The culinary experience continues to make unique communities a magnetic attraction for curious travelers. It’s no wonder the Georgia Legislature declared Rabun County the Farm to Table Capital of Georgia in 2015.
Today Rabun County enjoys award winning wineries such as Stonewall Creek Vineyards stonewallcreek.com, Georgia’s Regent’s Award winner as the number one wine from Georgia-grown grapes in 2017. Nearby Tiger Mountain Vineyards tigermountainvineyard.com won the same award for 2016. Two new distilleries, R.M. Rose rmroseco.com and Moonrise Distillery moonrisedistillery.com, not only continue the time-honored and now legal manufacturer of “moonshine” but are also introducing new moonshine flavors and smooth small batch rye whiskies and bourbons which reflect local terroir.
Farmer’s Markets abound with more than 50 small farmers and producers contributing to the Saturday morning Clayton Farmer’s Market simplyhomegrownga.com with goat cheese, wild crafted herbs and mushrooms, fresh eggs, artisanal breads, honeys, preserves and fresh seasonal produce. Osage Market osagefarm.com is open seven days a week, April through October, and the interest of visitors is obvious via the array of out of county and out of state license plates.
The array of restaurant offerings continues to grow each season. Jamie Allred, chef-owner of Fortify Kitchen and Bar and Fortify Pi fortifyclayton.com, brings his family recipes to new heights through his association with local farmers. On Wednesdays during the season the dinner menu features a specific offering from a local farm with the farmer present to inform and answer questions from diners. Lake Rabun Hotel lakerabunhotel.com, features a similar presentation known as Featured Farmer Thursdays during the growing season. A visit to the Farm House at Persimmon thefarmhouseatpersimmoncreek.com, in beautiful Persimmon Creek Valley offers the passionate renderings of Chef Vincent Scafitti.
Visitors interested in cooking classes have varied choices. Beechwood Inn Bed and Breakfast beechwoodinn.ws, in Clayton, GA offers custom hands-on classes tailored to the participants. The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia foodbanknega.org has an amazing teaching kitchen offering everything from food preservation, Farm to Table Wine Dinners, and a variety of classes on healthy eating for kids. The Farmhouse at Persimmon also offers cooking demonstrations.
Foodies will love the Grow Cook Eat farm-to-table tours offered once a month from April through October by the Tourism Development Authority explorerabun.com. Participants will be shuttled to farms, restaurants, vineyards or distilleries, and an agri-tourism business. Schedules are posted on the website.
If you have ever considered moving to the country and trying your hand at growing your own produce, or actually producing on a larger scale, try out a weekend educational Camp at Timpson Creek Farms. Timpson Creek Farm is a Certified Organic vegetable, fruit, herb, and flower operation. Director Darby Weaver will whet your appetite with hands-on planting and growing, help you decide your best potential for your situation, and encourage you to gather with other wannabe independent growers while feeding you a feast of the freshest organic produce you can imagine, timpsoncreekfarm.com.
With so many facets for approaching fresh farm to table delights, it is no wonder Rabun County is The Farm to Table Capital of Georgia.