About 90 minutes north of Atlanta is Rabun county, home of a beautiful waterfall mountain area namely Amicalola Falls. If you’re passionate about the farm-to-table movement Rabun County Georgia is the place you want to spend some time or at the very least, enjoy some meals. Rabun County, the farm-to-table capital of Georgia, has put together a series of Grow, Cook and Eat farm tours where you can experience and meet the farmers and local artisans up close and personally.
Timpson Creek Farm is a relatively young farm of 45 acres. Their mission is to practice sustainable and ecological methods for all their farming land. This includes soil balancing cover crops and perennials such as berries. This type of plant has deep, extensive root systems which can hold soil to prevent erosion, capture dissolved nitrogen before it can contaminate ground and surface water, and out-compete weeds (reducing the need for herbicides). They supply not only to local farmers markets and restaurants but larger buyers like PeachDish which ships fresh nutrient focused dishes around the country. See more info at http://timpsoncreekfarm.com/
Timpson Creek Gallery is just across the road from Timpson Creek Farm and is not to be missed, especially if you’re a lover of woodworking and paintings. Dwayne Thompson is spectacularly talented as a master craftsman. Behind the main retail shop you will see a two story Art Lab. A beautiful space where you can find accomplished painter, Libby Matthews exploring a new style of painting: abstract. She offers hands on classes as well as spends time solo going down this new exciting style of painting. The view of the property from inside the lab alone is inspiring enough but Libby being there with you makes it all the more magical. www.timpsoncreek.com
The Farmhouse at Persimmon Creek is an incredibly charming and exclusive fine dining experience in Rabun County. Chef and musician Vince Scafitti creates meals Thursday-Saturday in this 50 seat charming cottage on the former vineyard property of Persimmon Creek. Egg hens, herbs and vegetables grow on the property and Vince writes a new menu each week based on what is available. Sunday brunch is once a month and special unplugged nights happen with bands Vince invites to entertain dinner guests while he rocks the kitchen. This picturesque property is lush and green with rolling hills. It is perfect for both intimate dinners and weddings. Don’t expect to get in without advance reservations. Vince served us a lovely tomato peach salad with fresh thai basil from the garden while he sat and shared his history with the property as well as vision for the future.
If you love lamb Wolffork Valley farm is the farm to see. Owners Bill & Daphne Lisenby raise a small herd of these animals on their beautiful log home estate land. Sharing the property with the sheep are egg hens that Bill collects and sells at local farmer’s markets. These are some happy animals! Also on the property is a weekend log cabin for rent on Airbnb that offers the same farm and Georgia mountain view as the mainhouse. This gracious couple is so endearing I can’t imagine a better way to spend a weekend than in a vacation rental next to them! Daphne is a talented cook and artist painting landscapes on the veranda. We were treated to lamb balls and egg salad among other things and the flavor of their lamb is mild and sweet. You can see it featured on local restuarant fine dining menus.
No Rabun County tour would be complete without seeing some moonshine being made. Rabun county in the moonshine capital of Georgia. Moonnrise distillery was originally making just rye whiskey and bourbon but the demand for actual moonshine added one more type of distilling to the mix! Owner Jim Henry is a formally educated chemist and turned that education into some darn good Bourbon and Rye whiskey. Bottled under his grandfather’s name, James Henry, you can find it in stores as small batch spirits. The mash is made onsite and after distilling and filtering it is put into barrels and aged onsite as well. These small batch aged barrels are then hand bottled for sale.
Waste not want not here, after the mash has given its all the spent grain is donated to local farms for livestock feed. There is a tasting room on the property and tours are available during normal business hours during the week and by appointment on Saturdays.
All the tours start and finish at the North Georgia Food Bank and you get to experience the teaching kitchen at the bank. This food bank isn’t just providing food to the community but perhaps more importantly, they are providing education to improve lives. This beautifully equipped large teaching space allows the non-profit to host and teach the community about a variety of home cooking practices to better education attendees on the importance of nutrition. It has a calendar full of events from a chef’s series, basic kitchens kills, ingredient-centric cooking, and so much more. The options are endless in the farm to table capital of Georgia!
Check out their facebook page to see more and a calendar of classes
To experience one of these uniquely delicious tours click http://explorerabun.com/farm-food-tours/