For the past year, many residents and visitors of Northeast Georgia alike have had the great privilege to dine at Harvest Habersham in Clarkesville, GA, and experience Chef Chris Bolton’s unique take on fresh and local products. Sunday, July 19th, marked the restaurant’s one-year anniversary of serving farm to table dishes to this region, and they could not have had stronger support. 140 guests joined Laura Farrelly, Chris Bolton and staff to celebrate their success thus far and share excitement about what the future holds for the Harvest Habersham team and Northeast Georgia community.
The vision for Harvest Habersham was to create a farm-to-table restaurant that featured local farms and their products and made dishes that highlighted the unique qualities of each ingredient. Since their inception, they have come a long way. When you walk into the restaurant, they have the state of Georgia starred with all of the farms they source from within the state and neighboring states. The farms marked have increased to what now indicates relationships with about 40 farmers! Not only that, but their clientele has increased, so more members of the community are seeing the economic, health, and taste benefits of using local products.
Farrelly and Bolton have also been involved with the Habersham County Farm to School program as it is “at the heart of what they believe in.” They want to serve delicious, nutritious food to customers and want to help teach children and their families how to eat wholesome food in an exciting way. There is a lot that can build between people and their communities when they cook together and enjoy the natural flavors of the ingredients they use.
Although a lot of progress has been made, Harvest Habersham’s greatest hurdle aligns with what is happening in the community and even school cafeterias – local food grown on small farms costs more. This is a challenge many people are trying to work through, and Farrelly believes that it is possible to reach a balance between fresh, local ingredients and price by increasing demand so farmers can produce more at a lesser cost. Harvest Habersham is surely increasing the demand for local products and adding momentum to the current food movement. It represents all of our best hopes for promoting strong communities and healthy practices.