will work fine as long as you rinse thoroughly with water. Also, freezing temperatures will make some water features vulnerable to damage, so be sure to drain, cover or warm yours depending on manufacturer recommendations and the weather. For more detail on making your property a bird haven, visit the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at Audubon North Carolina is another excellent resource for learning to support wild birds in our state (, and its native plants program is great fun for wildlife gardeners ( Happy birding! Hannah McKenzie is a building science consultant for Advanced Energy in Raleigh.

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Your Heart’s Adventure Awaits!

The North Carolina Zoo


The Liberty Antiques Festival


Kersey Valley Attractions




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Graham Saxapahaw

Learn more at VISITALAMANCE.COM | 800-637-3804 26  |

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8/9/19 1:01 PM

Life Along the Water

Revitalized waterfronts offer access to long-traveled rivers and sounds By Donna Campbell Smith





N Washington waterfront

orth Carolina’s rivers and sounds were the gateways to the interior mysteries of the New World for European explorers who first arrived here hundreds of years ago. Colonists established towns near the life-giving water where goods could be shipped in and out. Today, many of those towns have celebrated their waterfronts by developing them into beautiful public spaces with harbors, parks, museums, shops, board walks, restaurants and more. In northeast North Carolina along the Historic Albemarle Highway, several towns have gone all-out to make their waterfronts a central attraction for tourists and locals alike. September 2019  | 27

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Life Along the Water

Renee Gannon

Donna Campbell Smith

Donna Campbell Smith

Rail River Switch Nature Trail

Penelope Barker House




Known as “Little Washington,” to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., the settlement was known as “Forks of the Tar” in the early 1770s. It wasn’t until 1776 it was renamed Washington for George Washington. Along the Pamlico-Tar River, the city now has a beautifully developed waterfront that offers everything from the North Carolina Estuarium Center to a children’s playground and picnic area. Along the boardwalk one can access the harbor, galleries, restaurants and antique shops. The riverfront offers access to 300 miles of paddle trails. On the green areas of the waterfront on Saturdays from April through October, the Farmers and Artisans Market offers farmfresh produce, seafood and arts and crafts. Concerts and art shows are also held on the greens periodically. Visitors can enjoy self-guided tours of Washington’s historic sites and nature trails and don’t miss the historic ghost walk held around Halloween, within walking distance of the waterfront.

Plymouth’s Roanoke River waterfront is accessible downtown along Water Street. Here you’ll find shops, eateries and the God’s Creation Wildlife Museum, with its extensive taxidermy collection of animals from all over the world. At the west end of Water Street on the green, the Roanoke River Lighthouse overlooks the river. At the eastmost end of the waterfront is a pier, where one can fish or just sit to relax and watch the river roll by. A few steps away is the Port O’ Plymouth Museum, housed in a 1920s-era train depot. Exhibits feature Native American, colonial and Civil War artifacts. Docked nearby is a replica of the CSS Albemarle, a steam-powered ironclad that protected the harbor during the Civil War until it was sunk in May 1864. Near the museum is the head of the Rail River Switch Nature Trail. Follow the river on the boardwalk, which has two observation decks. The trail affords views of woods, marsh and the river. Walkers may see and photograph a variety of birds and reptiles.

A walk along Edenton’s waterfront is a walk back in time to North Carolina’s early colonial roots. The Penelope Barker House serves as Edenton’s visitors center. Overlooking Edenton Bay, the house was the home of North Carolina’s first female activist, Penelope Barker. She organized the protest against British taxation, known as the Edenton Tea Party (the site of which is now marked by a large bronze teapot). Tour the home and get a look at life in the 1700s. Just across the parking lot from the Barker House is the original Roanoke River Lighthouse, open for guided tours and information about Edenton’s merchant trade. The harbor provides boat slips, restrooms and showers, a picnic area with playground, and you can even rent a canoe or kayak — or launch your own. From the waterfront you can walk or take a trolley tour to the many historic landmarks throughout downtown. Maps for self-guided tours are available at the Barker House.

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Tom Brennan

Donna Campbell Smith

Renee Gannon

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse



Established on the banks of the Scuppernong River in 1793, Columbia offers the public the largest rest area on Hwy 64 east of Raleigh. The Tyrrell County Visitors Center has all of the usual amenities: rest rooms, snack machines, tourist info and gift shop, plus a boardwalk that follows the river bank into the swamp giving access to wetlands, woods and waterways. In addition to native plants, you are likely to encounter a variety of water birds, songbirds and raptors. You might also see a reptile or two in the way of snakes and lizards. Next door is the Walter B. Jones Center for the Sounds. Inside, find exhibits about wildlife, the pocosin lakes, and black water rivers and creeks of the area. On the boardwalk to the right of the visitor center, the walkway leads under the Scuppernong River Bridge to the harbor and downtown area. This area is well known for art galleries, shops, restaurants and cafés.

Between the Croatan and Roanoke Sounds and a bridge away from the Outer Banks, the town of Manteo on Roanoke Island is rich in history, yet offers up-to-date shopping and dining right on the banks of Shallowbag Bay. Manteo was not incorporated until 1899, although it was a bustling trade center as early as the 1600s. The picturesque waterfront is lined with boat slips, cafés, galleries and shops. Many of the restaurants offer outdoor dining, where patrons can enjoy watching the boats come and go while they eat. Walk south to find the restored Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse and the Roanoke Island Maritime Museum. A bridge at the north end of the waterfront leads to Roanoke Festival Park, a 25-acre trip back in time. Costumed guides share their knowledge of what life was like hundreds of years ago as you visit an Indian village, an explorer’s camp, and in the summer go aboard a reproduction of the Elizabeth II to get a feel for what it was like to travel to this unknown land. Manteo offers many interesting sites away from the waterfront, including Fort Raleigh, The Lost Colony Theater, The Elizabethan Gardens, the historic Island Farm and an NC aquarium at the north end of the island.

Donna Campbell Smith is a Carolina Country contributing writer who lives in Franklin County.

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8/12/19 2:28 PM

Carolina Compass

Mickey Galyean & Cullen’s Bridge Bluegrass-country concert Sept. 28, Elkin 336-259-8240

Old Timey Fall Festival Demos, antique vehicles Sept. 28, Burnsville 828-682-7413

ARTrageous! High-energy show Sept. 28, Franklin 866-273-4615

PIEDMONT Origami in the Garden2

Day at the Docks Kids activities, cooking Sept. 13–14, Hatteras

Sculpture exhibit Through Sept. 8, Fayetteville 910-486-0221

September Events MOUNTAINS Fiddlers Convention Calk walks, joke contest Aug. 30–Sept. 1, Lenoir

The Collingsworth Family


Sept. 14, Franklin 866-273-4615

Country melodies Sept. 21, Franklin 866-273-4615

Pavilion Concert Sept. 15, Maggie Valley 828-452-3522

Apple Festival Crafts, kids activities Aug. 30–Sept. 2, Hendersonville 828-697-4557

Heroes and Villains Chamber orchestra concert Sept. 19, Sparta 336-372-4401

Literary Festival Talks, readings, talks Sept. 5–7, Burnsville 828-208-4731

Olde Time Antique Fair Music, food Sept. 20–21, West Jefferson 336-977-9165

Historic Morganton Festival Concerts, arts Sept. 6–7, Morganton 828-438-5252

Speaking in Color

Mountain Heritage Festival Craft demos, music Sept. 21, Sparta 336-375-5473

Fiesta Hendersonville Latino food, dance Sept. 22, Hendersonville 828-989-2745

Landscapes, textiles, glass Through Sept. 22, Hillsborough 919-732-5001

Matthews Alive Family activities, arts Aug. 30–Sept. 2, Matthews 919-395-4690

Blackwater Rhythm and blues Sept. 2, Asheboro 336-626-1277

Pickin’ by the Lake Bluegrass festival Sept. 7, Roxboro 336-322-2105

See more events online with photos, descriptions, maps and directions.




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Fiesta Hendersonville Latino food, dance Sept. 22, Hendersonville

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Carolina Compass

Know Before You Go

In case something changes after Carolina Country goes to press, check information from the contact listed.

The Demise of Tonto

Bright Leaf Hoedown

Talk about Native Americans Sept. 7, Gastonia 704-866-6900

Magic show, farm Olympics Sept. 21, Yanceyville 336-694-6106

Fall Plant Sale

Taco Festival

Master gardeners on hand Sept. 13–14, Winston-Salem 336-682-6792

Community Festival Art, music, games Sept. 14, Lillington 910-814-7114

Set Your Table Showcasing dinnerware Sept. 14, Seagrove 910-464-3266

Hot Sauce Festival Contests, crafted brews Sept. 14, Oxford 919-603-1164

Heritage Festival Music, classic vehicles Sept. 14, Archdale 336-434-2073

Peppa Pig Live Characters go camping Sept. 15, Durham 919-680-2787

Open House Refreshments Sept. 17–22, Hickory 828-294-3950

Jay Leno Comedy with late night host Sept. 20, Durham 919-680-2787

Farmfest Craft demos, music Sept. 21, Westfield 336-351-4142

Randy Travis Music Festival Car show, crafts Sept. 21, Marshville 704-624-3183

Creedmoor Music Festival Sept. 21, Creedmoor 919-764-1003

Taco tasting, tiny dog pageant Sept. 21, Fayetteville 910-438-4100

Mayberry Days Parade, actors Sept. 23–29, Mount Airy 336-786-7998

Liberty Antiques Festival Sept. 27–28, Staley 800-626-2672

Mayberry Days Parade, actors Sept. 23–29, Mount Airy Henri Herbert

Boat Poker Run

Sept. 28, Rockingham 910-895-4027

Boogie-woogie Sept. 7, Oriental 252-571-5883

Sept. 21, Morehead City 252-515-0301

Gold Hill Founder’s Day

Day at the Docks

Gospel concert Sept. 22, Greenville 252-321-7671

BBQ & Music Festival

Tye Tribbett

Hayrides, games Sept. 28, Gold Hill 704-267-9439

Kids activities, cooking Sept. 13–14, Hatteras

World Hunger Day Yard Sale

Pitt County Fair

Entertainment, BBQ Sept. 28–29, Huntersville 704-875-6581

Sept. 17–22, Greenville 252-758-6916

Music, BBQ Sept. 27–28, Beaufort 252-515-0708

Dar He: Story of Emmett Till

Saving Species Across Africa

Play about murder & trial Sept. 19, Greenville 252-737-5444

Muscadine Festival

Endangered animals talk Sept. 28, Asheboro 336-879-7201

COAST Pavilion Concert Sept. 1, Holden Beach 404-237-3761

Turtle Talks Learn about loggerheads Sept. 2–3, Ocean Isle Beach 404-237-3761

Kyshona Blues sound Sept. 21, Oriental 252-617-2125

Craft Beer Festival

Music, arts Sept. 27–28, Kenansville 910-296-2181

Music Festival Food trucks Sept. 28, Emerald Isle 252-354-6350

POP Opening Celebration Festivities, yoga Sept. 21, Wilmington

Ayden Collard Festival Carnival rides, music Sept. 5–8, Ayden 252-746-2266

Freeboot Friday Entertainment, food Sept. 6, Greenville 252-561-8400

There are more than 250 farmers markets in North Carolina. For one near you, visit

September 2019  | 31

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Chatham County Courthouse Fearrington Village


Fearrington Village

Angelina’s Kitchen

French Connection

Pittsboro Offers Southern Charm With an Eclectic Twist

By Bridgette A. Lacy | Photos courtesy of Pittsboro CVB unless otherwise indicated

Pittsboro, the Chatham County seat due west of Raleigh, is an eclectic mix of quaint, old-fashioned stores and boutiques along with new businesses including yoga studios, outsider art and hidden gems. Downtown Pittsboro has plenty of charm starting with the Chatham County Courthouse and Historical Museum, open for guided and selfguided tours. On a stroll through the downtown, you’ll pass several eateries, apparel shops and Pittsboro Toys, a locally owned toy and book store offering unique gifts and classic toys. The former textile town also boasts a funky side with Circle City Books & Music, a locally owned bookstore with a nice selection of used books, CDs and records. Or hang out at the Joyful Jewel, which sells art and crafts, as well as painting and other art classes. Be sure to check out the eclectic French Connection, a globally sourced gift shop. The rooms are filled with one-of-a-kind crafts, baskets, jewelry and fabric from France and about 20 African countries. Have a seat at the table Pittsboro is full of farm-to-table restaurants. Angelina Koulizakis, owner of Angelina’s Kitchen, is credited with being the pioneer of the “farm-tofork” concept in Chatham County. She prepares locally sourced food with a Greek twist, including Avgolemeno (Greek lemon chicken soup). Savor the flavor at The Natural Chef Café, which serves

Small Town, Big Cats Carolina Tiger Rescue, an organization dedicated to protecting wild cats, is less than 10 minutes from downtown. Consider making a reservation to admire more than 10 species, many rescued from dire straits. Learn more at

international-inspired meals prepared by students enrolled in the Central Carolina Community College’s Culinary Arts Continuing Education program (cash only). Some of the most recent lunch menus were Portuguese, Irish and Peruvian inspired. Or try sandwiches and Southern classics from the Root Cellar Pittsboro or Carolina Brewery & Grill. Enjoy lunch or a treat from the Phoenix Bakery. Craft beverages and sleepovers Pittsboro offers plenty of tours and tastings between Starrlight Mead, the honey winery; Fair Game Beverage Company, known for its bestselling Tobago Pepper Infused Vodka (the perfect ingredient for a Bloody Mary); and Chatham Cider Works, which makes small batches of hard cider from NC apples and pears.

Then prepare to stay overnight at one of the three bed and breakfast inns in town. Make yourself at home at the Rosemary House, located downtown. The traditional home features fun folk art and offers a hot breakfast in the morning. Also check out the Small Street B&B Café. The breakfast and lunch venue also houses three creative guest rooms and the Small Museum of Folk Art, a changing collection of more than 400 pieces of art. Or rest and relax at the classic 458 West Bed and Breakfast. Enjoy a hearty Southern breakfast and watch the world go by on the large wraparound porch. Fearrington Village Spend a whole day northeast of town at the upscale retirement community Fearrington Village. Wander its boutiques and gardens, splurge on meals, or indulge in spa treatments. McIntyre Books hosts both local and national bestselling authors for readings. Seasonal fare is offered at both the casual dining Belted Goat and the fine dining Fearrington House Restaurant. Or you can just sit and enjoy the whimsical gardens filled with flowers and whirligigs. Bridgette A. Lacy is a freelance writer and the author of “Sunday Dinner: A Savor the South cookbook” by UNC Press of Chapel Hill.

Pittsboro or 919-542-8296

Fearrington Village or 919-542-4000

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8/9/19 12:21 PM

Chetola Resort

Sweepstakes A













Carolina Country is partnering with Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock to offer a random drawing for a weekend getaway package that includes:

❧ A two-night stay in the Bob Timberlake Inn ❧ Breakfast for two each day ❧ Dinner at Timberlake’s Restaurant ($100 credit) ❧ One 60-minute couple’s massage at The Spa The 87-acre Chetola Resort is within walking distance of Blowing Rock in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.

Enter by September 30 Online:

Or by mail: Carolina Country—Chetola Sweepstakes 3400 Sumner Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27616

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. One entry per person, drawn by random; odds of receiving the one (1) 2-night weekend stay resort package (estimated retail value of $1,500) depend upon number of entries received. The winner will receive an IRS Form 1099 in the amount of the prize and is liable for any and all taxes related to accepting the prize. Booking exclusions apply and reservations are subject to space availability. Offer expires Dec. 23, 2020. Entries must be postmarked or completed online by September 30, 2019.


PHOTO CONTEST Send us your favorite photo (North Carolina people or scenes) and the story that goes with it. We will pay $50 for each one published in the Carolina Country Scenes section of our January 2020 issue. Judges will select more for our “Photo of the Month” feature throughout 2020, and we’ll pay $50 for each of those. Rules Deadline: November 15, 2019 One entry per household Digital photos should be a minimum of 1200 by 1800 pixels Prints a minimum of 4 x 6 inches

If you did not take the photo you are submitting, please tell us who did and, to the best of your ability, when it was taken so that we can appropriately recognize the person/organization.

Include your name, electric co-op, We retain reprint and mailing address and email address online rights. Visit or phone number for full terms and conditions. If you want your print returned, Payment will be limited to those include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. (We will not return others.) entries appearing in print only, not entries featured solely on Send to Mail: Carolina Country Photo Contest 3400 Sumner Blvd. No emails, please. Raleigh, NC 27616


September 2019  | 33

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8/12/19 2:18 PM

Tar Heel Tidbits For the young (and young at heart)

Stargazing Haven

In a quiet, mica-rich valley near Rosman, a small research facility is doing big things — and you are invited. The Learning Center at PARI (formerly Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute) hosts some of the world’s most exciting astronomical, meteorological and geological research opportunities, as well as unique hands-on educational experiences like no other. The 200-acre PARI campus is a wonder to behold. The institute straddles the divide between having incredible history while exploring a breath-taking future. The site was first used by NASA in the 1960s, during the early years of space exploration. U.S. defense agencies later used its radio telescopes to intercept signals from Russian satellites during the Cold War. The site has been repurposed once more, this time as an open-sourced astronomical research center.

“Our goal is to make astronomical research tools available to everyone.” —Field Study Manager Tim Delisle

The Learning Center at PARI Preregistration is available for multiple 2020 summer camp programs. The campus is closed to the public during summer camp season; check online for fall public hours. or 828-862-5554 1 PARI Drive, Rosman, NC 28772

Opportunities to learn on-site include formal field study programs, summer camps and special events like the Stargazer’s Journey, where guests dine with astronomical educators, tour the onsite museum and learn about PARI’s history, equipment and mission. Finally, when the sky is dark and clear, the journey ends with a spectacular view of the moon and stars through high-quality, optical telescopes. The possibilities are endless, and it all begins here. —Gordon Byrd, Carolina Country contributing editor

Coming to NC: The Wall that Heals

In October, a traveling, three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will make a stop in Tarboro. The chevron-shaped exhibit, sponsored by the Edgecombe Veteran’s Military Museum, chronologically lists the names of more than 58,000 Americans who gave their lives in service to their country during the Vietnam War. The wall is accompanied by a Mobile Education Center and will be open 24 hours a day during its stay.

Environmental Research Communications, May 2019

the base of A researcher at cypress tree. ld an ancient ba

The Wall that Heals Oct. 17–20 | Braswell Park, Tarboro or


That one of the world’s oldest trees was found in NC?

Believe it! Researchers taking core samples from Black River bald cypress trees in Eastern North Carolina counted their rings (trees typically add one every year) and recently discovered one tree to be at least 2,624 years old. That’s older than Christianity, the Roman Empire and the English Language, as the Charlotte Observer points out. This makes bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) the oldest known wetland species of tree in the world.

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8/9/19 11:53 AM

Carolina Gardens

Along Came a Spider Master red spider lily’s odd growing season Story and photos by L.A Jackson

‘Tis spider season! No, not a time of eight-legged, creepy arachnids overwhelming the garden, but rather these are the days when sneaky beauties known as red spider lilies (Lycoris radiata) surprise many a gardener with their strange growing habits. How strange, you ask? Well, the strap-like leaves emerge in the fall and persist through the winter, but then they die down in the spring, leaving nothing to see during the shank of the growing season. However, in the heat of late summer — in other words, now — 18 to 24-inch (or taller), skinny spikes bearing brilliant crimson, spider-like blooms miraculously spring from the baked earth to put on a sassy show that can last up to two weeks. After the flowers finish their dazzling displays, the stalks fade and drop to the ground, followed by long leaves once again rising up to restart the odd cycle. Red spider lily bulbs are best planted in the fall, meaning it will soon be time to get them in the ground (they shouldn’t be that hard to find at local garden centers or online). Spacing should be about 8 to 10 inches apart in a partly sunny area that has well-draining soil. Settle the bases of the bulbs about 4 to 6 inches deep in the ground. Scratching in a little time-release bulb fertilizer will give the future plants a jump-start into next year. Finish off with a layer of mulch, and maintain this organic covering through the winter. Red spider lilies are tolerant of dry conditions in the summer — their dormant time — but they will do better if, during extended droughts, their planting bed is at least

Red spider lily

watered occasionally. When actively growing, they should, of course, be watered if the rains don’t come. In a planting site to their liking, deer-resistant red spider lilies will naturalize and spread. To keep them from becoming overcrowded, which could lead to diminished bloom production, divide them every few years. This is best done in the early summer when the plants are dormant. And after dividing, don’t worry about having leftover bulbs — red spider lilies have been a favorite pass-along plant in this region since the 1800s, so any extras you give away to other gardeners will not only perpetuate these pretty plants but also one of our most cherished institutions: Southern hospitality. L.A. Jackson is the former editor of Carolina Gardener magazine. Contact L.A. at

Discover the red spider lily’s historical Carolina country roots online.

Garden To-Do’s for September “Herbaceous perennial” is a plant that naturally dies back to the ground with the coming of the first fall frosts. This is obvious to most gardeners, but what might not be so obvious during next spring’s early planting frenzy is: “Just where the heck did I put all those dang herbaceous perennials?” Mark their locations now with brightly colored sticks, flags or labels so they won’t be dug up or stomped on at the start of next year’s dig-a-thon. FF

This bright tag will serve as a reminder that this herbaceous “Wolverine” hosta will be back next spring.

Even with summer fading away, there is still time to add to the veggie patch. Lettuce, radishes, kale, onions and mustard greens can all be planted at the beginning of this month to provide homegrown edibles deep into the fall.


Feathered garden friends preparing for cooler weather will appreciate it if you keep the bird feeder well-stocked and the birdbath filled with fresh water.

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At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare to” price means that the specified comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. For more information, go to or see store associate.

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Miscellaneous PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR—$12.95. “Learn Gospel Music.” Chording, runs, fills—$12.95. Both $24. Davidsons, 6727C Metcalf, Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66204. 913-262-4982. FREE MATERIALS: SOON CHURCH/GOVERNMENT UNITING. Suppressing “Religious Liberty”, enforcing a “National Sunday Law”. Be informed! Need mailing address only. TBSM, Box 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771. 1-888-211-1715.   The N.C. Association of Electric Cooperatives and its member cooperatives do not endorse the services and products advertised. Readers are advised to understand fully any agreement or purchase they make. To place a classified ad:

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Carolina Kitchen

Crispy Fish Sandwich With Roasted Tomato, Peach and Nectarine Jam

Roasting tomatoes with peaches and nectarines cooks out their moisture, leaving pure, concentrated fruit goodness. The diced peppers add a nice bite, along with a little heat. Spoon this jam over fish, chops or chicken! Or serve over cream cheese as an appetizer. Crispy Fish Frying oil 1½ pound flounder fillets, cut into thin strips 1 egg 1½ cups ice water 1 cup corn mesa flour ¼ cup flour 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning Salt and pepper Heat ½-inch deep oil to 350 degrees in fryer. Beat egg into ice water. Whisk in flours and seasonings. Dip fish into batter, let excess drip off, and fry until golden brown, about 2–3 minutes. Drain. Stack on buttered and toasted sourdough or buns with favorite toppings and drizzle with jam (see below). Yield: 4 sandwiches

Jam 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved 4 nectarines, pitted and diced 2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and diced 1 medium sweet onion, chopped 3 tablespoons olive oil or oil of choice 1 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 large colored bell pepper, seeded and diced 1–2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced ¼ cup honey or sugar Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss tomatoes, fruits and onion in a large bowl with oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto large, foil-lined baking pan. Roast about 30 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes, until beginning to caramelize. Remove to large bowl and mash into jam, leaving a bit chunky. Fold in peppers and honey. Chill well. Will keep in a refrigerator for up to two weeks, or up to three months in a freezer. Yield: About 2½ cups As summer wanes and tomatoes lose their shine, here’s another unique way to eat up the last of this year’s crop — Spicy Fried Red Tomatoes with Cilantro Tartar Sauce. Find it online!

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Carolina Kitchen

From Your Kitchen

Tomato-Swiss Slab Pie With Fresh Dill

What makes a juicy ripe tomato even better? How about a cheesy, buttery flaky crust underneath with the bright, fresh flavor of dill! Serve this in small wedges as an appetizer, or in bigger slabs as a side dish. Perfect alongside a salad for a light, meatless meal. 10 sheets phyllo dough ½ cup grated Swiss cheese 4 ounces cream cheese, softened ¼ cup mayonnaise (Duke’s preferred) ½ teaspoon caraway seeds 1 stick butter ½ teaspoon onion powder ½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese 2–3 ripe tomatoes, sliced thin and drained between paper towels Half a medium red onion, cut into thin slivers Salt and freshly ground black pepper ¾ cup fried canned onions About ½ cup fresh dill

Thaw dough per package instructions. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With mixer, whip together Swiss cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise and caraway seeds; set aside. Melt butter; stir in onion and garlic powders. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush paper with butter and place one sheet of dough onto buttered area. Brush lightly with butter, then sprinkle with one tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Layer and repeat nine times. Fold up dough edges around all four sides (about ½-inch). Bake 7–8 minutes or until just starting to brown. Remove from oven and spread with cheese mixture. Top with tomatoes and onion slivers. Salt and pepper the pie, then scatter with canned onions. Bake about 12–15 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Garnish with bits of fresh dill and serve. Best hot, but can be served at room temperature. Yield: About 6 servings or 12 appetizer bites

Note: This recipe can easily be doubled and baked side by side on a baking sheet. We take food seriously. Search more than 800 recipes by name or ingredient, with a new recipe featured every week!

Unless otherwise noted, recipes on these pages are from Wendy Perry, a culinary adventurist and blogger, who chats about goodness around NC on her blog at

Send Us Your Recipes

Contributors whose recipes are published will receive $25. We retain reprint rights for all submissions. Recipes submitted are not necessarily entirely original. Include your name, address, phone number (for questions), and the name of your electric cooperative. Mail to: Carolina Country Kitchen, P.O. Box 27306, Raleigh, NC, 27611. Or submit your recipe online at:

Raspberry Swirl Cookies ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 egg 2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup raspberry jam ½ cup shredded coconut ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar together by hand with back of a large spoon. Add vanilla and egg. Mix by hand until light and fluffy. Add flour, baking powder and salt, mixing until fully blended. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (several hours or overnight). Before rolling out dough, let stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll easily. In a small bowl, combine jam, coconut and walnuts. Between two sheets of waxed paper, roll dough into a 12-by-9-inch rectangle. Spread jam mixture evenly over dough to within ½-inch of edges. Roll up dough, jellyroll fashion, starting from long side. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, several hours or overnight. To bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a large, sharp knife, cut chilled dough into ¼-inch slices. (Wipe knife blade with damp paper towel every few slices, and turn the dough as necessary to keep the round shape.) Place rounds two inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake 8–10 minutes or until edges are golden. Carefully remove from parchment and cool on cooling racks. Yield: About 30 cookies

Recipe courtesy of Irene LeCourt of Mill Spring, a member of Rutherford EMC Note: Cookie dough logs may be stored in freezer for several months — remove from freezer, slice and bake!

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in Carolina Country is this ?

Send your answer by September 6, with your name, address and the name of your electric cooperative. Online:

By mail: Where in Carolina Country? P.O. Box 27306 Raleigh, NC 27611 Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. The winner, chosen at random and announced in our October issue, will receive $25.

August winner

The August “Where Is This” photo by EnergyUnited member Chip Culler features the old JC Fields Store located near the intersection of Highways 93 and 221 in the Elk Creek Community of Alleghany County, near Amelia (with Sparta’s zip code), not far from the Virginia state line. Reader Jay Minor noted that the store, located across from the Elk Creek Baptist Church, had to be moved back so Highway 93 could be built, and nails were sold in bags instead of boxes at some point in the store’s life (the store sign says 1888-1994). Mimi Gannaway and Kathy Reeves-Miller recalled that J.C. and Annie Fields operated the store, which also housed a post office. The couple had two daughters, Pearl and Clyde. All J.C. wanted his daughters to learn were how to shoot, swim and to ride a horse, and they did! The winning entry chosen at random from all correct submissions came from Debbie Sturgill of Laurel Springs, a Blue Ridge Energy member. Have a roadside gem you’d like to share? Submit a photo, plus a brief description and general location information, at


“Got No Use for a Banjo Man” By Mary Z. Cox Mary Z. sings succinctly and poignantly of having no use for banjos or their players, nor fiddles, guitars and mandolins — because they only play sad songs. This ironic tune is one of 15 original and traditional songs on this accomplished musician’s latest CD, “Carolina Banjo.” She’s joined on the album by other skillful western North Carolina musicians, specifically NC champion fiddler Tim Gardner (guitar and fiddle), Darren Nicholson (mandolin and guitar) and Cindy Neale Carpenter (vocal harmony). Other notable tracks include “Foggy Mountain Clawhammer,” “Hangmen’s Reel,” “Red Rocking Chair,” “Elk River Blues,”“Going Midwest” and the restless “Let Me Out Of This Town.” Learn more about Mary Z. and listen to this featured track, as well as others from NC musicians. Matt Dixon

¹ t i r

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