One of the best parts about living in a more rural area in Western North Carolina is the fact that locally grown produce is easy to find. The people of Polk County have made it even easier to access homegrown foods by opening up the Mill Spring Farm Store at the Polk County Agricultural Center.
The Agricultural Center operates in a building that was once the old high school. Several years ago it was donated to the Polk County Soil & Water Conservation District, and now it serves as home for that office as well as many other organizations, local craftsmen and artists, and other individuals who enjoy operating their business at this unique location.
As you enter the building, walking past the community garden and outdoor kitchen, the large hallway serves as a resource center for those in the area looking to enjoy more of what this county has to offer. The chalkboard building directory points visitors to a multitude of different offices, and the brochure stand offers information on local farms, wildlife, and area attractions.
If you turn to the right and go all the way to the end of the hallway you’ll find the Mill Spring Farm Store. Local craftsmen and farmers display their goods all week long (and on Saturday) so that you don’t have to wait for a specific day to visit the local farmers market (although each town does have one).
On the handmade goods side, you’ll find everything from woven baskets, to fiber art, to ornamental iron work (which is done by a local blacksmith who keeps a studio in the building). On the farm goods side there are vegetables, eggs, various canned goods and sauces, and even alpaca fleece!
The Farm Store is open Monday – Friday from 9:00AM-4:30PM and Saturday from 9:00AM-1:00PM. While I was there, two ladies who sell their goods at the store were also helping to run the register. They were very friendly and helpful, and I happily left with the items pictured below. For more information on the Mill Spring Farm Store you can visit the Polk Fresh website.