Farmer's Market Fresh: North Carolina Pork

Farmer’s Market Fresh: North Carolina Pork

Disclosure: “Farmer’s Market Fresh: North Carolina Pork” is sponsored in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services NCDA&CS but all opinions are my own.

Got To Be NC, Piedmont Triad Farmers MarketBefore having kids, one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning was to get up early and run to the farmer’s market to pick up some fresh, local produce. I bought baked goods, flowers, eggs, and of course, fruits and veggies. But I never once thought about purchasing meat from the farmer’s market. To be honest, I don’t even know if it was offered back then (jeez, I feel old now).

But when I was given the opportunity to visit the Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market last week, I learned that the farmers have more to offer than just fresh, local produce! Not only did I find all sorts of North Carolina grown fruits, veggies, herbs, and flowers, but fresh, locally-raised meat, as well.

I grew up in the midwest. In the middle of “God’s Country”, where you can’t go more than a mile or two without seeing a cornfield, cattle, or pig farm. So suffice it to say I am a tried and true omnivore, with carnivore tendencies. I always need a good source of protein in my meals.

I don’t discriminate. I love beef, chicken, fish, but my assignment was to find some delicious North Carolina pork.

North Carolina is the second largest pork producer in the USA with a total production value of hogs in 2015 of $2.24 billion. Yes, that is billion with a ‘b’.

My home state, Iowa, is the largest pork producer with a total production value of hogs in 2015 of $6.58 billion. (P.S. Iowa is also the home of the pork tenderloin sandwich, well, we just call it a tenderloin. One of the few things I really miss about the midwest, aside from my family, of course.)

Got To Be NC, Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

Rockin’ B Farm

Rockin’ B Farm

While I was at the farmer’s market I had to pleasure of meeting Josh Bowman, marketing manager of Rockin’ B Farm out of Staley, North Carolina. Josh’s family has been raising and selling pasture-raised pork products and homegrown Santa Gertrudis beef since 1986. In 2014 they were voted the North Carolina Outstanding Conservation Farm Family for Randolph County.

Got To Be NC, Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

Pigs on the Rockin’ B Farm

What is the benefit of pasture-raised pigs, you ask? Well, it is not only better for you, it’s better for the pigs and the land (check out this video). Pasture-raised pork is richer-tasting–far superior to what you buy at most grocery stores! (Quick Tip: pasture-raised pork also cooks faster, so be careful not to overcook.)

Not only are pasture-raised pigs–really all pasture-raised livestock, happier and healthier, but they contain higher quality nutrients than commercially-raised animals. Study after study has shown that pasture-raised livestock produce meat with lower levels of saturated fat and total fat, and higher levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, heart-friendly Omega 3’s, Beta-Carotene, and heart disease/cancer fighting CLA’s (Conjugated Linoleic Acid).

Rockin’ B Farm has a great assortment of pork and beef products. But if you read through the reviews on their Facebook page, you will see they are famous for their pork sausage. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t pick up a package or two along with the delicious bacon chunks and pork tenderloins I bought.

You can find Josh at the Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market every Saturday and Sunday.

I enjoyed shopping at the farmer’s market. There are so many vendors you can’t possibly visit them all in one day. In addition to produce, you can find a variety of North Carolina meats, cheeses, wines, and specialty foods available year round.

I managed to visit two buildings before my arms were filled and my wallet was empty, lol. I was very jealous of the lady who brought a wagon to carry all of her purchases.

The freshness, quality, and variety of crops grown by North Carolina farmers cannot be beat. They produce 21 major vegetable and fruit crops throughout the state. In addition, products from North Carolina nurseries, greenhouses, Christmas tree farms, and turf grass and sod growers are available at the Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market throughout the year (or in season).

Got To Be NC, Piedmont Triad Farmers MarketWhile I was there I picked up a little bit of this and that. The blackberries were so big and juicy I wanted to eat them all before I even got home! But I saved some for the girls. I was drooling over the delicious apples at the Newman Farms booth. Honey Crisp apples have always been my favorite, and my girls LOVE McIntosh apples so I picked up a 1/2 peck of each. I even picked up some Cherokee Purple Heirloom Tomatoes. My husband fried some up for lunch today and said they were delicious!

But I must admit I became a little captivated with all the different types of peppers available. So many I’d never heard of before… sweet and spicy varieties, one even came with a warning label! I ended up buying five different kinds of peppers. I didn’t opt for any of the super spicy varieties as my girls don’t like overly-spicy foods, unlike their father and me.

The kids were craving tacos and I was all set to make some pork carnitas with the amazing tenderloin I picked up from Rockin’ B Farm, but I was being lazy and waited too long to start cooking.

North Carolina Pork & 5 Pepper Stir-fry

Instead, I threw together a quick and easy stir-fry with some white rice and zoodles (zucchini noodles). Everything smelled so good my kids were coming out of the woodwork to see what I was making.

North Carolina Pork & Five Pepper Stir Fry with Seasoned Zoodles

North Carolina Pork & Five Pepper Stir-fry with Seasoned Zoodles

Preparation 00:15
Cook Time 00:05
Total Time 0:20
Serves 6     adjust servings


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound pork, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1-2 tablespoons Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 cups of assorted peppers, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, or to taste
  • 1 zucchini, medium to large, spiral cut into noodles
  • 1/4 cup sweet Thai chili sauce or Sriracha, optional

Instructions

  1. After slicing the pork into approximately 2 inch strips, sprinkle with the Chinese Five Spice and let sit while you dice up the peppers and slice the carrots.
  2. Once all the prep work is done, heat vegetable oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir pork until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. No not overcook.
  3. Move onto a plate or to the side of the wok and add the peppers, carrots, and garlic.
  4. Cook and stir vegetables for 2 minutes. 
  5. Stir pork into vegetables and season with soy sauce and sesame seeds and optional Thai chili sauce or Sriracha. Taste and add more soy sauce, if needed.
  6. Continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender but still crisp, about 2 more minutes.
  7. Remove the pork and veggies to a bowl and add the zoodles into the hot pan.
  8. Cook just until warm, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Place the pork and veggies over the zoodles and serve immediately.

by

Recipe Notes

You can substitute whatever veggie you want in this recipe. I always use what I have around the house, and things I like to eat. My husband loves onions and mushrooms. Me not so much. So when he cooks he can add his favorites. 😉

I serve this with rice and zoodles because not all of my kids like zoodles. 

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 458kcal Calories from fat 167
% Daily Value
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 95mg 32%
Sodium 282mg 12%
Carbohydrate 48g 16%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 4g
Protein 25g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g

I hope you enjoy my quick and easy stir fry. Check out these other amazing North Carolina Pork recipes below!

 

Got To Be NC Pork at Your Local NC Farmers Market

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services operates four regional farmers markets, strategically located across the state to serve the citizens of North Carolina. These regional markets were built by the state and dedicated to N.C. farmers and growers and the produce and plant industry. The goal of the farmers markets is to furnish facilities where our farmers can provide fresh, locally grown produce and plants to N.C. consumers with reduced handling costs. At these regional markets, consumers are able to talk with farmers who grew and harvested the fresh produce and plants from nearby farms.

The Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market  is open Farmer’s Areas: Monday-Sunday 7:00am-6:00pm, the Market Shoppes are open Monday-Saturday – 7:00am-6:00pm, and Sunday – 10:00am-6:00pm.

Robert G. Shaw Piedmont Triad Farmers Market is located at 2914 Sandy Ridge Road – Colfax, North Carolina 27235 Phone: (336) 605-9157 FAX:(336) 605-9401

A few words about PORK concerns/claims

A lot of concern has been generated among larger scale pork producers that customers have been turned off by the pale color of the meat. This has been largely identified to the feed the pigs are given, and adjustments are being made at commercial operations. You may notice an appetizing pink color with smaller, locally raised pork products– depending upon their feed.

HORMONES:
Hormones are not allowed in raising hogs. Therefore, the claim “no hormones added” cannot be used on the labels of pork unless it is followed by a statement that says “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.”

ANTIBIOTICS:
FDA rules that went into effect earlier this year ends the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion and increases veterinarian oversight for on-farm antibiotic use through the Veterinary Feed Directive and prescriptions. All human medically important antibiotics administered to pigs in feed and water must have direct veterinarian oversight. This strengthens an already strong veterinary-client-patient relationship between pig farmers and their veterinarians. Both also take proactive pig management and biosecurity steps to increase the health of pigs and reduce the need for antibiotics.

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Got To Be NC, Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

Got To Be NC, Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

Comments 23

  1. Pingback: Celebrate National Pork Month With Tacos Al Pastor - Hispanic Mama

  2. Love the recipe- can’t wait to try it ! In reading the post I particularly enjoyed the video always love hearing about the workings of a farm directly
    from the farmer!!

  3. I didn’t realize that NC was the 2nd largest state when it comes to producing pork. I agree that pasture raised is so much better. Your recipe looks like something my family will love!

  4. I didn’t realize that North Carolina supplied so much of the country’s pork! This recipe sounds absolutely amazing!

  5. What a great way to use some of your farmer’s market fresh veggies. I like to visit our farmers market each week as farm to table is so sustainable and a great way to educate our kids about the importance of agriculture.

  6. There is nothing quite like being able to get things fresh from a farmers market, our local one does some really different meats and drinks. I am loving your recipe I think I’m going to have to give it a go.

  7. Farmers markets are always fun and you can find great vegetables and fruit along with many other things. We love a good pork stir fry and this looks delicious.

  8. This recipe looks so delicious! I try to shop at our Farmer’s Market as often as I can. You really can get the freshest ingredients there.

  9. Your North Carolina Pork & Five Pepper Stir-fry looks delicious! We love visiting farmers markets too but have never bought meat there. Have to keep it in mind for the next time.

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