The Haywood County Library, Canton Branch hosted a Cooking Local Together demonstration or parents and children in Haywood County. While special guests; Tina Masciarelli, Buy Haywood Project Coordinator; MountainWise’s Melissa Rockett; and guest Chef Alex Masciarelli were on hand to lead the “Goodness Grows in Living Color” cooking event, the real stars of the show were Haywood County’s farm fresh, seasonal ingredients like ripe blueberries, spicy peppers, fresh parsley, and crisp cucumbers.

Chef Alex led the families in an interactive cooking demonstration where they prepared a mouth-watering summer fruit salsa. Not only did those in attendance get a chance to add a new recipe to their repertoire, but they learned a little about the value of eating local, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Blueberries, which are high in antioxidants, dietary fiber, anti-inflammatory properties, and essential phytonutrients that work to support the body’s natural defense against many diseases, were just one of the crops featured in the recipe. Local blueberries are in season now; be sure to pick up some while they are in their prime at your closest farmer’s market or U-pick farm and the give recipe a try. To find blueberries in Haywood County area, check out Buy Haywood Agritourism guide. To find blueberries in other areas of North Carolina, click here.  Eating local, in-season foods supports and strengthens your community, and it’s delicious!


Courtesy of Chef Jackie Blevens of Perfectly Seasoned



2 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup peeled and diced fresh peaches

1 small cucumber, peeled and diced

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1 jalepino, seeded and finely diced

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon chopped chives or tarragon

zest of 1/2 lime

1-2 tablespoons olive or grape seed oil

salt and pepper to taste


Place blueberries, peaches, and cucumber in food processor and pulse 4-5 times. Add remaining ingredients and pulse once or twice just to combine. Pour into serving bowl and chill for several hours.

Try out raspberries, peaches, or blackberries in place of blueberries to enjoy this summer salsa throughout the growing season!

Cooking Local Together is a Buy Haywood Project that works to support Haywood County farmers, locally grown products, farmlands and the preservation of our rich agricultural heritage. Cooking Local Together is made possible through grant funding from Healthy Haywood, Haywood Advancement Foundation, and Bethel Rural Community Organization.