ROWDY — Bon Appétit Appalachia, described by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) as a culinary map-guide designed to increase tourism to Appalachia by showcasing its local food and agritourism offerings, was unveiled earlier this month as a free insert in the Summer 2014 issue of Food Traveler magazine.
The guide features nearly 300 locations throughout the region, including 48 from Kentucky and highlights Appalachia’s most distinctive local food destinations.
According to Kimberly C. Clay of the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism, the destinations selected were required to be located in the Appalachian region, accept visitors, and significantly involve local food.
Eastern Kentucky was well-represented by various businesses and events, such as Harlan’s Poke Sallet Festival and Paintsville’s Kentucky Apple Festival, as well as Pikeville’s The Blue Raven restaurant and Prestonsburg’s Floyd County Farmers’ Market. Holliday Farm & Garden, located in the Rowdy community of Perry County, also made the list.
Holliday Farm, established in 1855, opened to the public in 2001. The family-owned and operated farm offers various events, most of which occur in the fall, for the public’s enjoyment, including Family Farm Days and School Farm Tours. Pumpkins and other fall produce, mums, and fodder are sold, along with fall décor items.
“Events on the farm bring in a third of our cash flow,” said farm manager Chad Conway.
Conway said the farm’s fall events, occurring over three weekends in September and October, bring in close to 6,000 people and earnings of about $10,000.
John Epperson, with Perry County Tourism, said he is excited about the regional exposure that Holliday Farm & Garden will receive by its inclusion in the new map-guide.
“A lot of people may have never actually seen a true working farm,” he said. “Holliday Farm is a true working farm. They raise cattle, they raise a garden, and they’re good stewards of the land.”
Epperson believes that the ongoing promotion that Holliday Farm & Garden will receive from Bon Appétit Appalachia will be felt throughout the county.
“With the economy like it is at this point in time in our history here in Eastern Kentucky, anything we can do to promote the economics of this area is a boost,” he said. “Dollars you spend here at home get spent here three to five times.”
In addition to the map-guide in Food Traveler magazine, the regional food guide is also available as an interactive feature online at visitappalachia.com, where additional information about Holliday Farm & Garden and other locations can be obtained.
“We appreciate all of that,” Conway said. “The advertisement really helps to promote us. With all the local food initiatives going on, it’s great to be a part of it.”
Conway said the farm is going to greatly expand its production of spring produce and will become even more active in the local school system.
“We’re actually working with the Perry County School System on Farm to School,” he explained. “That’s getting more local food into our schools and educating our children about agriculture. It’s great to see that growth.”
Holliday Farm & Garden is open for business mid-September through October. Prior to that, Conway said the farm will be helping out with the local farmers’ market during the Regional Farmers’ Markets Celebration on August 14 in downtown Hazard.
For more information on Holliday Farm & Garden visit hollidayfarmandgarden.com.
Mindy Miller can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.