Off the Beaten Path: The Tater Patch
Never has the category "Off the Beaten Path" been more appropriate. The Tater Patch in Ellijay, GA is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Make your way down a winding gravel road that is heavily wooded and you'll be rewarded with serene sites and fresh produce. And maybe even historical "artifacts" that will surprise you.
Our blog is called Sugar Hill Serendipity because we're A) from Sugar Hill, GA and B) we had a grandmother who used the word Serendipity to describe lovely things that happen without expecting or trying for it. Serendipity is a nice word to describe our weekend exploring. We go out for a long drive and find something worth returning to or sharing. This is how we stumbled upon The Tater Patch. A long weekend mountain drive, a few turns here and there, then taking a chance on a roadside sign for fresh produce. We've since been back three times. The produce is grown in rich riverbed soil making it delicious, the scenery is pristine, and the owners are as friendly as they come.
Drive down a gravel road that may seem only slightly perilous and you'll emerge to this beautiful scenery. The Tater Patch is a farm that has only been open to the public for around a year. Head to the Produce Barn and get some fresh seasonal fruits and veggies. At the Produce Barn you will see "farm dogs" that lazily sit at the feet of old men in rocking chairs. Seriously, this isn't from a novel set in historical Appalachia or a kitschy TV series about life in the country. This place isn't trying to play into any sort of stereotype, it's just good ol' fashioned farming (and maybe some other stuff going on, but we'll get to that).
Seasonal fruits and veggies abound. Earlier in the summer we got some cantaloupe that was the sweetest we've ever tried. Early fall brings tomatoes, sweet potatoes, okra, green beans, and our personal favorite, incredibly massive but amazingly delicious garlic.
Would you look at how massive those things are? But boy are they great to cook with. Dice up half a bulb, put it in some extra virgin olive oil with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve with a fresh baguette. Your dinner will be transformed. It's amazing how fresh produce can elevate a meal. As expected, they also have fresh jams and butters. We grabbed some apple butter for the approaching fall season. Yep, it's pretty amazing.
After you've picked up your goodies from the Produce Barn and chatted with the owners, head down to the river where they have places to sit and enjoy the cool mountain air. There's a playground and refurbished bathrooms so you can enjoy some family time.
Our bet is the Tater Patch will be the new go-to place for fall. They'll have hay rides (I'm sure the tractor will be pulling the cart with seats pictured below) and a corn maze, so take advantage of the beautiful North Georgia fall weather and schedule a weekend to go up there.
The Tater Patch seems to be a pretty interesting place, right? Beautiful sights, fresh produce, friendly people...a place to enjoy for the whole family. So why did they just open to the public last year? Was it just a simple farm and they wanted other people to enjoy it?
Tough to say, but when we explored a bit "off the beaten path" we found remnants of a bygone era.
When we stumbled upon this old moonshine distillery we got an idea about what might have been going on with any excess corn crops. When we asked the old men in the rocking chairs about it, there was a hint of a smile and "I haven't been down there, not sure what you're talking about" as a response. A joking response, sort of. Everywhere has an interesting backstory. We imagine The Tater Patch's story is particularly colorful.