Explore Raleigh Through Food and Farming

drone picture of North Carolina State Farmers Market with Raleigh skyline

Raleigh, North Carolina, is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, but that doesn’t mean North Carolina State University students can’t escape the hustle and bustle. In addition to being a hotspot for technology and entertainment, the City of Oaks also has roots in agriculture.

Here’s a list of ideas for College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) students or fellow members of the Wolfpack to learn more about these roots, and try some new, tasty treats.

Wolf Down Some Ice Cream

Nestled on Lake Wheeler Road, Howling Cow Dairy Education Center and Creamery offers a blend of nature’s tranquility and the creamy indulgence of Howling Cow ice cream. You can watch as all seven major breeds of dairy cows peacefully graze, adding an authentic touch to your visit. This is a perfect spot to sit back, relax and escape the hustle and bustle of downtown.

Howling Cow ice cream being served up at The Creamery in DH Hill Library. Photo by Roger Winstead

‘Paws’ and Take a Garden Stroll

Discover Raleigh’s natural beauty at the WRAL Gardens and JC Raulston Arboretum, both located near the NC State campus. The WRAL Gardens offer serene landscapes of vibrant flowers, while the JC Raulston Arboretum features an educational collection of diverse trees and plants. Explore these destinations to learn and immerse yourself in the captivating world of nature.

Gate to Raulston Arboretum

Try These Un-fur-gettable NC State Food Collabs

NC State students exhibit a Think and Do mindset, and the same applies to their culinary creativity. Founded in 2017 by NC State students Lindsay Wrege and Michael Evans, 321 Coffee is a coffee shop focused on providing amazing coffee as well as employing individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There are three locations, so head to downtown Raleigh, to the State Farmers Market or to downtown Durham to get a fresh cup.

321 Coffee on the NC State campus
321 Coffee on the NC State campus. Photo by Marc Hall

Craving a salty treat? Look no further than Carolina Kettle Chips. After hearing that 1in 6 people don’t know where their next meal is coming from, CALS alumnus Josh Monahan started 1in6 Snacks, a snack company with a purpose. For each bag of kettle chips sold, the company donates a portion of the proceeds to help feed North Carolinians. Be sure to try their ‘Pack Snack, an individual-sized bag of Outer Banks Sea Salt flavored kettle chips. Proceeds benefit NC State student scholarships.

Howl About Volunteering? 

For those eager to contribute to the community, Raleigh offers a plethora of opportunities to volunteer. One worthy organization is the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, which works to end hunger. Whether you are passionate about teaching, growing crops or helping distribute food across Raleigh, you are sure to find a fulfilling way to make an impact.

Fresh vegetables

Looking to channel your inner kid? Check out volunteer opportunities at the Marbles Kids Museum. With a mission to spark imagination, discovery and learning through play, Marbles is the perfect place to help enrich the lives of children and make a difference in your new community.

Roam Around the State Farmers Market 

Get in touch with local agriculture at the State Farmers Market. The market showcases a diverse array of produce, artisanal crafts and local delicacies. If you’re craving seafood, stop by the N.C. Seafood Restaurant, and if you want a sweet treat, swing by 321 Coffee. Don’t forget to grab a plant for your dorm while you are there.

Fresh produce available at the North Carolina State Farmers’ Market on a fall day

Visit the North Carolina State Fair

The North Carolina State Fair is a must-visit for students! From Oct. 12-22, from across the state and country will experience the highlights of North Carolina agriculture. Be sure to stop by to brush up on your animal knowledge at the livestock demonstrations, learn about essential North Carolina crops at the Field of Dreams exhibit and engage in a serious debate with your taste buds over which fair food to conquer next.

This post was originally published in College of Agriculture and Life Sciences News.