It’s almost the end of our farm tour audio adventure, but there are still two more farms to visit on ASAP’s 2019 Farm Tour. I talk to Jeff Frisbee, owner of Addison Farms Vineyard, about his winery in Leicester, North Carolina, and we end the day with a grass-fed burger made by Carolyn Bradley,, co-owner of Farmhouse Beef in Marshall.
The thunderclouds clear when we arrive at the top of Addison Farms Vineyard. We step inside the tasting room to talk to owner Jeff Frisbee.
“Viticulture is still a fairly new thing in Western North Carolina and so it’s really nice to get that out there—talking about grapes and wine and the family farm and our history here. When family farms start to disappear, they’re gone forever and they don’t come back. Once that subdivision is built there, reclaiming that as farmland is, while not impossible, certainly not likely. So this tour brings awareness to fiber farming and vegetables and grown grapes. That awareness and that ability to connect the consumer to their local farmer is critical,” he says. “If you want local farms, you’ve got to support them.”
Next we head to Marshall to visit Farmhouse Beef. Owners Carolyn and Mike Bradley are proud to talk about their grass-fed beef farm.
“So if you see that second red gate, you’ll see younger, smaller animals. In this lot here, there’s four cows and a bull, and we’ve got a bigger group behind these trees, but they haven’t decided to come down yet,” she says.
She offers us a grass-fed burger and we spend some time talking about her family’s farm while she cooks it. She lights the gas grill while she describes her family’s food traditions, including the wooden canning shed where we’re standing.
“This was the canning shed,” she says. “So my dad had gardens here and out there. It was every kind of vegetable—beans, squash, potatoes. This is where we had a woodstove that was piped out through here. We would pick items from the fields, bring them in, I’d help my parents with a couple neighbors. We worked together to prepare that food and can and freeze it. And that’s what we ate during the year. Then we brought the extra to the farmer’s market. Fifty years ago was on Lexington Avenue, and I would go with dad and we would sell the things we didn’t need. We would go to the farmer’s market until we sold out, sitting there usually till ten or eleven at night.”
She tends the grill while she talks about how she likes to prepare grass-fed burgers and steaks. “To cook a burger or to cook a steak, if you’re going to grill it, you always have your meat at room temperature. And then put it on high temperature. One minute per side. Then turn it down, let it cool down to about 300 degrees. Cook it five minutes, flip it, cook five minutes, take it off and it’ll be medium rare. That’s the best way to cook grass-fed beef” she says.
She smiles and encourages the group to load up their plates with a burger and all the fixings. It’s the perfect way to end ASAP’s 2019 Farm Tour. See photos and read more about all the farms on the tour at www.asapconnections.org
Aired: July 8, 2019