I ended up at Overmountain Vineyard today with Alex Rike and Russell Mierop. At this time, I received a massive amount of grief for Eating Local an entire week and only posting once so far. So to them and to you dear reader, I apologize. It does not take away from an awesome week though and I’m excited to tell you all about it.
Breakfast in General: Consisted of skipping it, yogurt and granola, and tomorrow it will most certainly be an egg and cheese biscuit. If you have forgotten my Ode to egg and cheese biscuits, you can see it here but it if not Shakespearean it must be only slightly less poetic. (I’m not the only one either, check out this post from Field and Stream magazine indicating how well loved their breakfast sandwich posts are received)
Lunches: Two from the Mill Spring Farm Store consisting of sandwiches and Hunger Buster bars. Today was the grand exception, I was in Landrum picking up donations for the Ag Center and decided on Dawn’s Eat Local post to go to Southside Smokehouse and Grill. Upon walking to the door and seeing it adorned with Eat Local stickers I knew this was a good idea. I had the watermelon, blueberry, feta salad. I ordered the small and was overwhelmed with the size. Most of the salad was secured locally and I had unsweet tea (not local but I just didn’t think of it honestly – I was thirsty and I thought the humidity was supposed to break today…)
Dinners: Have been great.
Monday: At home, local tomatoes and couscous from the Mill Spring Farm Store with Ashe County Cheese and garlic from home to adorn the dish. Ice cream from the Farm Store to make a Monday a bit better.
Tuesday: Grilling at Russell’s house. We had his pork links (grown no less than 20 to 22 feet away from where we ate) and zucchini, onion, and green pepper skewers all thanks to the Farm Store. I also want you all to know that because of my unhealthy obsession with Pinterest, Russell is now addicted whether he chooses to admit it or not. Russell sells his pork and beef at the Columbus Farmers’ Market.
Thursday: Headed to Asheville to see my buddy Peter and stopped in West Asheville at Lucky Otter and had a burrito. Chicken from a Hickory based farm and veggies from Mountain Food Products at the WNC Farmers’ Market. It was good.
Friday: Headed to Overmountain (and don’t think I am a lush) but had some apple cider, sangria, and blackberry wine. Then brought a bottle of cider home for good measure. Overmountain’s cider is amazing. I am no aficionado but without a doubt, it fit the bill so amazingly for a warm August Friday. Many ciders rest for a short period and then immediately to the bottle. Overmountain takes their time. These Gala apples start in Henderson County but make their way to Polk, are pressed and fermented wine style for a year. It was dry, it was not to sweet, it was cold, and it was great. I can promise you that I received no compensation, I received no special treatment, the giant Great Danes didn’t even come to give me a sniff…it is just good stuff and you should go try it.
I hate that I did not make it to the other vineyards of Polk County while I was on my week (still next week while we are all Eating Local). I love Parker Binns Vineyard and the lack my attention to them in the last two weeks of my Eating Local does not take away from their quality of wine. They are building an amazing new facility and it is situated at the top of a hill that will have one of the most amazing views in Polk County.
Mountain Brook Vineyards is nothing short of what you would expect from your best friends making some wine and inviting you over to enjoy it. Their place is bucolic and serene and someone who is better at wine tasting than I has said they make some of the best in our region.
Russian Chapel Hill is run by a man named Andrey who has a heart that I assume makes it difficult to walk around due to its oversized nature. The Chapel that he has built might seem odd by a passerby driving through to get to their business meeting. But standing within it’s walls and hearing him talk about building it for the soldiers he served with in the military is near harrowing.
Green Creek Winery is the jet-less trip to the Napa Valley. I have never felt more far away from home and still now I’ll be in my bed at night than here. It might just be me, but it is a transporting place and I have been glad to have a sip at this fine place.
These folks create a product for us. Henderson County is five times our size in population and near 100 more square miles in size and yet they have only two wineries. Nothing against them but Polk County was made to produce good grapes and fine wines. Visit these places and help their businesses grow.
Last thing for this evening, if you have a bit of interest in visiting the farms and wineries that we have talked about over the last six weeks you can. No VIP pass required, you don’t have to know a guy, or sell your soul. On September 19th we have the PolkFresh Farm Tour. Farm across the County open their doors to you so that you can see what they do, how they do it, and how they are damn proud of the product they make. Come and visit them and show your support. The farms will make you proud and the wineries will make you at ease. Visit our Farm Tour page for more information and to get tickets.