Nestled in the heart of Yancey County is the home of Happy Hens & Highlands Farm – a small newly established family farm, owned and operated by Adam & Emily Hopson. They are now participating in the Yancey County Farmers’ Market offering fresh-frozen, chickens, locally raised on their farm in the Newdale area of the county.
Having begun farming just within the past year, Adam and Emily have taken a circuitous route to this point. Both were born and raised in Yancey County, but following high school graduation, Adam spent several years in the western United States. He was in Colorado for five years, then studied Outdoor Education in Wyoming. Emily has worked with her father and uncle at Rings and Things since high school, taking jewelry classes in Illinois, Georgia and, recently, San Francisco.
After returning to Yancey County, Adam began studying Wildlife Management, but the idea of farming just kept beckoning them, so they started out with egg chickens, added Scottish Highland cattle, and then began raising meat hens.
Their meat hens are Cornish Rocks and are pasture raised. Their laying hens are a mix of Barred Rocks, Black Star, and Buff Rocks and are free range. All their chickens are fed non GMO scratch grains and non GMO layer feed, supplemented by seasonal fruits, and vegetables
Adam says, “We love animals and care about their quality of life. We wanted to know firsthand where our food comes from and how it is raised. The best way to accomplish this was to begin farming; raising our own meat and eggs. Our ancestors had been farming this area for many years, so it was only natural we would follow in their footsteps. By doing this, we are now free to eat meat with a clear conscience, knowing that our animals were always treated with love and respect. Our animals have enjoyed happy lives, free of stress and fear.”
So come visit with Adam and Emily at the Farmers’ Market and take home some of their “Happy Hens!” This Week at the Yancey County Farmers’ Market
This week is “Garlic Saturday” – an opportunity to buy the freshest garlic available in the area. No shriveled up, tasteless, months-old garlic from the supermarket…. Nope – just great pungent and tasty local garlic from Yancey County farms. Of course, Robert Thompson- aka the “Garlic Man” will have a full array of garlic varieties, and several other market members grow and sell garlic as well. So make it a point this week to pick up some really outstanding garlic at your local Yancey County Farmers’ Market.
This week look for apples, beans (including greasy beans), carrots, chives, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, fresh herbs, garlic, kale, lettuce, okra, peppers, potatoes, salad mix, scallions, summer and winter squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, and watermelon. Other farm products available include honey, eggs (including quail eggs), goat cheese, seeds, cut flowers and arrangements, chicken, beef, and pork. Also available are homemade jams and jellies, fresh baked goods, and a wide variety of plants and local crafts. Of course, there are always hot and cold drinks, plus market souvenirs to round out your visit.
Article by David Fleckenstein, courtesy of Yancey Times Journal. Photos by David Fleckenstein