Friday, March 22, 2013

Peace, Horses, and Troutlily

When we woke up to snow flurries and temperatures of 27 degrees yesterday morning, we scratched our plans for a hike and spent the morning huddled inside a coffee shop instead. Later in the afternoon, though, the sunshine beckoned us, so we drove back towards Chimney Rock to explore some other places we had spotted along the road. 

Hop on the Love Bus! This gem, modeled after Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters 1960's bus, Further, was being stored at a VW parts lot. In 2012, the Love Bus crew undertook a coast to coast journey to spread their message of heart conscious evolution. You can see highlights from their journey over at their blog, though it is no longer active. 

There were so many fantastic old VDub buses here! It was a mecca. Though we're very thankful for our far more reliable 2013 transportation, owning one of these guys is definitely a dream. 

Usually, "healthy" and "mini-mart" would be total contradictions, but not so at Troutlily, which was truly a great discovery. We splurged and bought a huge jar of delicious Sourwood Honey, but they also had local meats and fish, local veggies, like swiss chard, and a great selection of organic products just like you'd find on the shelves of Whole Foods. 

 We loved this horse! He was so gentle and mild-mannered as he grazed.

Our actual destination on yesterday's drive was the Hickory Nut Gap Farm Store, which was closed last time we drove by. We got the chance to chat with the guy who was working the store, who is currently an intern with the farm. We got the chance to rant about Monsanto, lament America's disconnect with its food, and encourage each other by our shared enthusiasm for sustainable agriculture and good, local food production. Hickory Nut Gap Farm is known in the area for its all grass-fed beef and high quality products. We bought some Sweet Soppressata (a dry salami), and we can attest to its deliciousness! 

Not only did we have a great day, but we've been getting great news for the past two days. We're now all set with two different upcoming work exchanges. Starting on the March 31st, we'll be working at a farm and vineyard in North Carolina where we'll help prune the vineyard for Spring, work on expanding the garden, and help with tasks around the farm. And we'll have the weekends off to fish, hike, and explore the local area as well as being provided with a place to stay and food. Our second work exchange will be beginning mid-April in Pennsylvania, near Philly. The farm is primarily meat production, so we'll have lots of work taking care of the animals, but we'll also have tons of opportunities to visit other local farms to learn about stuff we're interested in, like herbalism, mushroom propagation, and urban homesteading. We're really grateful for these opportunities, and we're also really excited! I'm thankful for the solid knowledge base we're building on this trip to help us with our future goal of having our own urban homestead/small scale farm. 


  1. I'm glad you are staying at Pennini Vineyards, otherwise I would not have been exposed to your blogs. I very much enjoy reading them. Thank you.


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