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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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October 07, 2010

Grokfeast in Fairview, North Carolina

By Mark Sisson
26 Comments

On September 8th I asked my readers to host picnics and to send me the results. The following is one of 27 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow, courtesy of US Wellness. Vote for your favorite on October 8.

Sara Kate is a faithful follower of Mark’s Daily Apple, and she encouraged many of us on Facebook to take on the September 30-Day Challenge. Jessica, one of her friends that decided to take on the challenge, also decided it would be fun to organize a picnic and win a cow. It wasn’t hard to get JP on board: he is usually up for anything. The three of us go to the track on Sundays for what we call “Sunday rundays,” which just sounds better then “weekly sprint drills.” So, after our Sunday 100m sprints a few weeks ago, we headed to a local spot for some coffee and lunch to brainstorm and plan our picnic.

We decided it would be fun to make our primal fun activity a corn maze, which ultimately lead us to choosing the Hickory Nut Gap Farm as our location. It’s a 4th generation farm in the Asheville area and is very well known in our community for their sustainable farming practices, local meats, poultry and organic apples.  It is currently apple season, and we wanted to use fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients for our picnic as much as possible.  We bought our meats for the potluck picnic as well as some apples a few days before the picnic directly from The Hickory Nut Gap Farm.  There is something very satisfying about being on the farm where the pig was raised and knowing that it was treated and slaughtered humanely.  We also knew that the kids, both big and small, would enjoy petting the farm animals (pigs, roosters, hens, and baby chicks).  They even have a bee hive – which is not advisable for petting.

The three of our families, friends and girlfriends would have made the required 8 participants, but we wanted to share the experience with our fellow members at our local gym, Crossfit Asheville.  They are an amazingly fun bunch of people and know how to put out a spread.  The Crossfitters did not disappoint!  We had another 25 or so people come and join us and they brought some amazing food.  We feasted on everything from fruit tossed with a coconut milk dressing, roasted brussel sprouts with carrots, roasted butternut squash, pork bar-b-que, crustless quiche, chimichurri, iron steak with green beans, raw zucchini in a walnut-pesto dressing, deviled eggs, pork chops and apple sauce, bratwurst, sauerkraut and more.  The winning recipe was a hearty creamed bratwurst with cabbage.  It was so good that I’ve made it twice since the picnic!

Although we may have envisioned a more organized picnic with multiple contests and events, we lived in the moment and allowed the day to unfold naturally.  Nobody needed to direct the kids to the creek – they just found it.  While we ate and chatted, the kids (and some adults) splashed in the creek and visited with the animals.  It became a fun and relaxing Sunday afternoon together, friends together as a family.  We did some foraging and someone actually found fresh watercress and ate it, of course.  So very primal!  The one contest that went as planned was the guess the number of almonds in a quart size mason jar.  Carly won with a guess of 528.  She missed by only five almonds and won the whole jar of nuts.  “I’ll be keeping this at my desk at work!”

After eating, we ventured off in smaller groups to the main activity, the corn maze.  It was surprisingly long but definitely fun.  The farm had placed various questions about local agriculture and the area to be used as clues to find our way through the maze.  Each question had two answers to choose from.  Depending on how you answered the question you would go either right or left.  If you were correct, it lead you in the right direction.  If you guessed the wrong answer, you eventually came to a dead end.

We were lucky to have beautiful weather.  It was the most perfect crisp clear, fall day.  We love that we live in a community that values local farms and local produce and deeply believes in supporting our area businesses.  It makes being a primal eater fun and easy.  Thank you for your commitment to your blog and for the challenge.  We were so glad we took on the challenge and had such a great time at the picnic.  We had so much fun that if we win the cow, we’re donating it for a big Bar-B-Que for the whole gym to enjoy.

The Feast

  • fruit tossed with a coconut milk dressing
  • roasted brussel sprouts with carrots
  • roasted butternut squash
  • pork bar-b-que
  • crustless quiche
  • chimichurri
  • iron steak with green beans
  • raw zucchini in a walnut-pesto dressing
  • deviled eggs
  • pork chops and apple sauce
  • bratwurst in sauerkraut
  • and more!

Recipe: Creamed Bratwurst

  • 6 fully cooked bratwurst links
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour (not primal, but even MDA says some flour for thickening is hardly avoidable for some recipes)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. chicken broth
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1 med. green pepper, seeded and sliced in rings

In large skillet, brown bratwurst in hot oil, about 5 minutes; remove from pan and set aside. To drippings in skillet, add onion and dry mustard. Cook and stir until onion is tender but not brown, about 5 minutes; stir in flour and salt.

Add chicken broth and milk all at once; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add bratwurst and green pepper to sauce. Cover and cook 5 minutes more. Makes 6 servings.

The Tribe

Sara Kate Eubanks, Heather Anderson, Jon-Paul Brown, Jessica Tonner-Mintier, Brian Mintier, Michael Tonner-Mintier, Patricia Tonner-Mintier, Meghan Tonner-Mintier, Carly Albee, Eric Albee, Katie Neary, Mike Neary, Olivia Neary, Natalie Neary, Christine Levick, Mark Levick, Izzy Levick, Tucker Levick, Mary Lynn English, George Osmun, Randy Kite, Emily Kite, James Kite, Jacob Kite, Amy Hurleston, Jamie Hurleston, Matt Baldwin, Yael Baldwin, Lena Baldwin, JZ Baldwin, Aidan Hoyal, Rex Fesperman, Ethan Fesperman

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26 Comments on "Grokfeast in Fairview, North Carolina"

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Ryan
Ryan
5 years 11 months ago

All looks great! Well done

Peggy
Peggy
5 years 11 months ago

“pork chops & applesauce”
always makes me think of the Brady Bunch 🙂

Jon-Paul Brown
Jon-Paul Brown
5 years 11 months ago

That was my dish. Every time I say it, I say it like the Brady Bunch: “Pork chops and apple shosh.”

Kris
Kris
5 years 11 months ago

Love the idea of doing this at a farm. Like you said, it’s pretty important to know how your meat was raised and treated from birth to death, and being connected to it that way.

Larry
Larry
5 years 11 months ago

“Grok pet bees…OUCH!…Grok NO pet bees!”

Julie
Julie
5 years 11 months ago

Yum! That food line-up makes me drool!

Helen
Helen
5 years 11 months ago

Looks like a wonderful and relaxing day, food sounds great.

Ashley
5 years 11 months ago

This looks so delicious. SO DELICIOUS

noah216
noah216
5 years 11 months ago

I love cream, and I love brats. Yet Ive never had creamed brats…

Ryan
Ryan
5 years 11 months ago

The picture of the spread on the table makes me think of a family reunion. But it’s even better because I could actually eat all of it!

John
John
5 years 11 months ago

So…. just how many almonds were in that jar?

And the winning guess?

Funkadelic Flash
Funkadelic Flash
5 years 11 months ago

This looked like a fairly might grokfeast! I’m not sure how well the cow will split down that far. 😉

christie
christie
5 years 11 months ago

Corn Maze was a great idea.

Whitney
5 years 11 months ago

yummmm…brussel sprouts…

Fatkid
5 years 11 months ago

That’s one heck of a feast

Matt Baldwin
5 years 11 months ago

It was a lovely day! Add to the narrative: one of our owner/coaches, Randy Kite, made it out for some primal relaxation during his R&R from Nat Guard duty in Iraq. We love you Randy!

Randy
5 years 11 months ago

It was an awesome day Matt.
See you soon.

Mark
Mark
5 years 11 months ago

You Play, I Play, Grok Plays.

Audry
Audry
5 years 11 months ago

mmm, I think I’m going to have to try that bratwurst. I have to say, I LOVE all the recipe ideas that I’ve gotten out of this 30-day challenge 😀

Randy
5 years 11 months ago

WNC was very well represented in this. It’s good to see that people get it and are making positive changes.

Good Luck Guys,
I love and miss you.

Cindy Hanna
5 years 11 months ago

What time is dinner? HA! Amazing menu.

gilliebean
5 years 11 months ago

I love that you allowed the day to unfold naturally! Very Grok-like!! 🙂

carol
carol
5 years 11 months ago

I will be making some of your dishes! SLURP!

mike
mike
5 years 11 months ago

i second the “yum brussel sprouts”

Sharon
Sharon
5 years 11 months ago

A primal party in the modern world. Loved how it was all arranged using technology. Grok would be jealous.

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