Day 61–Coon Rock Farm

Lately I have been buying produce and eggs from Coon Rock Farm, a family owned farm on the Eno River in Hillsborough. From Harukai turnips to fresh carrots and tatsoi greens, everything I’ve purchased has been delicious. At the Western Wake Farmer’s Market a few weeks ago, I tried a sample of their chorizo (it is impossible to pass their tent without trying it since you can smell it cooking and for “some reason” I am always hungry). It was amazing. I keep forgetting to add it to our rotation, but maybe next week.

Coon Rock Farm (www.coonrockfarm.com) is the epitome of “farm to fork”. The Holcomb family not only operates the farm (which dates back to the 1800s), they also operate two highly reputable restaurants, Zely & Ritz in Raleigh and Piedmont Restaurant in Durham. Both restaurants feature the vegetables, fruit, eggs, lamb, beef, pork and eggs produced on the farm.

According to the Holcombs, farm produce is all organic and mostly heirloom varieties (which explains why my carrots were unbelievably “carrot-y” in flavor). All animals are pasture-raised and grass-fed, with no hormones or antibiotics. I love that this is a family all working together to bring us good food while nurturing the young farmers who will continue to feed us into the future.

Coon Rock Farm sells at three local farmer’s markets–Midtown Farmer’s Market at North Hills, Western Wake Farmer’s Market in Cary and the Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market. They also have a CSA which you can read about on their website.

As for the name? Apparently, the name Coon Rock Farm comes from a large rock that juts into the Eno River and has the historical name of “Coon Rock”.  Regardless, the food produced by this family is wonderful, sustainable, healthy food, and I for one am looking forward to some chorizo on Saturday!

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Day 14–Farmer’s Market Spotlight–Rare Earth Farms

Beef cattle at Polyface Farm.

While I was on my very brisk mission to the farmer’s market today, I met Jennifer with Rare Earth Farms, a local farm partnership, and thought I would introduce you to this wonderful, family-owned resource for local beef and lamb.

Rare Earth Farms is a story of farmers and friends. Mann Mullen of Bunn and Karl Hudson of Zebulon, are friends and farmers whose shared interest in sustainable agriculture and the humane treatment of animals led them to found Rare Earth Farms. Their beef is pasture raised (on grass), pasture finished on grass, antibiotic free, steroid free and without preservatives or colorings.

Recently, Mann and Karl entered into a partnership with another friend, Carvel Cheves, who raises lamb with the same care and standards that Mann and Karl put into their beef. Carvel was also inducted into the NC Livestock Hall of Fame, so now you can get your lamb kabob meat from a celebrity (and he is probably much nicer than Kim Kardashian, just sayin’).

Rare Earth Farms has a meat CSA that they are starting in February, or you can find them at the State Farmer’s Market. You can find a price list and contact number on their website as well, so you can preorder what you need (including, apparently, a whole carcass). I may try some lamb soon and I will let you know how that is.

Here is the website, if you’re interested: www.rareearthfarms.com