A few months back one of my friends asked me to be on the lookout for interesting and cheap things to do together this summer. Somehow – I don’t even remember now – I found out about the 6th Annual Heirloom Tomato Festival at Glen-Ella Springs in Clarksville, Georgia.
Glen Ella is a quaint little 16-room bed & breakfast not too far from where I grew up in Toccoa. It first became an inn back in the late 1800’s, and the structure as it is today is more than 100 years old. While I’ve never stayed there, I’ve been for dinner several times, and it is delicious. Last Christmas, in fact, my parents gave me and my husband a gift certificate for two nights and dinner there, which we haven’t used. (In our defense, the fall is the best time to visit Northeast Georgia, so we’ve sorta been waiting on the season.) So, this Sunday afternoon excursion would give us something different to do, introduce Scott to Glen-Ella and provide some time with good friends.
I will say that I was a wee bit disappointed at what was available. When you hear ‘tomato festival’ you think plants, fruit & seeds – all for sale. Not the case. They did have a long row of nearly 50 varieties of tomatoes to sample, though. That alone may have been worth it. And tomato tarts. I know that alone was worth it. And, my husband’s been craving a really good, made from home-grown tomatoes BLT, and that was worth the drive, too.
Yes, they had this table for tasting, and they had food for sale – tomato sandwiches and BLT’s with your choice of bread (huh? you must eat your tomato sandwich on white bread – anything else is unSouthern) and your choice of mayo or basil aioli. (I will confess I strayed from the straight and narrow and had the aioli.) They also had fried green tomatoes and tomato tarts. Well, the tarts were to die for, so you may be seeing another post about my trying my hand at making them. (Did I mention they also gave out recipes?)
I guess I should mention which varieties were my favorite: Olde German, Goldie, Black Triffle, TL Jones, William Striped, Black Cherry, German Green Cherry and Snowberry. If you happen to grow these or have seeds available, I’ll be happy to sample again! 😉
There was also a little blue grass music, a few arts & crafts booths and a couple of artists from Clayton painting and selling their wares. And, the gardens at Glen Ella are really nice, so we enjoyed strolling around the grounds. All in all, we were very glad we went.
And maybe best of all, we made our reservations for the fall – a weekend of slow, restful heaven. Can’t wait!