June 2011 Travel Writers Press Trip, Day 2, Madison and Jefferson Counties, FL

Day 2 of the Natural North Florida Writers Press Trip began early, with Doc feeling low from an overdose of Makers’ Mark.  However, he was rejuvenated by the time we reached Tuten’s U-Pick farms in southern Madison County.  There, we saw huge fields of peas, watermelons, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant ready for the picking by the general public.  Timmy Tuten and his family have the U-Pick business down to a science and lots of folks from north Florida and south Georgia come down on a regular basis.

Tuten's U-Pick Farms, Madison, GA
Pick all the peas, watermelons, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant you want at Tuten's U-Pick Farms near Madison, FL

From Tuten’s the next stop was O’Toole’s Herb Farm, just north of Madison.  Here, you’ll find an array of unique gifts as well as potted herbs for your garden.

As noon approached (and us feeling like we needed to eat something else!) we headed west to Monticello and Jefferson County.  There, we met Nancy Wideman, our board member from Jefferson County and blogger Alisson Clark.  Lunch was light-ish at Tupelo’s, just off the square in downtown Monticello.  After lunch, we vanned up and headed off to tour the Green Meadows Organic Blueberry Farm, where we sampled berries, blueberry tea and blueberry ice cream.

Blueberry tea at Green Meadows Organic Blueberry Farm
The blueberry tea at Green Meadows Organic Blueberry Farm is the perfect ending to a great U-Pick experience.

After our blueberry-fest, we were off to visit Golden Acres Ranch, a goat and lamb farm.  A tractor ride through the woods and a lesson in animal management techniques was fun, but we were parched in the 100-degree weather!

Golden Acres Ranch, Monticello, GA
Golden Acres Ranch raises goats and lambs -- some for breeding and some for the table.

Our final stop of the day was at Full Moon Apiary, where we toured a yard full of active beehives.  The folks there sell honey locally at Tupelo’s in Monticello and service many local vegetable crops.

Bee hives at Full Moon Apiary, Monticello, FL
Bees make for some good photos--but don't get too close!

After a rather full day of touring local farms, we headed back to downtown Monticello and the two Bed and Breakfasts hosting us for the night.  The girls stayed at the John Denham House and the boys at the Avera-Clarke House, both historic establishments.  Dinner was sponsored by the Jefferson County Tourism Development Council and was held at the Avera-Clarke house.  A great time was had by all.

Avera Clarke House B&B, Monticello, FL
The Avera-Clarke House is an excellent Bed & Breakfast in Monticello, FL
Party outdoors at the Avera-Clarke House
The Avera-Clarke House specializes in large garden parties.
Blueberry-Pecan Tart
Don't miss the blueberry-pecan tart from Tupelo's in Monticello, FL

Day three begins early with a trip to a wheat field and then on to Leon County and Tallahassee!

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