×

What is an Abattoir?

An abattoir is another name for the place where animals are butchered. You will see these terms interchanged often in the industry of raising animals and selling meat. Hickory Nut Gap Meats uses two such abattoirs to process our animals. Mays Meats located in Taylorsville, North Carolina and Washington County Meats in Bristol, Virginia both located two hours from our farm.  Hickory Nut Gap Farm, and other local producers in our company, take pigs and cows we have raised  to one of these two abattoirs, or processors as we tend to say, for their final moments. Both Mays Meats and Washington County Meats are Animal Welfare Approved (a third party certification) processing facilities, which in short, means they take great care of  the animals we have raised in the last phase of their life. Why is this so important? We believe honoring the animal with a peaceful exit rather than a stressful one ultimately affects the quality of the food we are consuming on many levels. The long term relationship we have developed with both of our processors is essential to ensuring our animals well being even after they leave the farm.

In the past year there has been an erroneous account of where we process our meat in a short essay in the Mountain Express. We were never contacted by the author who assumed he had his facts straight. He did not. It was stated that our business and environmental impact are in fact not sustainable because we truck our pigs all the way to Pennsylvania. Two hours is the maximum time our live animals spend on a trailer and they do not go to Pennsylvania. We do ship meat to PA to be further value added because no such facility exists in our region. This meat is shipped UPS and made into our beef jerky, beef sticks, and kielbasa summer sausage.

Opening in 2011, a federally inspected poultry processing facility will add one more option for local processing. This is going to allow us to raise more pastured chickens to help meet our current demand and offer more of a variety of cuts. In the five year range, is talk of a processor in western North Carolina that could serve our growing agricultural economy. At Hickory Nut Gap we too are exploring adding value and variety to our meat selection by having an on farm aging room and value added capabilities as well as an inspected kitchen and on farm eatery. We will keep you posted!

Sign Up for our MEAT CSA!

The CSA Concept

Community Supported Agriculture or CSA is a relationship between a food producer and food consumers. Traditionally CSA shares have been offered by a vegetable producer on a weekly basis throughout the season who in return provides the customer with an assorted box of freshly picked vegetables. This buying concept was sprouted from the idea that the customer was investing in a particular farm business they respected by buying a CSA share, similar to buying stock in a company. The money was paid upfront and the return on your investment came later when the crops were harvested. Not all years are good for growing tomatoes and of course no one can predict the weather so the shareholder took the risk with the farmer as the season progressed.  

There are various models in use and we have crafted our CSA model to accomplish two things that we feel are essential for a win-win situation between a farm business and a CSA shareholder. First we are committed to providing high quality, healthy meat to our shareholders with satisfaction guaranteed. Secondly we are planning our supply based on the six month commitment we have as partners in this endeavor and expect that to be a mutually respectful relationship. Our goal is to keep it simple and exciting. Here are the nuts and bolts of the CSA program here at Hickory Nut Gap Meats. 

Share Sizes

10 POUND SHARE
 $420 or average of $7.00/lb each month

Example A:
5 lb Chicken (when in season)
2 lbs Pork Breakfast or Specialty Sausage (Brat, Italian, Chorizo)
3 lb Ribeye Steak

Example B:
2 lbs London Broil
1 lb Flank Steak
2 lbs Pork Tenderloin
3 lbs Bacon
2 lbs Ground Beef 

15 POUND SHARE
 $600 or average of $6.67/lb per month

Example A:
5 lb Chicken (when in season)
2 lbs Pork Breakfast or Specialty Sausage (Brat, Italian, Chorizo)
3 lb Beef Short Ribs
2 lb NY Strip Steaks
2 lb Chuck Roast
1 lb Stew Meat

Example B:
2 lbs Sirloin Steak
2 lbs T-bone Steak
1 lbs Skirt Steak
3 lbs Breakfast and/or Specialty Sausage
2 lb Fresh Ham
1 lb Hot Dogs
2 lbs Pork Chops
2 lbs Pork Ribs

Box Variety
We strive to represent all types of the meat we raise on the farm each month in your box. Currently we raise chicken, beef, and pork at Hickory Nut Gap Meats. Chickens however are the variable as they are only raised seasonally.  Most of the meat in your box will be frozen but if possible we will provide you with some fresh products.  Each month we will offer recipes corresponding with some of the cuts in your box.  Part of the fun of being a CSA member is experimenting with new cuts that you may not cook in your normal routine. Of course you can always give those cuts away or store them in your freezer until the inspiration hits you. The beauty of meat, you can freeze it!

Add-Ons
Should you need something specific from us, say for a birthday dinner or special occasion, you can add on cuts to your monthly CSA box.  Add on cuts and special orders picked up at the same time as your CSA box are 10% off retail prices for CSA members.   We will be putting the boxes together the week of the pick up so we will not know ahead of time what cuts will be in the box. So if there is something you have your heart set on go ahead and put in a special order at 10% off! 

Payment Options
We offer two ways to pay for your CSA share. You can either pay for your entire six month share upfront, that would be $420 for a 10 pound share or $600 for a 15 pound share. Or you can pay 50% at sign on $210 for 10 pound share and $300 for the 15 pound share and the remaining 50% prior to your fourth month’s box delivery.  Monthly payment plans are available upon request.  To pay, you can either, call and let the person working the farm store enter your credit card number, or send us a check.  In the future we plan to have secure online payment processing through our shopping cart.  Again we have committed to supply you with high quality grassfed beef and pastured pork and chicken for six months and reciprocally we ask you honor your six month commitment to us.  

Pick Up Locations
CSA pick up will be the first Tuesday of the month.  We will send you an email reminder the Monday before pick up.  You can pick up your CSA share at the West Asheville Market during the May – October market season between 3:30-6:30pm OR at our Farm Store between the hours of 1-6pm that Tuesday.  Shipping is also available for our out of town members but normal shipping costs will apply in addition to the monthly charge for your box.  We ask that once you select a location you continue to pick up at that location for the entire six months.

No Show Policy
If you cannot come to get your CSA share that month for one reason or another, please arrange for someone else to pick it up for you. I am sure if you give them a pack of ground beef they would be happy to do it! If you fail to arrange for someone else to get your box please be aware that we will invoice you a $20 no show charge.  If we fail to have your box at the previously agreed upon location we will issue a $20 Gift Card. 

Sign Up
We accept new CSA members twice a year, in December and June. This will allow us to process your information one month ahead of time and have your first CSA box ready the first Tuesday of January or the first Tuesday of July.

****For this first round of members which will have their first box pick up Tuesday February 1st the season will run February-June (five months). Fees will be reduced to $350 for 10 pound share and $500 for the 20 pound share. Payment, in the payment plan fashion you choose, is due by Jan 21, 2011. ****

Please contact Erica VanSteeis [email protected]  or 828.628.1027. She will collect the necessary information and get you started as a Hickory Nut Gap Meats CSA member.

Eat Local. Our Meat CSA.

Will this be your New Years Resolution? An obtainable resolution living in this town with all the amazing vegetables, breads, cheeses, honey, sorghum, grits, and meats grown in our area.  We at Hickory Nut Gap are crafting a CSA for meats model to make this goal easier. Are you interested in receiving a weekly (or monthly) “basket” of grassfed beef and pastured pork treasures. Please send us an email to [email protected]  stating your interest and your wish list of conveniences. We are developing this idea and would like to implement starting in the new year. A quick and easy way to get healthy meats to your table. Pick up locations could include farm store, farmers market, or neighborhood drop offs. We just need a mass following to make it happen. 

Thank you for your feedback in our recent survey, we have heard your requests and our prioritizing tasks to make our business better in the new year. The shopping cart, long awaited, is underway and with fingers crossed will be up by the mid January. We value you as customers and invite your feedback anytime. It’s the only way we know the impact we are having and will be able to serve you better.

30% OFF Beef Tenderloins and Pork Loins

This is what you should cook for Christmas dinner! It’s a no brainer beef tenderloin at 30% off retail. That is a savings of $6/lb. Regularly priced at $19/lb on sale now for $13/lb. While supplies last. These 3 lb whole grassfed beef tenderloins will dazzle your family and guests, treat them to a local beef dinner. We are also offering our Whole Boneless Pork Loins at the same discount 30% off. That’s a markdown of $3/lb. Rub with olive oil, rosemary and sage, (Annie Agers all time favorite seasoning for pork) and let the oven do its magic of roasting your dinner infusing the flavors of pastured raised pork and herbs. These roasts can also be cut into pork chops, your choice of thickness. (These additional sale products do not qualify for the 10% discount of entire meat purchase.)

10% OFF SALE

Your ENTIRE MEAT PURCHASE! Our gift to you, a little sale this week, well how ’bout next week too! Wed-Sat 1-5 folks. Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years Eve so get stocked up for these cold days and kids who are at home eating all day long! Break out the crock pot and put in a beef roast, sip your cocoa by the fire, get out that book you’ve been wanting to read and let dinner cook itself. We have a grand stock of beef roasts for you to choose from and much much more.

Can you answer YES to these questions? Do I have HNG Meats sausage and bacon in the freezer for Christmas morning breakfast? Do I have a good stew on hand to warm up for unexpected guests? Will Johnny have his favorite snack, HNG Jerky and Kielbasa in his stocking? If not come on by and we will help you finish your shopping and check yes to these questions. Still can’t figure out what to get your parents, feed them well this year with a Hickory Nut Gap Meats GIFT CERTIFICATE.

What will you cook for the holidays?

We can help with that! Order ahead by emailing [email protected]

Dinner
Prime rib $12.50/lb  SALE
Beef Tenderloins $16/lb SALE
Turkeys (sold out)
Boneless Pork Loins $8.50/lb
Whole Chickens $3.50/lb

Lunch Trays
Beef Keilbasa $6/pack
Pork Ribs $6/lb

Breakfast
Pork Breakfast Sausage $5/lb
Chorizo $6/lb

Stocking Stuffers/Shopping Snacks
Beef Stix $2 each

Farm Beat: Our interns perspective

Forested Hogs
With the hot summer sun still at our backs for a few more weeks our focus here at the farm is not just about keeping ourselves cool and hydrated. We have found that simple solutions and ideas can make a world of difference in both the comfort and quality of our animals.
As is with our other livestock enterprises, rotational grazing and pasture management are just as important to our success as any other aspect of the business. Whereas cows need to be moved daily, hogs tend to live in one place for a period until they are ready to be harvested. When we obtain a new swine herd we like to let the pasture that housed the previous herd rest. When the new herds of pigs arrived in late July and again in early September, we had the opportunity to put our hogs up in special environment. In my opinion keeping pigs in the forest exceeds the benefits of having them on pasture. Most of the time our pork is raised on all grass-pasture with provided or animal initiated wallowing holes and metal shelters to provide shade from the sun in the afternoon. Having pastured hogs gives us the benefits of having the pigs plow the earth while they root up weeds and deposit manure which adds nitrogen and organic matter to the soil.
This summer has been hot and our grass/forage growth has been slow do to infrequent rainfall. The fact of the matter is that we decided not put our hogs on pasture at all. Two separate herds of 50 plus grower hogs per herd currently have access to an acre and a half (give or take) of heavily wooded forests. Native hemlocks, poplar, oak and white pine provide copious amounts of shade as well as biodiversity.
Before the pigs showed up the areas were overgrown with invasive vines and brambles like wild blackberry and multi-floral rose. Within a few days the hogs had ransacked their new home— foraging and rooting everything of interest. Along with a primary diet of corn and soy, our pigs eat insects, roots, leafy greens, and grass. Currently our nut bearing trees in the forest are providing an additional nutritional option for the hogs.
In other parts of the world such as Spain hogs spend their entire lives in wooded areas. The Jamón ibérico ham (Southern Spain) is a world renowned product that gains its flavor from the unique diet offered by the forests of that region. The pigs of southern Spain (breed: black Iberian) are allowed to roam in pasture and oak groves to feed naturally on grass, herbs, acorns, and roots, until slaughtering time approaches.
Evolutionary speaking, hogs are naturally at home in forested environment. Behaviors and habits of domesticated pigs parallels that of the wild boar (entirely forage based diet) found in many places of Western Europe and across the United States. Along with the general happiness and welfare of our pig herd we are very concerned with producing a quality, flavorful pork product. Happy, well-fed animals make tasty meat. The variety in our hogs’ diet will be sure to produce some of the best pork available in Western North Carolina.
You can always stop by the farm and check out our pig operation for yourself, and you might just leave with some fresh apple cider and a pork tenderloin ready for your cast iron.

Grill Pack $100

Serve it up to Dad. Share a grassfed, locally raised meal with Dad this Sunday. Stop by the farm store Wed-Sat 1-5 or order ahead for delivery to market. 2 Ribeye Steaks, 2 NY Strips, 1 Pack Ground Beef, 3 Packs Pork Spare Ribs, and 2 Pork Chops all for $100! Free Handmade iron steak turner with purchase too. It’s too hot to cook inside, fire up the grill!