Readers of this blog already know that Asheville and self sustaining are nearly synonymous terms. Locally sourced is supported and valued in our community. Some of this interest is driven by well supported health data, some by the knowledge that ill supported private enterprises are less likely to flourish and some the understanding that this enterprise is valuable both to locals and visitors alike. Roughly 10 million people visit Buncombe county, Asheville is the primary city, yearly spending more than 1.7 billion dollars. Many are regional travelers and choose to partake of opportunities, perhaps not available in their local area, for purchasing local meat, veggies, bread, jam, plants or honey.
Though Asheville supports its hefty vegetarian population, there are man,y both locals and visitors alike, that really enjoy meat. This can be locally sourced and is. Though the concern of the whole concept of making meat accessible regarding impact on the land and environment is still present, done responsibly, some of these concerns can be mitigated and this fact is not lost on those who choose to purchase local meat.
Local meat is small farm raised, not mass produced, pastured and grass fed, organic, not hormones and humanely cultivated. While this does not eradicate every concern regarding the farming of meat it does address some of them.
Hickory Nut Gap Farm: Beef, Pork, Poultry (both chicken and turkey) also Charcuterie (cooked or processed meat) options. This place is a local favorite in Fairview, N.C. having passed through many families since its inception in 1916 when Elizabeth and Jim McClure, arrived in this area on their honeymoon, took a shine to the Old Sherrill Inn and surrounding farm area making it their home. These families (now five generations from the original McClure’s) have adopted a “farming lifestyle” They have a CSA option (Community Supported Agriculture), they also spend the summertime weekends offering available goods at the North Asheville Tail Gate Market. There is also a store on the farm availing consistent access. Last but not least, Hickory Nut Gap Farm offers classes on everything from sausage making and the perfect charcuterie (cooked or processed meat) tray composition to the complete butchering of a hog.
Whiskey Pigs Home Place Farm: Located in Leicester and family owned since the 1850.s. Eggs, Pigs, Beef, Chickens & Turkey available. A kind of different kitsch here in that for 30 days prior to their processing, these animals are fed spent whiskey mash containing 2-3% alcohol. Troy and Sons distillers actually own the pigs but they the folks at Whisky Pigs Home Place Farm raise them. For 5 years they have raised Standard Bronze and Double Breasted Bronze turkeys noted in articles published in both Gourmet and Cook’s Illustrated to have superb flavor.
Dry Ridge Farm: Eggs, Lamb, Pork (bacon, sausage, chops, bratwurst), Rabbit, Chicken. All these offerings are available for locals and visitors to procure at Asheville City Tail Gate Market. The also have a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) option where each participant signs up for a quarterly allotment of whichever product they would like to include. This items can even be delivered to the home for a fee.
No one needs another tee shirt and bringing home the bacon or whatever meat you choose would be the coolest ever souvenir of your time in Asheville, N.C.