Ocracoke Island: Pearl of the Outer Banks

Visit OcracokePerhaps the best part of an excursion to Ocracoke Island – one of the Outer Banks’ beautiful barrier islands – is the anticipation of what you’ll be seeing, doing, exploring and eating on this island that is accessible only by boat, ferry or small private plane from the mainland. Managed by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, this 13-mile-long isle of stunning protected beaches, guided walks and historic reference points is one of North Carolina’s most magnificent treasures: not only a pristine natural resource, but also a fun day or weekend trip, no matter what time of the year you visit.

Ocracoke Island History

Although the island’s first residents were a small tribe of native Americans known as the Woccococks (a name that eventurally evolved into “Ocracoke”), English explorers arrived in the Outer Banks in the mid-1500s and small colonial settlements started appearing over the next hundred years or so. Following the demise of looting, marauding Edward Teach – more commonly known as Blackbeard the pirate – in the early 1700s, the community continued to grow as more settlers arrived. A small Confederate fort was bulit on the island during the Civil War – and abandoned when Union troops captured the island – but otherwise the island remained relatively isolated until the mid-20th century.

In the 1940s/50s, NC Highway 12 was constructed, roads throughout the Village were paved, and two ferry routes were established from Hatteras and Cedar Island to Ocracoke. Fishermen, explorers, hunters and vacationers started flocking to the remote island, and today Ocracoke has become a popular destination for both tourists and sportsmen.

How to Get There

Transportation by privately-owned mailboat used to be the only means of transport between the mainland and the island, with the round trip taking as long as 10 hours. Today, however, ferries – including a convenient high-speed ferry – are able to do the crossing in a fraction of that time. In addition, the tiny (and un-staffed) Ocracoke Island Airport, just ouside the Village,  allows small private planes to land on a sole airstrip. Private boats are able to dock in the Village’s main marina.

Most visitors to the island arrive via a 30-minute ferry ride (free-of-charge) from Hatteras Village, which runs in the summertime about every 30 minutes. Once you arrive on the island, it’ll be about a 15 minute drive into the Village. A walk-on passenger ferry also runs between Hatteras Village and the Silver Lake Terminal in Ocracoke Vllage three times each day during the summer months. Two other car ferries, from Swan Quarter and Cedar Island, offer just a few trips each day, taking 2-1/2 hours to make the crossing.

The NC Ferry System has added one more option for visitors to the island: the efficient new passenger-only high-speed ferry operating from the Hatteras Ferry Terminal across the Pamlico Sound to the Silver Lake Terminal, in the heart of Ocracoke Village. The high-speed ferry runs seven days a week between July and September; reservations are advised.

Fall/winter schedules for all ferries are slightly modified due to the off season of travel.

What To Do On Ocracoke

With six access points on the island, Ocracoke’s magnificent beach – ranked the nation’s no. 1 beach by several travel sites – is wide and unspoiled by human development. The only section of beach with restrooms and showers, parking and a boardwalk is Lifeguard Beach (lifeguards are only present, however, between Memorial and Labor Day), but otherwise the pristine beach is clean and uncrowded. Driving is allowed on certain sections of the beach. 

The Ocracoke Island Lighthouse, located on the southern end of Cape Hatteras National Seashore on Silver Lake Harbor, is North Carolina’s oldest (and second oldest nationwide) lighthouse and is a landmark as beloved to history-loving North Carolinians as The Biltmore or Bath. Built in the late 18th century to help sailors as they navigated the Ocracoke Inlet on their way to or from Elizabeth City, New Bern and Edenton, the original lighthouse was constructed on Shell Island – known once as “Old Rock” – before a shift in the channel and two decades of lightning destroyed the building. In 1822, two acres at the lighthouse’s current site were purchased by the federal government and the replacement was built. The 75’ whitwashed lighthouse was originally equipped with a “reflecting illuminating apparatus” inside the lighthouse’s iconic octagonal lantern, but this apparatus was automated in the 1900s and today the electric beam is able to be seen as far as 14 miles away.

Just a few miles north of the Village, the Ocracoke Banker Ponies – descendants of Spanish horses left behind as ships came and went from, or floundered on, the island in centuries past – play an important role in life on the island. Used by earlier settlers as beasts of burden, later on they were used to patrol the beaches or ride for pleasure. Visitors today are able to visit the horses at the 188-acre Ocracoke Pony Pens.    

With beautiful views of Teach’s Hole (Blackbeard and his entourage once hung out here; his life ended here, too, in an ambush on the pirate and his party in November of 1718) and Pamlico Sound, Springer’s Point Preserve is the place to go for bird-watchers and nature-lovers. Open from 8am to 6pm each day, hikers are able to explore the 120 acres of maritime forest, grasslands and sound-front beach along meandering trails of this limited access preserve. No parking is available here and the only access is by bicycle or by foot.

Water sports – surfing, fishing, kayaking and boating – are some of the most popular activities on the island, where water temperatures are ideal from May through October for paddle boarding and wind surfing and sportfishing outfitters offer charters and other opportunities for fishing for billfish, wahoo, mackerel, red drum and bluefish. The top beaches for shelling – look for seahorses, shark’s teeth, Scotch Bonnets and sand dollars – are South Point and the less busy Northern Beaches. If hunting is your passion, Ocracoke has a long history of hunting for migrating water birds and ducks.

Getting Around on Ocracoke

Cars or RVs arriving by ferry will find limited parking on the island, so most visitors with a vehicle typically park it and forget it, and choose to explore by tram, bike or golf cart or on foot.

The free-of-charge Ocracoke Village Tram runs a continuous loop around the island, starting at the Silver Lake Ferry Terminal and stopping at eight additonal places between 10:30am and 8pm every 30 minutes between Memorial and Labor Day.

Two of the eastiest – and most fun! – ways to explore the island are by bike or golf cart. Bike racks are common here, as are rental facilities for each. Most places within the village are also easly walked; even beautiful, public Lifeguard Beach is only about a half-mile trek from the Village along NC Highway 12. Offroad vehicles and 4WDs, too, are permitted on Ocracoke beaches, although a permit is required.

Hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, vacation rentals and campgrounds are located throughout the island.

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.


Forest Moon Farms in Liberty

(UNDER CONTRACT)! Wonderful Opportunity to Own an Income Producing Organic Produce Working Farm in Liberty! Live the North Carolina Dream on this Beautiful 16 +/- Acre Property! Large Stone Fireplace in Cabin Style Home w/ 2 Beds & 2 Baths. Fully Functional Produce Facility w/ Growing Tunnel, Barns, Sheds, Irrigation and More! Open Pasture for Horses or Cattle with 5 Stall Barn. Expand with Another Home Overlooking the Pond. Mini-House Conveys with Monthly Income and Consistent Bookings. Farm grossed about $30,000 last year part times!  $474,900, 7792 Hornady Trail in Liberty 

16.35 acres total with approx. 3 acres of established raised growing beds with good quality prepped, composted, and amended soil. All established growing beds have professionally installed irrigation where water is sourced from the property’s well and professional water storage tank system. Property contains a large approx. 1.5 acre stocked pond along with a walking/ riding trail. There is the main A-frame farmhouse in the middle of the property, and on the top of the property sits the Tiny House cabin. There are several barns and storage sheds for varying purposes. 2 of the barns contains stables. There is a partial fence in place around the main growing area and upper pasture area. The farm is located strategically 30 mins from both Greensboro and from Chapel Hill, which offer opportunities for many marketing outlets in high customer demand areas. Property can be sold as complete business with LLC status established with the state of North Carolina with all legal documents in place.

Established farm with functional produce facilities, 2 BR/2BA modern farmhouse, and farm-stay B&B operation conveys. Farm sale includes existing PRICE DROP! agritourism/farm-stay operation featuring the farm’s log-cabin style Tiny House (on wheels); established Air BNB account along with “Super Host” status and 4.9/5.0 guest rating. AirBnB operation currently has consistent high demand and grosses ~$10K in annual revenue. Huge potential for expansion, especially around the pond. Mentoring available, if desired.

Equipment & infrastructure

  • Barn
  • Fencing
  • Well / Pond / Other water source
  • Greenhouse
  • Livestock facilities
  • Farmer housing
  • Farm equipment
  • Processing facilities
  • Irrigation equipment
  • Cold storage (cooler/freezer)

Equipment & infrastructure – more info

Farm facilities including: two barns, stables, harvest/wash station with “greens bubbler” and greens drying equipment, 8’x10’x20′ walk-in cooler, seed starting shed that transitions to garlic drying shed, and new 30×70 high tunnel. Professional irrigation system consists of 5000 gallon storage water storage tanks, pump, and drip irrigation. Currently setup for produce operations but could easily accommodate poultry or small livestock operations. 16 acres including stocked pond, camp-fire rings, and walking/riding trails.

Current production on farm

  • Hay or pasture
  • Herbs
  • Orchard
  • Vegetable production

Current production on farm – more info

Small produce/berry operation for several local farmers markets and restaurants. Land owners are exiting farming due to career advancement in off-farm employment. The main farmhouse is located down the hill about 200 yards from the top of the farm property.

Current and past farming practices

  • Ecological production but not certified

Current and past farming practices – more info

We are passionate about natural growing. Although not currently certified, We’ve used all-natural and organic (OMRI approved) amendments from the start. Our raised beds have been heavily composted and cover cropped on a regular basis.

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North Carolina’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival

North Carolina’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival Returned

North Carolina’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival From the coastal plains to the Blue Ridge Mountains, one thing is certain… there aren’t many states where such a focus is placed on a singular type of cuisine, and in our state, that unique cuisine is pulled-pork barbecue. Several annual events celebrate this most delicious part of our culture, including the epic Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival, at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater.  

The Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival / September 10-11, 2021

One of the state’s largest festivals is back – two days of eating, drinking, sipping and listening to some of the best bluegrass around – and is THE event of the year for anyone who appreciates great barbecue,  bourbon, beer and live entertainment, all rolled into one fun two-day party. A variety of ticket packages for those who wish to attend one or both days include plenty of tastings presented by distillers, brewers and pit-masters from all over the south, while individual meat, beer and shopping tents and an outdoor area for cigar smoking offer something for every member of your group.  *Purchase tickets here

Hog Heaven

Did you know that in the late 1800s, two hogs existed for every human being in North Carolina? Although that statistic has changed, obviously, as our population has grown, today there are still more hogs than humans within our state’s borders. The pork-processing and other peripheral industries contribute more than $10 billion and over 40,000 jobs to our economy, particularly in more rural counties: Bladen County, where the world’s largest pork processing plant is located; Sampson County, where pork-processing accounts for about a quarter of the county’s employment; Wayne County, where the pork industry creates an economic impact of over $230 million annually; and Duplin County, the state’s largest hog-producing county of all.

North Carolina’s Iconic Barbecue

There’s nothing revolutionary about the idea of slow-cooking meat over an indirect flame, but the process involved in preparing the meat beforehand, then cooking and adding sauce to it afterward is unique here. Smoking the meat over hickory, pecan, oak, maple or other aromatic wood chips provides flavor and color to the meat and is followed by cooking it “low and slow” until it literally falls off the bone in delicious shreds or chunks. Although the cooking part of the process can take place in the oven, many use the smoking box of their grill and a pack of wood chips to achieve that same smoky flavor, or even leave the pork in the smoker the entire cooking time for a particularly tender and smoky piece of meat. Pork shoulder, naturally dense, requires several hours to cook through and become fall-off-the-bone tender.

North Carolina’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ FestivalAsk any two people in our state to tell you what it is exactly that makes North Carolina barbecue so special, and you’re likely to get two very different answers. Generally-speaking, however, there are two main regional types of pork barbecue that are based on the cut of pork used and the type of sauce added at the end.

  • Eastern-style – what many people consider “classic” – North Carolina barbecue uses the whole hog (both white and dark meat), is flavored with a simple vinegar-based sauce seasoned with just salt, pepper and red pepper, and is typically more coarsely chopped than Western-style. Eastern-style barbecue grew out of early cooking methods based on slavery traditions in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, where lemon juice (found in abundance in the Caribbean) was a main ingredient. Over the years, traditional North Carolina barbecue has incorporated that tartness in the form of vinegar; therefore, many consider Eastern-style the one true “original” NC barbecue.
  • The seasoning for Lexington (or Western, or Piedmont) barbecue, on the other hand, is basically the same, with one exception… ketchup, the key ingredient, which adds a semi-sweet flavor to the sauce but does little to change the texture. Western NC barbecue – also popular in the Appalachian foothills of Georgia – uses richer, moister, more fatty pork shoulder rather than the whole hog.

NC’s Own Barbecue Trail

There are hundreds of mom-and-pop eateries and other, slightly more upscale barbecue establishments across our state, but for a great list of some of the most barbecue-rich towns and regions of NC, check out the North Carolina Barbecue Society’s own Historic Barbecue Trail, stretching from the westernmost corner of North Carolina all the way to Greenville. Start at one end and work your way to the other, or just pick a stop and check out that town’s barbecue pit and the amazing product it serves. Some of these spots might not be the most beautiful restaurants in the world but they certainly are among the best of the best in terms of the BBQ they serve.

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.


Autumn Fly Fishing in North Carolina

Autumn Fly Fishing in North Carolina

NC Fly FishingOver 3,000 miles of North Carolina rivers and streams, primarily in the beautiful western reaches of our state, offer some of the country’s most exceptional fly fishing opportunities. Autumn is the perfect time of year to develop fly fishing techniques in cooler temperatures as you cast your rod for brown, rainbow and brook trout in over 500 publicly accessible locations from Cherokee to Asheville to Lake Norman and beyond.     

The Technique of Fly Fishing

Fly fishing involves using a lure – an artificial fly – that is much lighter weight than what is used in more traditional methods of fishing. A heavier line carries the fly through the air to the target, rather than a heavier lure. The lure itself is designed to resemble a fly or other type of insect as it lands on the water’s surface. Traditionally most fly fishing takes place on moving water – a river or stream.

The technique a flyer fisherman uses to cast his line also distinguishes fly fishing from other types of angling. Whereas traditional casting has to do with a heavier weight at the end of a lighter-weight line, the lighter weight fly can only move through the air on a loop in the line that is created with the cast. As soon as the line loses that loop – straightens out – the fly drops into the water.

The Ideal Fly, the Right Rod, the Perfect Line

A fly fishing fly is almost weightless and, depending on the design, mimics the movements of a wide range of insects or other prey as it lands on the surface of the water. An artificial fly is created by wrapping hair, fur or weathers around a hook – or “ribbing” it to the hook – with a fine thread.

A fly fishing rod, as opposed to a traditional rod, is very lightweight and is classified as a spinning rod based on the weight of the line rather than the weight of the lure. The reel, located at the end of the rod, below the handle, creates balance rather than being used to pull in the line as you do in traditional fishing. Often, once an angler starts fly fishing at the beginning of the day, he doesn’t even reel his line back in until he is done, hours later. Small rods are used for fishing in small streams with overhanging vegetation, whereas longer ones – up to 13 feet in length – are preferable for boat fishing or casting out over reeds or the bank of a river. The rod is typically made of two to four interconnecting pieces.

Fly fishing line comes in a variety of weights, based on a scale from 1 to 14; the smaller the number, the more lightweight your line will be. The number of the line you use will rely entirely on the type of fish you are trying to catch. Fly line with weights of 1 to 3 will work very well for smaller fish, whereas line weights 4, 5 or 6 – the most common – are good for fishing largemouth bass, trout, etc. Line weights of 7 and above are best used for the largest, most powerful fish, including saltwater fish like striped bass.

Other important equipment to take on a fly fishing trip includes extra shoes or boots, rain gear, a dry bag for your personal items (keys, electronics), sunglasses and bug spray. A fishing license will run you anywhere from $9 for a 10-day period in public waters and waters on game lands to $25 for an annual State Inland Fishing License or even a lifetime license for the one-time fee of $265. Senior, disabled and junior licenses are also available.

Best Rivers for Fly Fishing in Western NC

NC Fly Fishing LocationsJackson County’s Fly Fishing Trail, a series of 15 prime spots along the Watauga and other rivers and streams that are abundant with rainbow, brook and brown trout, stretch from Scott Creek and Raven Fork in the north to beautiful Panthertown Creek in the south. One of the most popular areas, the Tuckasegee River, is hatchery fed with some of the largest quantities of fish in North Carolina, while fishing on the Whitewater River between the magnificent Upper and Lower Falls is also outstanding. Fishing spots along the Trail offer plenty of public access, too, but be prepared for some areas in which you’ll need to cross a river or wade through an area that is muddy or overgrown.

The Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains around Asheville are rich with small and largemouth bass, sunfish, crappie, and all three kinds of trout, too. The Nantahala River is one of the top fly fishing spots in this part of the country, as it is a ‘delayed harvest stream,’ or one that is stocked with brook, rainbow and brown trout by the NC Wildlife Resource Commission during the first weeks of October, November, March, April and May each year for catch-and-release fishing only. Once June comes along, traditional fishing is allowed.

North Carolina’s Linville Gorge and Linville River, flowing from Lake James into parklands near the Blue Ridge Parkway and lovely Linville Falls, are stocked by state hatcheries with plenty of brown and rainbow trout. Roadside access can be found along the Parkway, close to the Linville Dam and at Lake James.

The Joy of Fly Fishing

Many people who fly fish do so because of the opportunity it affords to get out in nature, to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings, and to develop skills and techniques that are entirely different – and, some say, even more satisfying – than traditional fishing methods. The physical challenge of getting to your favorite fishing spot, wading through sometimes muddy or rough waters and casting your line benefits your body, too, while your mind relaxes and the therapeutic nature of making the repetitive motions of fly fishing allows you to focus in an almost meditative way.

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.


Bruce Garner Road land for sale

Granville County 154.7 Acres on Bruce Garner Road

(UNDER CONTRACT) Outstanding Timber and Development Potential!

Heavily Wooded Land Tract with Over 154 Acres! Outstanding Timber and Development Potential. Towering Mature Oaks and Pine Timber with Lots of Privacy and Pond. Approx 1 Mile to Wake County Line. Near Many New Developments, This Tract is less than 15 Minutes to Shopping in Wake Forest or Creedmoor. Enjoy Hunting, Horses, ATV’s and More! Tracts like these are Rare to the Market! 586 +/- Feet of Road Frontage. $3,248,700

Liles Dean Road

10.47 Acres in Wendell

(UNDER CONTRACT) $314,000. Beautiful 10.47 Acre Tract of Land in Wendell Convenient to Shopping and Schools! Mix of Open Land and Wooded Areas! Picturesque Setting for Your Home with Lots of Space for a Garden or Animals! City of Raleigh provides services to Wendell w/ Water on Liles Dean & Sewer at back of Property, and must connect if building a home/developing here. Permitting is through Wendell Planning and Zoning. See note from county in Doc’s. No Soils work in Place.

NO SIGN ON PROPERTY, USE 142 LILES DEAN for GPS – this is across the street from property.

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Caring for Your Fig Tree

Fig Trees in RaleighThere isn’t much that compares to biting into a juicy and delicious fig unless, of course, it’s the pure satisfaction of watching your fig tree grow and flourish and, finally, start to produce fruit. Of the more than 700 varieties of fig worldwide, the Common Fig – or ficus carica – is most prevalent in North Carolina, growing more as a large bush than a tree and thriving in the state’s hot summers that are so similar to the plant’s native Mediterranean.    

Planting & Cultivation

Fig trees – including the Common Fig – grow best in climates that are temperate or even tropical (in hardiness zones 6 t0 10) and therefore they are fairly typical throughout much of mid- to eastern North Carolina, where temperatures seldom dip below freezing. Requiring well-drained, fertile, sandy-clay soil, a fig tree also thrives in full sun. Usually planted in early spring, the plant will need to be cut back by as much as a third to compensate for whatever root damage may occur during planting, and if you are planting more than one fig tree, or bush, they should be spaced out by about 20 feet from one another. When pruning, cut the tree back to 3-4 primary branches from the trunk, and 2-3 secondary branches from each of those main ones. After a strict routine of pruning your fig tree for the first couple of years, take care thereafter to prune branches that are growing upright or touching the ground or other trees.  

Fig trees need to be carefully and consistently watered; if they are not, a lack of water may cause early leaf drop. Spread plenty of mulch around the base of the tree, which will help the plant retain moisture but also provide the plant with nutrients. Fig trees do well with a moderate amount of fertilizer; be sure to apply the proper mix, depending on the variety of your tree.

Contrary to some other types of fruit, once a fig is picked, it stops ripening; therefore, only pick a fig if it is fully ripe and ready to consume. Once a fig is picked, its shelf life is only a few days; it can be eaten right away, freshly picked from the tree, or it can be preserved or used in a variety of dishes. 

Common Fig Tree Diseases and Other Issues

Fig trees are more susceptible than many other types of fruit trees to a variety of problems. Fungi commonly affects fig trees, and, depending on the type of fungus, it can cause harm to the fruit, the leaves, the trunk and branches of the plant. Keep an eye out for very visible signs of trouble – including fungus – as well as insects and a slow decline of your tree, which can be signs of below-ground issues.

Green FigsAlternaria rot, or surface mold. Fig trees affected by surface mold show small green specks or lesions on the ripened fruit. You can avoid this problem by picking the figs before they become overly ripe. Conadria, Calimyrna and Kadota figs are most susceptible to this type of rot.  

Fig rust. Leaves affected by this rust-colored fungus turn yellowish brown and drop, late in the summer or early fall. Make sure the ground around your fig tree is free of any fallen debris, keep the leaves dry when watering, and treat the plant with an anti-fungal spray to stop the spread.

Leaf blight. Plants that are suffering leaf blight will have yellowish, wet-looking spots that spread and dry out and eventually cause thin holes to tear in the leaves or entire leaves to dry out and die. Keep dry leaves and other debris cleaned from the ground to stop the spread.

Fruit souring. Vinegar flies or dried fruit beetles introduce a variety of yeast, fungi or other bacteria into the fruit, especially during very rainy periods. As the figs ripen, they may ooze or smell like fermentation. Keep an eye out for these insects on or around  your tree and treat with insecticide. Pick your fruit as soon as it ripens and destroy all affected fruit as soon as you find it.

Fig JamRoot knot nematodes. These roundworms – invisible and very common – cause damage that results in a slow decline of your tree, or the tree not producing seasonal leaves and fruits as vigorously as it should. The only way to deal with root knot nematodes is to encourage the tree to develop uninfected roots with plenty of fertilizer and organic potting soil.

Cold injury. If a fig tree is planted in an area where the temperatures are likely to drop below freezing – in the mountains, for instance – the cold can be enough to kill the plant, or at least weaken it substantially. Buds on injured branches may not blossom, and the tree may fail to produce leaves. Avoid this by planting your fig tree in a protected area and prune the tree of any damaged branches each spring.  

Delicious and Nutritious!

Fig Tree UpkeepNot only are figs very high in fiber and in essential minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium and vitamins K and B6, but they also work to flush cholesterol out of your body and promote good digestion. As a component of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, they also benefit our respiratory, endocrine and immune systems, and some studies have even shown them to have great potential in the areas of diabetes control, cancer treatment and skin health.


Fig Jam

5 lbs of figs

6 cups granulated white sugar

¼ cup lemon juice

½ teaspoon vanilla

Start with around 5 lbs. of fresh figs. Chop them coarsely and add to a large, non-reactive saucepan (enamel or stainless steel). Add 6 cups of granulated white sugar, then toss to combine. Cover the figs and refrigerate for several hours: overnight, if possible. Put the pot over medium-low heat and slowly bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Raise the heat and cook briskly until the jam falls from your spool in a sheet. Add ¼ cup lemon juice and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Stir to combine for just another minute or so.

Spoon the jam into hot, sterilized jars. Let the jam cool, then cover and store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Crostini with Figs and Blue Cheese

24 thin slices of baguette

2 tbsp olive oil

¾ cup fig jam

4 oz. blue cheese, thinly sliced

Start with 24 thin baguette slices, cut on the diagonal. Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees until they are a bit crispy – for about 10 minutes. Let the slices cool. Spread each slice with a teaspoon or so of fig jam and top with blue cheese. 

Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Figs with Goat Cheese

6 fresh figs, cut in half

6 oz. goat cheese

6 strips bacon, pre-cooked until transparent but not entirely cooked


Scoop a spoonful of goat cheese into the center of each cut fig. Wrap half a slice of the pre-cooked bacon around each fig and secure with a toothpick.

Cook the bacon-wrapped figs on a hot grill until the bacon is crispy, then move to a cooler section of the grill for the figs to cook through. The figs are done when the cheese is melty, bacon is crispy, and the fig is soft and tender.


For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.


40 Acres for Sale on Hicks Road

40 Acres in Harnett County on Hicks Road


Beautiful Property with Approximately 10 acres of open land on Hicks Road in Broadway! Presently farmed with road frontage on both Hicks Road and Cool Springs Road. No soils work in place. Farming lease in place, call for details! Recent appraisal in place as well.

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North Carolina Muscadine Vines & Wines

North Carolina Muscadine Vines & WinesOf all the grapes grown in North Carolina, the Muscadine is perhaps the most closely tied to  North Carolina culture and its history. Given the grape’s substantial nutritional value as a low-calorie, low-fat source of fiber and certain vitamins and a strong preference among many Carolinians for sweeter, more fruity wines – although there are some Muscadine wines that are actually quite dry – it’s no wonder the wines are growing in popularity both in-state and nationwide.

An Underestimated Grape

Indigenous to the southeastern U.S. and often referred to as our nation’s very first cultivated grape, the Muscadine was first grown by Native Americans and provided to early colonists over 400 years ago both as a source of food and a source of blue dye. Sir Walter Raleigh himself, as he explored the Carolinas in the late 1500s, commented on the abundance of the grape growing on Roanoke Island. Although Roanoke’s oldest living vine, the “mother vine” – a Scuppernong varietal – did not take root until years after his visit, the 400-year old vine is a testament to the hardiness of the variety in North Carolina.

Not many people  realize that in the early 19th century North Carolina was one of our nation’s top wine producers. At that time, Muscadine grapes accounted for almost 100% of wine production in the state. Tyrell County’s mid-18th century “Big White Grape” cultivar – a cultivar being a vine that has been produced through a selective breeding process – was North Carolina’s first official Muscadine, which eventually came to be known as the Scuppernong. Today, large wineries such as Duplin – by far the largest Muscadine winery in the world – and  others like Childress, Cauble Creek and Shelton vineyards produce a variety of delicious wines out of the Scuppernong cultivar.  

Sun and Soil

Instantly recognized by its very tough skin and the size of its fruit – a fully mature grape sometimes measures up to 1-1/2” in diameter – the Muscadine is also characterized by very distinct rough-edged, fairly small leaves on its vines. A Muscadine plant is best grown in an area of rich, sandy, organic soil with good drainage, 6-8 hours of sunlight per day, and enough room to easily spread out on a trellis or other vertical support. Pollinator plants, or those with so-called “perfect flowers” (with both male and female flower parts) are used to pollinate vines with “imperfect flowers” (those with female parts only) around them; when planting these vines, it’s important to carefully space them out so that pollination can easily take place.

North Carolina’s Top Varieties

North Carolina Muscadine Vines & Wines for saleMuscadine grapes can broadly be broken down into white or bronze cultivars, and red ones. Interestingly, although there are as many as 50 varieties in existence, only a handful are used in the production of wine. Wines produced by both red and white grapes tend to be fruity and medium-bodied with high levels of acidity.

The vast majority of grapes grown in our state are of the bronze variety: specifically, the Carlos cultivar. This cold-tolerant, vigorous and low-maintenance vine produces grapes that are used mainly in the production of wine and juice but are also fresh consumed. The legendary Scuppernong, named after the Scuppernong River, thrives in moderate coastal climates throughout the south and produces not only fruity, delicate wines but wonderful  jams, jellies and preserves, too.  

The most common red Muscadine grape, the Noble, also used in both wine and juice production, is another variety that is extremely hearty, productive, and disease resistant. The Noble grape, however, is not suitable for fresh consumption due to its “wet scar” – a mark on the fruit occurring as the grape falls from the wine, sometimes allowing mold to develop inside the fruit. For this reason, this grape needs to be more quickly processed than other varieties with “dry scars” where the fruit separates from the vine.  

Pick-Your-Own Muscadines

Several farms throughout North Carolina allow visitors to pick their own Muscadine grapes in the fall.


9409 Baker Rd., Zebulon, NC 27597


An organic grower of the Scuppernong varietal; also a “century farm,” or a farm that has been run for over 100 years by the same family. Open for U-pick in September/October.


6516 Whitney Road, Graham, NC 27253


An organic Haw River Valley farm also open for picking in September/October. The vineyard also sells Scuppernong and Muscadine products like jams, jellies and grape “must” – juice and crushed grapes used by small-scale wine makers in the production of wine.


915 Thomas Rd., Sanford, NC 27330


Pick-your-own muscadines, including Carlos and Noble varietals. Open during harvest season.


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