The Most Beautiful Place on Earth

Is practically right in my own backyard! This past Friday, I loaded up the kids and my mom for a road trip to Rutherfordton County, NC to pick up my Thanksgiving Turkey. You know this turkey must be special to warrant an hour and a half drive with the kids in tow!

Through my friend Kirk @ the Farmers Fresh Market, I was introduced to Genna, his neighbor, who had a few turkeys available. These special turkeys were pasture raised, and were probably some of the happiest birds around… until they had their ONE bad day! But you know, that saying stuck with me as I spent the day at Genna and Kirk’s farms. Chickens out pecking around in the yard, turkeys and chicken having access to green grass, fresh air and clean water. Not quite the same as chickens raised for Perdue or Tyson, that’s for sure!

The kids had a ball, as you can imagine. They picked fresh eggs from the chicken house, met some donkeys and cows and saw some real live turkeys (unlike the dead ones I brought home!)

Now for the pictures!!

Josh and Erin gathering eggs with Genna.

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Feeding the mule and donkeys!

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Sweet little donkeys!

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Erin checking out the cows!

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Josh and Erin checking out the chicken houses. These contraptions are really cool – they are moved each day (with the chickens or turkeys inside) to fresh grass each day. And when you look where that chicken house has been you see only the most lush, green grass imaginable. Sustainable farming at it’s best!

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Erin checking out the pokeberry damage with Kirk!

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Kirk showing her how to clean it off!

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She was proud of her pink hands!

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Josh gathering more eggs. Between Genna and Kirk, we game home with close to two dozen eggs. Which sadly, we’ve already gone through!

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The title for this post is really in homage to Kirk’s farm. It’s set on the most beautiful piece of property I’ve ever seen, especially this time of the year! Beautiful rolling hills, mountains off in the distance, the trees blazing with color. It’s hard to see in the picture, but in the distance one of Kirk’s Golden Retriever’s is frolicking in the hill, chasing some kind of varmint I’m sure. It just made for such a beautiful picture – happy kids, happy dogs, beautiful setting! Can’t wait to go back!

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After gathering eggs, the kids checked out the garden. Those palm tree-looking plants you see are Kale plants. I offered a dollar to which ever kid would eat a piece raw. Josh, of course, gobbled it down. Erin tried… but spit it out!

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Kirk also put Josh to work, feeding the new chickens.

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These two will be someone’s Thanksgiving dinner!

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Josh’s very favorite part of the day… holding the baby chicken!

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All told I came home with two turkeys, three chickens, four gallons of apple cider, a bag of fresh picked baby lettuces, a bag of sweet potatoes, some kale, and about a dozen and a half eggs. And as if the day weren’t perfect enough, we stopped for lunch at Cafe at the Mall in Rutherfordton (http://www.cafeatthemall.com/) and had some of the most delicious sandwiches ever – rivals anything I’ve had here in Charlotte. If you are ever in that part of North Carolina, you should definitely pick up some lunch… and some of the special baked goods available as well. I came home with a loaf of cinnamon raison brioche that was delicious as French toast (and regular toast too!) Liz Rose, owner and chef is also the genius behind the delicious breads we’ve been receiving in our weekly veggie box!

I think we all had an amazing day getting to know where our food comes from! And as you can imagine, I put all that delicious food to good use! I made an apple cider pound cake with some of those fresh eggs and apple cider, a quiche (more eggs!), and at Josh’s request, chicken and dumplings for dinner tonight, with the best damn chicken you’ll ever eat!

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