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Feel the dirt between your fingers and the ache in your bones



One reason for our thriving local food movement is our state's agricultural heritage. We are blessed with seasoned growers and newfound green thumbs who influence how we eat in the Triangle. As we anticipate the arrival of spring, we offer a few ways you can dig in yourself. Head over to Celebrity Dairy (144 Celebrity Dairy Way, Siler City, 742-5176, www.celebritydairy.com), where the baby goats are as famous as the fresh cheese that comes from their mamas' milk. Last weekend, the farm hosted its first Open Barn of the year, where throughout the spring, anyone can stop by, roll out a picnic blanket and play with the just-born feisty kids. The next Open Barn will be March 11–12 from noon to 5 p.m. The café will serve a special lunch, with an offering of the farm's cheese. Take it from someone who has volunteered as a herder: Cradling a baby goat—if you can catch one—may change your life.

For folks yearning to feel the dirt between their fingers and the ache in their bones, Advocates for Health in Action hosts its second annual Dig In! at Raleigh's Marbles Kids Museum (201 E. Hargett St., 834-4040, www.marbleskidsmuseum.org) on March 5. A day of workshops hosted by farmers, community garden organizers and beekeepers promises to teach people of all levels about starting a community garden, composting, canning, beekeeping, chicken keeping, mushroom growing and more. One of downtown Raleigh's farm-to-table purveyors, Market Restaurant, will cater. The event runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is free. Participants must register early at www.advocatesforhealthinaction.org.

Indulge in more training at The Gardener's Kitchen in Cary (www.thegardenerskitchen-nc.com) with two workshops for eaters and gardeners. Fermentation-Beets, Sauerkraut, Curtido, Olives, slated for Feb. 19, will help you preserve the flavors of harvest (three hours for $45). The Spring Garden Planning Workshop on Feb. 20 (four hours for $50) gives you a head start at planting this season's garden. And with a botany-educated teacher named Ginger Zucchino, how can you go wrong? Visit the site for details and registration.

Also check with Bountiful Backyards (619-9862, www.bountifulbackyards.com) out of Durham, a program rooted in community that offers intensive workshops year-round to help folks create edible landscapes in their own backyards. They'll work with you to customize a workshop or program for a large group, too. The Farm School for Women in Chapel Hill (1841 Jo Mac Road, 968-4759, www.ncwolan.org) is also accepting registration for the next session, focused on helping women grow and prosper in small-scale farming with semester-style classes. Application deadline is March 10.

Interested in occasionally donning worker boots for fun? Make the trek on March 19 to Pittsboro's Hickory Mountain Farm (846 Elmer Keck Road, 428-4653, www.hickorymountainfarm.com). The farmers need volunteers for the It's Potatoes! workday from 1 to 6 p.m. to help plant 250 pounds of seed potatoes. Meet your local farmers, flex your planting muscle and enjoy a farm-fresh meal afterward. Space is limited; contact Keenan McDonald at farmer@bakerfarmer.com.

Know about a fun food happening in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at food@indyweek.com.

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