local flavor: Babe and Sage Farm Dinner

Last night, three neighbors and I made a trip to Gordon, Georgia, just a short drive from Macon.  We drove down a dirt road into a grassy, makeshift parking lot and happened upon this special place:

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Babe and Sage Farm is run by young farmers Chelsea Losh and Bobby Jones, two Georgia College graduates who are caretakers of the land and farm on the property.  I first heard about Babe and Sage Farm at Macon’s Mulberry Street Market, and our CSA The Dirt Farmers (now taking new customers!) uses some of their bounty to complete CSA deliveries.  Babe and Sage’s salad mix, for instance, is my absolute favorite thing we get in the box each week.

But how did we get here, and why, you ask?  My sweet neighbor, Erin Lake, asked me to join her along with neighbors Robert and Dina Deason to a farm dinner at Babe and Sage Farm.  She shared the menu with me, and I knew that I had to go!  For five courses of farm fresh food, I thought that the $35 ticket price was a steal, so I’m sharing the knowledge with you, dear readers, so you can have a great experience like I did.

Now, before I get into the story, here are the basic details: Look up Babe and Sage on Facebook and like their page so you’ll receive their updates.  The next time they do a farm dinner, immediately call all of your friends and order tickets!  They capped this dinner at 40 people, so make sure to get tickets early.  The dinner takes place on their beautiful wrap-around porch on their farmhouse.  The dinner is BYOB, so bring wine to share.

Anyway, back to the story.  So once we found the farm and checked in, we saw the wondrous wrap-around porch, put down our things, and had ourselves a pre-dinner cocktail.  Here’s my lovely group:

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After the farmers and farmhands welcomed us to the dinner, they invited us inside the house for the first course: balsamic strawberries wrapped in bacon.

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I had previously had bacon-wrapped dates and prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe, but never bacon-wrapped strawberries.  I will definitely be trying to recreate those in our kitchen!  The farmhouse was built in the mid-1800s and was cozy and welcoming.  We could even see the chef of the evening, Jesse Crago, prepping the main course in the kitchen.  Next we took our seats on the porch.  The simple tables were craftily appointed with burlap, antique candlesticks, and the obligatory mason jars.

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The family-style seating facilitated delightful discussion about local food, food history, and dietary differences in Southern subcultures.  Pretty fascinating perspectives, for sure.  Next was the salad course: B+S salad greens with slivers of red onion, pecans, and a honey-kombucha vinaigrette:

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The next course was so simple, yet so complex at the same time.  The ginger, carrot, and thyme soup was perfectly accompanied by some cracked wheat bread that helped me sop up all of the farm fresh goodness.

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I was already getting a little full, but I knew that I had to rally and get ready for the main course: pickle-brined chicken with kohlrabi slaw, mashed cauliflower, and sauteed kale.  Each of the four corners of this plate had something to offer that was both indulgent and healthy.

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Whew!  What a feast.  The chicken was raised in Sparta, GA, and the veggies on the plate were all cultivated mere footsteps from our table.  Our table chatted about the social and cultural breakdown of the different members of the greens family: turnip, mustard, collard, kale, and all of the rest, leading into an interested conversation about the differences between southern food and soul food.  Since all of us were certainly in need of some movement after all of that delicious food, we were all pleased to be invited to tour the farm property.  We started with a little bit of history of the farm and farm house from Bobby:

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Then we walked around the grounds and took in the beautiful scenery.

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After the tour, we headed back to the porch that was now much darker since the sun had gone down.

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Waiting for me at my place setting was a sumptuous blueberry bread pudding.  It’s difficult to see by the candlelight, but it was everything summer should be: humid, heavy air on a porch with a warm bowl of dessert among friends.

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After saying our thank yous and goodbyes, we trudged through the dewy grass back to our car and raved about our experience on the way back to Macon.  I was so impressed by the farm, farmers, and food, and I can’t wait to go back.  I hope you’ll join me!

 

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