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New Leaf Market’s 3rd Annual Farm Tour Day 1: Honey Bees, Alpacas and Cattle

October 23, 2010

Tupelo's Bakery and Cafe

New Leaf Market’s 3rd Annual Farm Tour kicked off this morning.  Becks and I were excited about taking Mason out to see the animals and once we were reasonably awake packed up the kids, picked up Charlotte and began our adventure. Our first stop was at Tupelo’s Bakery & Cafe for some breakfast. Inside Kim and the recently absent Clair were manning the counter. Becks and I each got a breakfast bread while Mason played in the kids room.

Full Moon Apiary recently opened up a store inside Tupelo’s and they had a sleeve of bees in a glass case. I was able to distract Mason long enough from the toys and he watched as the little bees moved around on the comb making honey.  It was very cool being able to see them up close without the threat of being stung.  He went back to play with the “choo-choos” while I browsed the honey. They had several selections available to buy and I ended up getting a large container of Tupelo honey.  It is a very special honey that people in the Panhandle of Florida take pride in producing, and I was very happy to be able to get some that was made by our local bees.

Mason and Meme in the pecan grove

Our next stop was at Green Industries on U.S. 90.  I think we got there a little early because there was not much going on when we arrived.  However, Mason did enjoy feeding a Jerusalem donkey and petting a dog that was being used to market organic pet food. Since we were on the easter side of the county we decided our next stop would be Monticello Vineyards & Winery.  I think it is so cool we have a local winery and while Mason wandered the vineyard Becks and I sampled the wine.  I picked up a bottle of their Magnolia semi-sweet while Mason played with a little girl he met.

Lunch time was quickly approaching, so we grabbed Mason a snack and drove north on U.S. 19 to Alpacas Pure & Simple Farm.  They had a bunch of alpacas in fields surrounding their house and Mason was enthralled watching them eat, chase one another and get into little fights.  Several of them were for sale ($1,000 and up), but I could not convince Becks to buy one despite noting I would not have to cut the grass anymore.

Mason's new friend at the winery

For lunch we stopped in at Boston BBQ in Boston, Georgia.  It was an absolute dumpster fire as Mason showed his butt. In all fairness to our little man he was exhausted from not taking a nap. He would not sit still, wanted to scream in the restaurant, and made sure that everyone within a two-block radius knew he was unhappy.  We ended up having to eat our meal sequestered from the rest of the patrons on the front porch.

Mason dozed off for a little while on the ride out of Boston and we decided to stop in at Sweetgrass Dairy’s new store in Thomasville.  They occupy the space fromerly known as Fireballs and have done a great job transforming it into a modern space in which to sell their cheeses, wines and various cured meats. Becks and I sampled some cheeses and picked up some to take with us back home.  We also got some cured olives and salami.

Two Alpacas saying hello to one another

The last stop of the day was at KBH Farms, Inc. in Thomasville, Georgia.  They produce grass-fed beef and we were able to tour they property on a hay ride and get a look at some of their cattle.  Mason enjoyed following who I presume was the owner’s grandson around.  This little boy later tried to pee “behind” a tree in front of 20 people. It was funny watching his dad race over to him as the little guy tried to squirm away.  Before calling it a day I picked up a pound of their grass-fed ground beef.

We had a really fun day and the kids (except for lunch) were well-behaved.  When we got home Becks and I sampled some of our finds.  I never knew we had so many good things growing/being produced locally in and around Jefferson County! I am happy that we live in the country near these artisans and cannot wait to explore more local farms next year!

Locally grown/made wine, honey, cheese, and beef!

 

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