What started as a small family farm, has ballooned into a community center, a tourist destination, a staple for Western North Carolina. Darnell Farms is so much more than a farm — it’s a regional treasure.
Like most families in WNC, Darnell Farms has been a “must-do” on our Fall bucket list for years. But did you know that the fun they have in the Spring is just as exciting?!
After days of seeing our friends post pictures of the mouthwatering treats at Darnell Farms, Nick and I loaded the kids up on Sunday to spend an afternoon at the farm.
First stop — was visiting the brand new Darnell Farms Chuckwagon Appa-Latin Food Truck. This farm-fresh, made-to-order food truck sits right beside Darnell Farms Produce Stand and is constantly changing the weekly specials, so there is always something new and delicious to try. Just to give you an idea of what the Chuckwagon is deeming as Appa-Latin flavored — they have an Appalachian fried tamale meal — pork butt & collard stuffed deep fried and served with slow-cooked yellow-eyed beans, cilantro-lime slaw & pickled Okra —— WHAT?!? And trust me, it is absolutely as incredible as it sounds.
I ordered The Finger Licker Empanada — Oven-roasted turkey, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and cheese. Nick got the Breakfast Club — local ground sausage, potatoes, eggs, and cheddar. We also ordered a side of sweet onion hoops which was a HEAPING serving of fried onion rings served with white lightenin’ sauce. My ONLY complaint was that I could have eaten 4 or 5 more because it was just THAT good.
And in case you were wondering — they have desserts that are TO DIE FOR too. Nick got the Ney Ney Apple Empanadas — cooked apples with an incredible flakey crust and I tried The Star Lord — a blueberry, lemon, and cream cheese heap of heaven. Seriously, it was insanely good — which was evident by the fact that shortly after we finished up our lunch — the food truck announced they were sold out — HOURS before they had planned on closing.
While Nick and I were indulging in that deliciousness — the kids got to play outside. I know that sounds so simple and small, but our two youngest, Kyler and Sawyer, are quarantine kids — so their exposure to much outside of the house is very very limited. They played in the dirt, made leaf boats with their cousins to race on the riverbank, swung in the swings until their feet touched the clouds — it was so simple, but meant the world to us.
The kids climbed on tractors, raced across the seesaws, and scaled the tower to zoom down the slide. We watched them play for hours while we listened to the best mix of country favorites being played from the produce stand. I just hate we didn’t bring our fishing poles to take advantage of the free fishing opportunity!
While we went there for the new food truck, I don’t want to miss a chance to remind you of Darnell Farm’s staple items. Their seasonal Dreamwhips are worth the trip by themselves. So fresh you basically picked the berries yourself and with seasonal flavors of strawberry, pineapple, and blackberry — the dreamwhips are the perfect afternoon treat.
While you are there, ask Afton or Nate about their meal boxes — you know — like hello fresh or one of those meal delivery services — expect local and ACTUALLY fresh! Each week Darnell Farms announces a list of new meal kit menu items that can be picked up in their drive-thru. The meal kits come with everything you need for complete meals for the week. Just one example from this week’s meal kit menu — Pan-fried pork chops with sautéed cabbage, ground beef Philly cheesesteak sandwich with potato wedges, creamy Italian sausage, mushroom & spinach pasta with garlic sourdough, loaded vegetable stir fry with scrambled eggs, and slow-cooked pinto beans with cornbread & fresh sweet onion. — Now go back and read that again because I KNOW your mouth is watering.
But if you don’t want a full meal kit for the week — that’s ok too. Just stop by the produce stand and pick up fresh-picked veggie and strawberries from the farm!
And if for some CRAZY reason you aren’t sure that anything I mentioned above is for you — the perfect excuse to check out the farm is April 3rd for their annual Easter egg-stravaganza event. This massive Easter egg hunt spans around the farm and has fun and games for the whole family. This year’s event is scheduled for April 3 and kicks off at 10 am.
Darnell Farms is located at 2300 Governors Island Rd in Bryson City and is honestly probably one of my favorite places in WNC and is owned by the purest, kindest family I know. If you haven’t been recently, make plans to visit soon!
EXCELLENT article!! Sounds like a local gem! Can’t wait to try it out. I’m sure we’ll be recommending it to our AirBnB guests. Thank you.