Newsletter from the Davidson Farmer's Market
| | Join us in Bidding a Warm Farewell to Wild Turkey Farms
| |Lee Menius - farmer, educator, father of two boys (Rosty 11 and Charlie almost 9), and husband to Domisty - has always aimed to build his farm to the point at which he could sustain through wholesale business. "Honestly, I didn't think we would be able to do it because of our small acreage," says Menius.
"Lee's and Domisty's presence at the Market, with their wide variety of offerings, really made it sing," says Davidson Farmers Market's first ever Market Manager, Mary Jane Leach. "To me, part of what makes them special is knowing that they really care about the animals and that they go the extra mile to do things well. I've always admired their innovative approach to managing their farm and developing great products, and they are able to cater to chefs and the public while keeping it real. What you see is what you get, and what you get is authentic goodness."
WTF has been a part of the Davidson Farmers Market family since it opened in the summer of 2007. And the same amount of time to the Salisbury Farmers Market. Known for their numerous pork products, chicken, beef, duck, turkey and eggs, WTF has come to the conclusion that pork is the most lucrative for their business. Because WTF has a breeding herd of pigs, he doesn't have to buy babies like he does with beef, and the pigs are ready to process in eight to nine months. "Pork is the direction I knew would carry us, and it's finally time to make the transition."
In the last year, WTF's restaurant sales have tripled. Selling to numerous Charlotte restaurants, stretching to Monroe, UNCC area, Concord and Cornelius, chefs are talking and word-of-mouth has been the ticket. "Charlotte chefs visit their chef friends at their restaurants to eat and talk about the ingredients - they share information. That's how my restaurant business has increased. I've never pursued the restaurant business. Six or seven years ago I couldn't get restaurants to talk to me. Now they are coming to me." In addition to restaurants, Menius supplies whole animals to a butcher friend at Foothills Pasture Raised Meats, Black Mountain, just up I-40 on the way to Asheville. (http://www.foothillslocalmeats.com/).
While you won't be able to buy WTF protein at the DFM anymore, you'll still be able to visit the farm in China Grove. Menius sells the equivalent of a mini-market in farm sales. Simply call or text Lee (704.202.9348) to make an appointment to visit the farm or place an order and he'll leave it in the cooler for you (with your name on it).
"My seven year old Beck has spent many Saturday mornings with the WTF boys, Rosty and Charlie playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, eating watermelon and running around with other Market and vendor kids. We will miss WTF's presence in many ways but are so happy for them that they have created a business model that will allow them to have more family time while still remaining prosperous," says Market Manager, Courtney Spear.
Best wishes Wild Turkey Farms!
The Davidson Farmers Market
Life Lately at WTF
A lot has been going on at WTF lately. Lots of changes & lots of excitement.
Roo is growing like a weed. It's hard to believe that she is only 5-months old! She is getting acclimated to life at WTF. Her counterpart Annie has accepted her but let's her know that she is still Head Guard Dog at WTF.
We all know I have a soft spot for the weaklings, runts, etc. so meet Pickles. Pickles is a triplet whose mom decided that she would care for the other 2 & not him. Lucky for him I saw this & scooped him up & for 3-nights I got up every 2-hours to feed him. He finally got on a better schedule. He has now moved out of our bathroom & is living at the farm.
See what a difference 2-weeks can make. Plus, a lot of loving from his human mom!
We were very excited that the TV Show Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives was coming to Charlotte and filming at 300 East. Our family was able to be there for the taping of the show. One of the dishes that was featured was Wild Turkey Farms Braised Lamb & Mushroom Ragout. If you haven't been to 300 East....go!! Everything on the menu is delish (our kids love the pizza) but try the lamb....it's what Guy ate!
We had to turn our cellphones off during the filming so I have no pictures but one of the crew members gave the boys these.
Project time at WTF.
This is the new maternity ward for the moma pigs.
And on a final note, thanks to all who have supported us at the Farmer's Market in the last 8-years. Even though we will not be at the Markets you can still visit us at the farm to purchase meats & eggs. We will definitely miss our Market Family as well as our customers many of whom are like family to us but our kids our growing up...fast. We don't want to look back & regret not spending time with them.