A taste of energy independence
The fall also brings the first fruits of our Farm to Fryer to Fuel (F3) program. F3 is a great new program that links three sectors of our local economy.
Here’s how it works: local farmers grow oil crops like non-GMO canola. Blue Ridge Biofuels presses the seeds to produce a high-quality cooking oil that chefs use to make the delicious food restaurants in this region are famous for. After cooking, we collect the used oil and convert it to biodiesel. Some of that biodiesel will even go back to the farms that grew the crops in the first place, to power farm equipment. We think that’s a pretty great example of energy independence! And it supports local jobs in biofuels, in restaurants, and on farms.
This month we pressed our first batch of canola oil with help from the folks at Appalachian State University, up at theEcoComplex in Catawba County. With help from oil expert TJ Robinson orFresh Pressed Olive Oil, We presented the oil to participating chefs for a taste test. Peter Pollay of Posana Cafe, Joe Scully of Chestnut and Corner Kitchen, and Rosetta Star of Rosetta’s Kitchen all gave the thumbs up to two types of our oil: a raw, unrefined oil rich in flavor that would be great for dressings and dipping and a second, more refined oil that would be perfect for frying and baking.
While we work with area farmers on next year's crop grown exclusively in Western North Carolina, we are pleased to be able to offer non-GMO canola grown by farmers in the southeast today! For delivery in the Asheville area, contact Mountain Food Products at 828-255-7630 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For delivery outside Asheville, contact us directly at 828-253-1034 or email@example.com.
So, F3 is on its way! We’re really excited about this program. It is among the many ways that we’re helping to create sustainable, innovative, prosperous communities in Western North Carolina. We hope you’ll be a part of this story. Connect with us on Facebook to stay in the loop!