After watching the movie “Food, Inc.” which I recommend EVERYONE to watch, I decided that it was time that Eric and I eat organic /grass-fed/ cage free meat. Food, Inc. suggested finding local meat providers. So naturally I googled and found that there are several farms around the Charlotte area. Many of them can be found at the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market off of Yorkmont Road.
So this past Saturday Eric and I adventured early in the morning to the Farmer’s Market. Apparently during the summer time it gets really crowded very fast and stuff starts to sell out before noon. I wasn’t sure how busy It would be during the winter time so we went early. It wasn’t too packed and they only had one shed area open. Still not bad considering that the place is open year round. There were at least five local farmers with their grass-fed cattle, pork, and chickens. Of course there were other products there too. You could find all sorts of fruits and veggies (even ones not in season, more later…), cheese, jams and other preservatives, and even shiitake and oyster mushrooms. Oh even someone who made homemade soaps made out of things like goat cheese.
Eric and I purchased a pound of ground beef and a pound of beef stew from Baucom’s Best. They are a farm right outside of Charlotte. They were very nice. The beef was decently priced with the ground beef at $4.95 a pound. I know that’s more than the grocery store, but not only am I getting healthier meat, I am supporting our local farmers. The chicken on the other hand was outrageous with the boneless breasts starting at $9.99 a pound. I can’t bring myself to spend that much on chicken yet, when Wal-Mart offers a farm from Georgia that has organic cage free chicken. I haven’t tried to meat yet, so I will show you guys the results later on this week.
We also bought bratwurst from another farmer. The package made five brats and only costed $5.00. Eric said that’s only an additional dollar over grocery store prices so you can’t beat that. We made the brats last night and in the midst of all the Super Bowl partying, I forgot to take pictures. But they were very tasty! I prefer them over regular brats because they aren’t as gritty. It grosses me out when you bite into a brat and then start chewing on some sort of spec of something. Who knows! So I am sold on the locally farm raised pork brats.
Eric and I also found a guy who was selling goat cheese. We are making more quesadillas this week since we have tortillas left. The goat cheese was awesome. Very delish. Can’t wait to have it this week.
Finally, I bought some apples and homemade apple butter from another woman. She was very sweet and told us all sorts of stories about where she has come from and such. The apple butter is made by Amish folks. It’s very good. I’m addicted to apple butter. However, I have just discovered this morning that the apples I purchased from her are from Washington. Not exactly local as I had expected, even though apples are supposed to be in season for this state under the middle of February.
There were other vendors as well who had strawberries and blueberries and such which all of us know are currently not in season. So it appears there are some frauds at the farmer’s market along with the real farmers. So note: look online at what’s in season before going so that you’ll know who to trust at the farmer’s market. I’m guessing people do this because of the big push to go local. So there will always be someone trying to take advantage of you.
Other than that, I had a wonderful time and I am excited to try all of my local findings. Check out the Farmer’s market yourself and maybe I’ll see you up there!
1801 Yorkmont Road
Charlotte, NC 28266