The farms around TSOP are known to deliver fresh homegrown produce to local restaurants in the area. These farms are associated with CSA so you get to know the farmers, their land, and their crops. There is this side of me that longs to be an expert organic, green thumb guru tilling the raised beds expecting a harvest. I know it is not as easy as it looks, especially at This Side of Paris where the climate does not allow for a long growing season. Growing up in the South in early spring, I remember my dad, would till the ground in preparation for the vegetable garden. He knew exactly what he wanted to plant. My siblings and I, on the other hand knew what would become of it — a playground for us to meander through the tunnel of green beans and bitter cucumbers. The “Big Boy” tomatoes were often picked before they could show off their size as part of the produce market game my brother and sister enjoyed playing.
We know we plan to enjoy cooking locally grown produce brought to us by our local farmers in the area. Much of their produce is sourced by local restaurants. However, if we decide to take a break from our ground work, we love supporting our local restaurants that source through local farmers.
Against the Grain is a certified biodynamic and organic produce grower not far from TSOP. Their modern approach to farming is helping their company expand their business to meet the demands for cleaner food consumption. They partner with one of our favorite restaurants in town. F.A.R.M cafe is a non-profit restaurant on W. King Street. It has a unique concept of dishing out high quality and delicious meals for lunch regardless of means. They stand by their motto, “pay what you can” and get a quality meal that is farm to table from local farmers in town. North Fork Farms is another small family farm serving pasture-raised high quality meat products without added hormones or antibiotics. They are a known meat provider to several local restaurants in the area such as Proper Restaurant— Boone’s local proper southern diner with all the fixins’.
For now, we are busy cultivating the flower beds for a bountiful perennial showcase of colors come middle of June. Finding the right plants to grow is half the battle. Thankfully, the soil at TSOP is extraordinary rich. We are borrowing gardening concepts from Paul Gautschi, founder of Back to Eden Gardening. The earth’s natural process of mulching the ground leaves for a very dark soil, rich in nutrients. This black gold makes the variety of ferns, hostas, wild irises, wild lilies, roses, and hydrangeas on the property to thrive. The property is a natural nursery for Cinnamon ferns, Ostrich ferns, Royal ferns, and Licorice ferns. Finding these all around the property, we have gathered enough variety for replanting in our redesigned garden beds. Along with the flowering plants, the variety of hostas, and the “Endless Bloom” hydrangeas propagated from our original plant back home will bring in the splash of colors and a source of flower cuttings all summer long.
We have also added large colorful terra-cotta pots around the gardens for added interest and an all year round pop of color. Most of what have planted at TSOP are perennials. With the warmer temperatures lately, I get excited to see little buds starting to pop up from the ground - weeds included. I discovered that pure vinegar works just as well to weeds as Roundup without the harsh chemicals, plus it is a fraction of the cost.
1. Terracotta pots in blue and white 2. David bust planter 3. Gardening stool 4. All in one bulb planter 5. All weather boots 6. Toile rain boots.
Our House of Fashion board has my best pick for garden essentials. Blue and white remains a forever classic color scheme for both indoor and outdoor decor. You must really see the colorful pots and gardens at TSOP. Our Airbnb, “Go on a Wine Tour at This Side of Paris” listing gets plenty of views, so don’t waste “thyme” but plan to come see us on the mountain side.
With a brand new year comes a brand new list of adventures. Bucket listing seems to be the thing these days. With Spring around the corner, there is this eagerness to press the “reset” button and start that bucket list. We managed to cross off the “redo the kitchen” from our list. It seemed like there were a lot of hurdles to overcome, and having no access to running water made us more determined to carefully think through our construction process and timeline to get a functioning Parisian kitchen. Nothing says Ooh, la, la, better than navy cabinets with modern brushed gold pulls and a large dose of white slab marble backsplash. I posted the before-and-after photos on our La Cuisine blog. Any pastry chef who accompanies us on a weekend getaway will be tempted to whip up the words bon appétit’.
Not only have we been hard at work giving this tired cabin a new lease on life, but we have also managed to pause and smell the mountain air and travel the beaten path. At This Side of Paris, we’ve discovered local gems in the area that we thought to be the perfect way to enhance your experience next time you find yourself here in the High Country.
Although there is a lot to get done this year from our bucket list of renovation projects, we are privileged to be able to work among the beautiful surrounding areas of the North Carolina Appalachians. We want the essence of 2019 to be celebrated all year long here at TSOP!
The places you will go in Boone, Banner Elk, Blowing Rock will carve a memorable profile as profound as Grandfather Mountain. A scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway never fails to make the elements of your experience shine brighter than Gustave Eiffel’s tower. Whether you are traveling as a family, exploring as a single, or adventuring as a couple, exploring this side of Western North Carolina will leave you with beautiful lasting memories.
Whether it be the enchanting atmosphere of Vidalia Restaurant, or gazing the twinkling stars at night on Grandfather Mountain, it is our desire that the places you will go this year are of some of the sweetest experiences yet! if the natural elements surrounding the property at TSOP don’t sweep you off your feet, then perhaps Sky Valley Zip Tours will whisk you away with fleeting zip lines that will take you on the ride of your life! They offer all kinds of adventures ranging from single riders to tours for the whole family.
This year we are ready to let go of the old that no longer serves us joy, and welcome with open arms the new that comes with the year; what better way to “let go” of the old and ride through 2019 than 140 acres of canopy tour fun? If being up in the air is not your style, then you may enjoy staying down to earth, and letting your inner Daniel Boone guide you down the paths of Grandfather Mountain for some modern day pioneering. Don’t feel bad if you end up doing more exploration at the King Street Creamery than on the trails.
Finding the right outfit to wear while traveling in style should not be a guessing game. We have put together a collection from our House of Fashion to inspire you.
Solo Wanderer || Two Peas In A Pod || Family Pack
If complete solitude from the world makes you want to travel solo, these places will keep you company. For the two peas in a pod travelers, these places will keep you tethered. For those that travel in a pack, there is a place for everyone.
Regardless of where 2019 goes, make sure that the places you will go are the ones that will make you say….. la joie de vivre. We like to think that the joy of living is a handpicked panel of places and activities that reveal the rustic glam essence of This Side of Paris throughout Boone, NC - each in their own unique way.