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Eating locally is all about knowing whose hands produced the food on your plate. On Monday, we took a trip out to Darby Farms in Monroe to meet the man who raises chickens for The National, Dan Dover.

Dan focuses on quality over quantity on his small organic farm where he raises chickens for both meat and egg production, as well as his latest addition – three pigs! Showing us around the whole operation, Dan explained the importance of working within nature’s framework instead of against it. From holding a warm, just-laid egg to touching toes with Georgia clay-coated pigs to watching Dan’s daughter Darby (the farm’s youthful namesake) horse around with the animals she knows so well, we left Darby Farms with a feeling of real connection to one of The National’s local vendors and a tinge of regret upon departing for our regular lives.

Look out for Darby Farms chicken on our menu. Grilled D.F. chicken breast and late night D.F. chicken wings in JC’s wing sauce are regular favorites!