Rabun County Farm to Table Capital of Georgia

Rabun County Farm to Table Capital of Georgia: On August 27, 2014 The Rabun County Board of Commissioners  voted in favor of a declaration naming Rabun County as the Farm to Table Capital of Georgia.

Rabun County Farm to Table Capital of Georgia

Proclamation by Rabun County Commission to Designate Rabun County as the

 “Farm to Table Capital of Georgia”

Recommended by the Rabun County Tourism Development Authority 

In an effort to foster community pride, celebrate regional farming, and to create further demand for the region as a culinary tourism destination, we hereby urge that Rabun County Board of Commissioners  lay claim to being “Georgia’s Farm-to-Table Capital. ”

Rabun County is positioned to claim this identity because no region in Georgia is more perfectly located amid such a diverse variety of high-quality farms, mills, dairies, ranches and vineyards.

This recognition as Georgia’s Farm-to-Table Capital isn’t something that this region needs to grow into because we’ve been walking this walk for decades. It is part of who we are and this is our opportunity to embrace that identity, celebrate it locally, and champion it to the rest of the state and the country.

Rabun County has long been known for farm fresh bounty.  As early as 1917 the traveling public flocked to the Dillard House to dine on just-picked produce from Carrie and Arthur Dillard’s gardens. In 1922 Lura Buchholz opened Beechwood Inn as a Summer House, feeding her guests fresh farm products. We found an old ad from 1931 and it stated that “the inn had all the modern conveniences: fresh vegetables from our garden, fresh milk from our dairy, chickens and eggs daily from our poultry yard, and the most appetizing things to eat on the market.”

Today we have more restaurants, more award winning chefs, and more markets offering fresh and local products than anywhere else in Georgia.  Local restaurants utilize the abundance of regionally-grown products to create a Farm-to-Table freshness that’s unparalleled in this in the state.  While many farms ship their products across the country — a process that can take days — local restaurants can pick up fresh product in the morning and serve it to patrons for lunch and dinner.

Our County offers, amongst many others, blueberries from Tiger Mountain Orchard, summer produce from Osage Farms, fresh fish from Andy’s Trout Farm, wine from Tiger Mountain Vineyards, Pork from O-Hana Farm, honey from Blue Ridge Honey Company, syrups from Hillside Orchards Farm, beef from Blalock Meat, and Grits from Barker’s Creek Mill. There is no other place in the State that grows and distributes the diversity of foods, wine and value added products for consumers and chefs than the North Georgia Mountain Region does.

There are other regions like the Central Valley of California that produce far more farm products than Rabun County. The thing is, virtually all the food grown there is exported from the region and immediately, sold into national markets or overseas. In California, as almost everywhere with huge farms, the existing agricultural economy is geared toward large volumes, big distances and national markets, and for supermarket managers who depend on a steady, high-volume supply system, working with local farmers can be a clumsy and labor-intensive process of person-to-person communications that hampers business as usual.

We know that much of the food and other products produced in Rabun County stays here.  At Fortify Kitchen and Bar, at Lake Rabun Hotel, at the Farmhouse at Persimmon a surprise visitor shows up at the back door. The chef interrupts his food preparation to meet the farmer, who steps out of an old pickup truck, dust caked under its windshield wipers. The back is drawn open, and several boxes of fresh produce are unloaded. The two make a quick exchange, pens scribble in spiral notebooks, and they shake hands. The farmer goes on his way. These direct exchanges are how a great deal of locally grown produce reaches any given product oriented restaurant, but they aren’t a very efficient means of delivery. This system works in our farm to table community.

We think the commitment and variety of our local food producers, the pride of many of our local chefs in seeking out local products, and the growing importance of our county as a culinary destination makes it perfect for designation as the “Farm to Table Capital of Georgia.”

We here-by recommend that the Rabun County Commission proclaim Rabun County as the “Farm to Table Capital of Georgia.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rabun County Tourism Development Authority Inn

Contact Teka Earnhardt (706) 982-4754

Press release – August 27, 2014

 

Rabun County Board of Commissioners Proclaims Rabun County as “Farm to Table capital of Georgia”

Clayton, Georgia August 27, 2014: The Tourism Development Authority (TDA) of Rabun County announces that at its August 26th meeting the Rabun County Board of Commission adopted a resolution designating Rabun County as the “Farm to Table capital of Georgia.”

In its resolution supporting the proclamation the Commission recognized that “Rabun County is positioned to claim this identity because no region in Georgia is more perfectly located amid such a diversity and variety of high-quality farms, mills, dairies, ranches and vineyards. In addition, the county has more restaurants, more award winning chefs, schools, and the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia that are committed to utilize the abundance of regionally-grown products to create a Farm-to-Table freshness that’s unparalleled in the state.”

Gayle Darugh, the member of the TDA who initiated this designation said the recognition as Georgia’s Farm-to-Table Capital isn’t something that this region needs to grow into because we’ve been walking this walk for decades. It is part of who we are and this is our opportunity to embrace that identity, celebrate it locally, and champion it to the rest of the state and the country. Rabun County has long been known for farm fresh bounty.  As early as 1917 the traveling public flocked to the Dillard House to dine on just-picked produce from Carrie and Arthur Dillard’s gardens. In 1922 Lura Buchholz opened Beechwood Inn as a Summer House, feeding her guests fresh farm products. We found an old ad from 1931 and it stated that “the inn had all the modern conveniences: fresh vegetables from our garden, fresh milk from our dairy, chickens and eggs daily from our poultry yard, and the most appetizing things to eat on the market.”

Neal Davies, Vice Chair of the TDA added Agri-tourism and culinary tourism make two of the largest economic contributions to the county, cities and communities in Rabun County. There is no other place in the State that grows and distributes the diversity of foods, wine and value added products for consumers and chefs than the North Georgia Mountain Region does. In addition, we know that much of the food and other products produced in Rabun County stays right here. We think the commitment and variety of our local food producers, the pride of many of our local chefs in seeking out local products, and the growing importance of our county as a culinary destination makes it perfect for designation as the “Farm to Table Capital of Georgia.”

To learn more about Rabun County’s farms, farmers, Restaurants, Chefs, wineries, food producers and value added products please visit the Rabun County TDA’s website at www.explorereabun.com

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Rabun County Tourism Development Authority Inn

Rabun County Farm to Table Capital of Georgia