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Winter Bounty at Blackberry Farm

At Tennesee's Blackberry Farm, the barn has been converted into a beautiful restaurant where lavish farm-fresh meals are served each night.

I had the good fortune to escape blizzard-ridden New York last week to spend a few days at the idyllic Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. The farm’s proprietor, Sam Beall, is a trained chef who worked at Napa’s famed French Laundry. Over the past decade, he’s turned his family’s 4,200 acre farm into a culinary destination. Fun fact: The Bealls are not all about fancy food—Sam’s father founded Ruby Tuesday.

Farm-to-table cooking is a trendy buzzword these days, but Blackberry Farm offers the real thing. From the hearty breakfasts in the main house to multi-course dinners in the converted barn, practically every ingredient comes from the farm itself or its neighbors. With snow on the ground even in Tennessee, we wondered what the winter bounty would bring. A lot of wonderful things, it turns out.

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Picking: Strawberries

In the strawberry farm at Johnson's Corner Farm

In the strawberry field at Johnson's Corner Farm

It’s strawberry season! Last weekend I discovered an early patch of local strawberries, visiting Johnson’s Corner Farm in Medford, NJ. But over the next few weeks, berry farms across the country will be opening for business, fresh fruit ripe and ready in the fields.

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