Do you know where your food comes from?
I do now. At least some of it.
When I was in Asheville, North Carolina last month I visited Hickory Nut Gap Farm. It was neat seeing “biodiversity” and “sustainability” in action on this farm that has been in the McClure family since 1916.
I was on a tour led by Jamie Ager. Jamie and his wife, Amy, attended Warren Wilson College and wrote a business plan for going back to Jamie’s family farm and starting a pastured poultry enterprise. Nowadays there is much more than pastured poultry at the farm. There are cows enjoying their days eating grass – the way cows are supposed to eat. There are also 10 acres of organic apples, blackberries, raspberries, black raspberries, and asparagus.
On the premises of the farm is a store where you can buy items such as cured meats, organic apples, mushrooms, and berries.
Take a look at the bountiful apples…
And there were more…
We were able to try some of the grassfed beef. It was lightly seasoned (salt and pepper?) and it was delicious.
We were also able to try another local product, Buchi Kombucha. (Don’t try saying that fast 5 times. Trust me.) I had never had kombucha before and had no idea what to expect. The best way that I could describe it is that it tasted like vinegar. It was not all that bad. I just reminded myself that it is good for me. It was just that all of those probiotic microbes tasted like vinegar or something.
Let’s look at those beautiful apples again:
Hickory Nut Gap Farm is absolutely gorgeous. It was a warm, August day when I visited with just a few white, fluffy clouds overhead. I could not have asked for a nicer day to visit.
Although I don’t live in North Carolina, I am able to buy grassfed beef that comes Hickory Nut Gap Farm at Earth Fare. Every time that I go by the meat department I will think about my trip to Asheville and the farm.
We were able to meet some of the cows. I asked if I would one day see one of these beauties at the store and was assured that I would not. These gals get to take care of their babies.
After visiting Hickory Nut Gap Farm, the group I was with loaded on our bus and headed over to Looking Glass Creamery.
I’ll be honest with you. When I heard the word CREAMERY, the first thing I thought about is ICE CREAM. Luscious, wonderful ice cream. I was really looking forward to a scoop or two. Well, Looking Glass Creamery is not that kind of creamery. On the upside, at least we were greeted by these gorgeous flowers:
Here are some more:
Now don’t get me wrong. There are some pretty neat things coming out of Looking Glass Creamery. Like small batch caramel sauce. (That would be PERFECT on some ice cream!) They also hand-make cheese there.
There is a wood-burning oven outside the premises and we were able to sample fresh-baked bread. Doesn’t that look delicious?
I don’t know what it was, but it seems that all of the flowers were much more vibrant in Asheville than anywhere else that I have been.
Below are some of the sample of cheese that we enjoyed:
Looking Glass Creamery is dedicated to producing small batch cheeses of exceptional quality from local milk and helping build the area as a cheese lovers destination through their participation with the WNC Cheese Trail.
Hear of that expression farm-to-table? It really happens in Asheville. Tomorrow I will share some photos of dishes that I ate at six different restaurants on the last evening that I was there, many of them made with locally sourced ingredients.