Si forcement on ne leur achète pas de viande, Hubby étant végétarien, on leur achète par contre souvent des œufs qui sont vendu dans le supermarché local. Mais on était pas la pour voir les cocottes, non, nous étions la pour le bacon et les hamburgers sur pattes.
Just a few miles up the road from Flying Cloud Farm is Hickory Nut Gap. A well known farm in the area for the quality of its meat. Both farms are in the same family (cousins) and have been working the land for four generations. I had the opportunity to eat one of their sausages during a baseball game and it was really good.While we don't buy meat, Hubby being vegetarian, we however often get their eggs which are sold in the local supermarket. But we weren't there to see the chickens, nope, we were there for the bacon and burgers on legs.
Cote odeur rien a voir avec les fermes intensives de porc. Si ça sentait un peu le cochon, nos narines n'ont eu aucun problème a s'approcher d'eux. C'est la qu'on voit la différence de l’élevage en "pâturages".
Jamie told us about their production. It was interesting to hear how useful pigs are to clean the land. Not only do they raise the pigs for their meat, but they also put them in pasture in forest areas covered by undergrowth. The pigs eat it and clean the land on rotation.The smell had nothing to do with intensive pork farming. While it smelled of pigs, our nostrils had no problem getting close to them. That's where you see the difference with pastured animals.
Who says pigs says cork screw tail.
After the pigs we went to see the cows. It was the first time I entered a pasture with the whole cattle. They paid no attention to us whatsoever. Jamie told us about the difference between a cow that is corn fed and once pasture fed. Just like the pigs, the difference is not only in the meet but also in land management as the cows maintain the pastures.
On commencait à fatiguer un peu, mais on est quand même allés à une dernière ferme: Imladris. Un "bus" devait nous récuperer à la petite église pour nous amener à la ferme. Ce n'était en fait pas un bus mais un 4x4 et avec Hubby nous avons eu le plaisir de nous caller dans le coffre.
Durant le court voyage, notre conductrice nous a donné une petite introduction de la ferme. Ce que j'ai aimé de la présentation? Le nom Imladris viens du Seigneur des Anneaux, une paisible vallée elfique ou les habitants vivent en harmonie. Une ferme avec un tel nom ne peut venir que de gens bien!
La famille Marlowe élève des lapins, des chèvres, des poules, ils font aussi pousser des petits fruits. J'ai d'ailleurs réalisé en voyant les pots de confiture que c'est celle dont je me régale à chaque fois que nous allons manger à Sunny Point.
We were starting to get tired, but we still went to one last farm: Imladris. A "shuttle" was to pick us up at a small church to get us to the farm. So much for the bus, it was a four wheel drive and with Hubby we had the pleasure of ridding in the trunk.
During the short ride, our driver gave us an introduction to the farm. What I loved about that? The name Imladris comes from the Lord of the Rings, a peaceful elfic valley where its inhabitants live in harmony. With such a name those could only be good people, right?
The Marlowe family raises rabits, goats, chicken and also grows berries. In fact I realized once I saw the jam that it's the one I enjoy everytime we eat at Sunny Point.
Their son at age 6 let them know that it was time to start his own business. So they've had chickens for the last few years. They are free rangee and learn to hide in the bushes away from predators... well some varieties better than others. While they're still young they do get a little extra protection to gently get used to it.
Ultimate Ice Cream à partir des myrtilles d'Imladris. C'était délicieux.
Tiens d'ailleurs, saviez vous que les myrtilles ont été le dernier petit fruit à être cultivé?
Mrs. Marlowe told us about their raspberry production, how they nourtish them, defend them against insects and diseases. While seeing all this was interesting, the best was to taste it. We tried the jam samples, but mainly we enjoyed buying some blueberry icecream. Hubby who usually doesn't eat much ice cream told me to just get a scoop... right, two would have been just as good. The ice cream is made by a local company: Ultimate Ice Cream out of the Imladris blueberry. It was delicious.
Le dimanche j'ai donc fait du volontariat à Flying Cloud Farm. J'étais chargé de diriger les visiteurs pour le parking, de les envoyer là où la visite était et de répondre à des questions basiques.
Comme j'avais fait la visite la veille je n'avais pas grand chose à faire quand je suis arrivée, du coup elle m'a proposé d'aider à ramasser des myrtilles qu'ils allaient vendre et d'en garder la moitié. Du coup on a mangé de la tarte à la myrtille dans la semaine.
So on Sunday I volunteered at Flying Cloud Farm. I was in charge of orienting visitors to park, send them where the tour was and answer basic questions.
Since I had done the tour the day before there was little for me to do as I arrived, so she asked me if I could pick up some blueberries that they would sell and offered me to keep half. So we ate blueberry pie at home that week.
In most of the farms we toured, the children often had a table were they sold lemonade, more or less homemade depending on the place. It was funny to hear them call out the visitors in hope for a sell.
They also tried to make money by charging a fee to pet the puppy. It didn't work of course, no surprise. However they had a lof fun covering it with jam for a show.
One of the things that I notted at Flying Cloud Farm is that they have a stand where you can buy their products. It's not staffed, it's an honor system where the clients leave the money in a metal column bolted to the ground. So you can come by any time, in fact I saw quite a few regulats who came by to get their lettuce for the evening out of the cooler. Annie Louise, Isaiah and their team check several times per day if more produce is necessary.
They have beautiful bouquet.
And of course many vegetables or herbs.
C'était une chouette demi-journée de volontariat. Nous avons accueilli plus de 100 personnes.
C'est une bonne opportunité pour mieux connaitre les agriculteurs du secteur. L'an prochain je pense que je referais ça, et puis ça sera l'occasion de découvrir d'autre fermes.
It was a fun half day of volunteering. We welcomed over 100 people.
It was a good opportunity to get to know farmers in the area. I think next year I'll do it again, plus it will be the opportunity to check out other farms.