This week it is only appropriate that we write about our beloved Boucherie, the peerless party we’ve crafted over 6 years in the hills of north Mississippi.
From an inside perspective, the Boucherie is a culminating annual event for HPP. Though it’s in August, it feels like a year end ordeal. Couched in the middle of our slowest (and hottest) season, the party is always a reference point for what we’ve accomplished in the last year and where we hope to be by the next one.
The Boucherie is special not only because it's an awesome idea: blending chefs, hill country music, and local craftsmen/ artists on a hog farm for a weekend, but also because it is a reflection of the personalities, passions, relationships, and creativity of our staff.
Alison and John Jordan, while maintaining their normal responsibilities for Home Place, work tirelessly each year to line up the vendors, chefs, sponsors, bar tenders, bands, art work, merchandise, schedule, and layout of this ambitious event. Each piece of the puzzle is thoughtfully put together to create a weekend that really shows off some of the best in the South.
To me, the Boucherie is fulfilling for many reasons.
1) It affirms that you can throw one hell of a party using resources right here in our community: the musicians, chefs, food, booze, and other businesses involved are all local or regional. It’s a testament to the cultural richness and diversity of our community, and a chance to celebrate and take pride in this richness.
2) It reaffirms that we, as Home Place Pastures, are farming in a way that is important and engaging to others, and that all the celebration and participation stems from the way we manage our land to produce food.
3) it is so gratifying to have guests constantly approach us and gush over the event, how its the best weekend of the year, how they thought we were insane for doing it in August, but now wouldn’t miss it for the world, how they met their spouse at last years event, how they look forward to it all year.
Our normal day to day never involves this constant stream of friendly and genuine appreciation. The meat world rarely provides such an outpouring. After last year’s event, I received a letter from Kathy Stubblefield, a family friend and the mother of our former farm manager, Andy Stubblefield, which I keep on the wall behind my desk
“All the hard work of everyday showed at the Boucherie. There was just a touch of specialness, greatness in the air- in the drinks, in the setting, in the people, in the food! It was a wonderful night!”
For these reasons, it is particularly tragic that we can’t throw this party in 2020. More than ever, we need a reason to get together and celebrate, collectively enjoying our community’s food and music history.
Despite the fact that we cannot get together this year, we are paying homage to the Boucherie with a look back and a look forward. Getting through COVID will be a feat of sheer will for many businesses, and we want to help by showing off the ones that work with us year to year on the Boucherie. So stay tuned for our Home Place Boucherie buyers guide to all things local. You’ll be able to shop a few deals and read about the interesting companies that are working their tails off to weather the storm.
We will release more stories and info on the staff members, vendors, sponsors, artists, and chefs that make this special event possible, and how you can support them during covid. Though we are missing the crackling energy and excitement on the farm leading up to this epic party, we set our hopes on brighter times to come. The Boucherie will return, better than ever. In the meantime, the Home Place and all the other businesses that collectively create this event need support!
Cheers from afar, for now,