The Perfect Farm Tour Picnic

Chapel Hill Creamery Cheese makes for a perfect picnic lunch

Photo by Chapel Hill Creamery

It’s Spring! The perfect time for a picnic. Whether you’re planning on touring the farms on the Piedmont Farm Tour, April 23-24, heading out on another great farm tour this summer, or just want to deepen your connection to your local farms, filling a spring picnic basket full of treats from the land is a lovely way to celebrate Spring.

Chef Ryan McGuire, instructor at The Chef’s Academy in Raleigh and founder of the Common Roots Project, offers the following ideas for the perfect picnic lunch that can be crafted with produce, meats, cheeses, and breads from your local markets and farms no matter which region of the Carolinas you call home:

  • Deviled eggs with smoked roasted red peppers and scallions
  • Chicken liver pate with grilled spring onions and crusty bread
  • Dips: baba ghanoush, pimento cheese, tzatziki, and/or a local pea hummus
  • Fresh radishes with lemon-herb butter and citrus salt
  • Spring rolls with fresh, local veggies; try Bibb lettuce, herbs, jalapenos, and radishes with a sweet potato hoisin sauce
  • Edamame or green beans with togarashi
  • Tortilla Española with farm eggs and potatoes, with herbs, flowers, and/or cheese as garnishes
  • Spring veggie terrine with local cheese
  • Slaw or kimchi
  • Tamales made with sweet potatoes
  • Thai peanut chicken salad in spring lettuce cups
  • Hand pies made with local berries
  • And definitely, says Chef Ryan, some cheese, bread, wine, and/or beer. 

If you’re going on the Piedmont Farm Tour, don’t forget to bring a cooler to take home all the goodies you collect for your picnic!


A few great tips on where to visit on the Piedmont Farm Tour to create some of these delicious dishes:

Sunset Ridge Buffalo Farm – bison burgers, steaks, sausages, roasts and more!

Four Leaf Farm – herbs, tomatoes and other vegetables

Two Chicks Farm – pickles, pepper jelly, sauerkraut and more

Minka Farm – fresh asparagus, grass-fed beef, pastured pork, and duck and chicken eggs

Fickle Creek Farm – pork, beef, lamb, chicken, eggs and produce

Cates Corner Farm – produce

Chapel Hill Creamery – cheese and sausage

Peaceful River Farm – produce

Cane Creek Farm – meat and charcuterie for sale at Left Bank Butchery, a five minute walk from the farm

Celebrity Dairy – goats milk cheeses, gelato, fudge

Harland’s Creek – vegetables and flowers

Granite Springs Farm – mushroom fruiting kits and tomato seedlings

The Student Farm at CCCC – honey


The 2016 Piedmont Farm Tour is April 23-24 from 2-6pm. Advance tickets are $30 per car for all farms, all weekend; day of registration is $35; discounts for CFSA members.

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