Ever wonder what can bring farmers, a surgeon, ex-vegetarians, an oil field worker, chef and restaurant owner all together on a Sunday? Yup you guessed it, a whole hog butchery class. There are some trends that I wish never happened and would just go away: skinny jeans and the duck face your girlfriend makes in the mirror when talking a selfy to post on Facebook are a couple. There are also great trends that I hope are here to stay like butchery and people wanting to know more about the food they eat and how it is raised. Once upon a time a local butcher was a mainstay in every town but the birth of prepackaged meat spelled a new line of work for the local butcher shop. As all great things make a comeback, so has the desire for the local butcher. More people want to know exactly where their meat is coming from and learn more about the food they consume. That’s where Katie and Justin Meddis come in with their plans to open Rose’s Meat Market and Sweet Shop to fill that void in downtown Durham this spring. Until their shop is up and running , Katie and Justin are educating others about their passion and thats why this group gathered at Yellow Wolf Farm in Walkertown, NC.
The day started out with Stacy Martin, the owner of Yellow Wolf Farm, talking about her farm and the cattle, hogs, goats, donkeys and poultry that reside there. The farm got its name from a blonde wolf Stacy owned for almost 20 years until it died right before she started the farm. The wolf, historically a natural enemy of the farmer was Stacy’s trusted companion for almost two decades and never laid fangs on any of her livestock. Stacy also stands to benefit from people wanting to know more about what they eat. When talking about the relationship between the pigs and cows, Stacy explained, “they’re all about getting food, being comfortable and being warm this time of year, they’ll knock the cows out of the barn and get in a pile in there”. Until its time to grace someone’s dinner table these animals live a comfortable life. Yellow Wolf Farm goes above and beyond regular standards which allows them to boast the title of Animal Welfare Approved. The animals roam the pastures freely and you won’t find any hormones (sorry Lance), antibiotics, medicated feeds, herbicides or chemical fertilizers, these animals don’t even get a whiff of exhaust up their nostrils because there isn’t a tractor as all the heavy pulling is done with draft horses.
Next we moved inside and Justin explained how the day would pan out. He introduced his wife Katie and James Naquin. James is a charcuterie extraordinaire who has been sharpening his trade at Guglhupf Restaurant in Durham over the last year and has teamed up with the Justin and Kate on a number of occasions. Sitting on the table was a selection of meats James prepared and it was a pork lover’s breakfast of champions, consisting of pork and rabbit liver pate, Hungarian salami, copa, lomo, teewurst, bratwurst, keilbasa and weisswurst sausage…are you drooling yet? After devouring the tasty meats, the class broke into three groups. Each team would move into a separate rooms of Stacy’s home (that was now void of furniture and replaced with a large tables of hog parts.)
CLICK HERE TO SEE PART TWO OF YELLOW WOLF FARM HOG BUTCHERY CLASS