Farmers get new community kitchen

Thanks to an $8,000 grant from WNC Agricultural Options, the Jackson County Farmers Market in Sylva will open a community commercial kitchen for farmers to process, preserve and package foods.

Classes in cooking, nutrition and food safety and sanitation will also be offered at the venue.

Other farm groups and 23 farmers throughout Western North Carolina were awarded a total of $150,000 through the grants, intended to increase profitability of diverse farms. Other grants of $6,000 include:

• Lambert Farms on the Cherokee Reservation to assist with a grass-fed beef grazing operation and pastured poultry processing.

• Water quality improvements at Sunburst Trout Farm in Haywood County.

• A truffle project at Tri-Lynn Plantation in Jackson County.

• Hydroponic greenhouse operations at  Nantahala Farms and Nursery in Macon County.

• High Mountain Meadows farm certified creamery and kitchen in Clay County.

The grant program has been funded exclusively by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission since 2003.

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