No, this post didn’t hit early by accident. Turkey time for us means getting the bird from the local farm.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love it here?
Hickory Nut Gap Farm sits in Fairview, about 20 minutes outside of Asheville. We got our bird from them last year, and roasted it with just butter and herbs. It was easily the best turkey I’ve ever had in my life.
HNG is a multi-family pasture operation with an impressive regional span; I’m pretty sure I remember my sister saying she saw their beef in Charlotte once.
The images are theirs, from their Facebook page. I was so delighted to be there, I forgot to take pictures.
The temperature was around 25°F as we set out this morning, clear and cold. We hit the North Asheville Farmers Market first, chatting up the locals and grabbing some greens; and then we headed southeast.
We stepped into the farm store and quickly tried to blend in; there weren’t a lot of customers yet, but Channel 13 was filming an interview on local eating at Thanksgiving time. We waited patiently for them to be done, because they were blocking the turkey cooler. I checked out the local jewelry and jams, and we hemmed and hawed over bird parts for giblet gravy, before deciding to just grab sausage and bacon and get the rest at Greenlife. Hot cider and coffee were set up near the front, and we both partook of the cider, which was delicious.
With the bird (13 pounder and terrific looking) and the oink products stowed in the car, I took another look around. The horses weren’t penned out front, but a quick perusal of the property showed they were still set up for field trips and fall festivities, because there were animals within walking distance to peek at. We said hi to the occupants of a small chicken coop, but the real prize was in their new animal structure, an open-air barn with a high roof and no sides, housing a multitude of pigs and goats. A nicely trained bunch too, because they were being held without much more than an electric fence wire maybe a foot off the ground. I could’ve stayed all morning, but the bird was fresh in our car, not frozen, and we had 2 more errands to run.
I love this time of year, and have already mentioned how it motivates me. I mentioned to Hubs on our errands this morning that I have a new goal in mind: holding a 20-year anniversary party with our families/friends on OUR land. He agreed that that would be nice.
That’s a tall order. Our debt is not insignificant unfortunately. But the past 2 weeks in particular have brought home to me the importance of money for certain things, while other things can easily be done without. We were painfully poverty-stricken the last 2 weeks, our safety net is nonexistent, and two things happened: my laptop finally said “enough! get these damn viruses out of me!” and I developed an eye irritation that required medical attention. We had to borrow from family.
That’s something that has decreased significantly since both our fathers passed, thanks to a combination of pride and circumstance, and I couldn’t be happier about that. We’re in our 40s, for pete’s sake!
So, as we march toward the holidays, Dark Meadow is also marching toward a true budget that will make this blog more than just a name. I read blogs like Cold Antler, Going Slowly, and Soule Mama with a catch in my throat because they are living the dream. I step outside in the mornings for a fresh air stretch and resist hopping across the creek to watch the neighbor split wood. Part of my life is meant to be outdoors, and I will find a way for that to be more than just a dream.