by Kaitlyn McConnell, Ozarks Alive
(NOTE: This was originally published on Ozarks Alive, the area’s top website for Ozarks history and culture.)
In exchange for shelf-stable food items, Little Farm Store near Seymour is serving up a free Thanksgiving dinner, complete with all the trimmings.
The dinner is done to serve community, as the collected food items will be donated to W C N Food Pantry in Mansfield. But it’s also an opportunity to create community by gathering, and perhaps meeting new friends — from both right down the road and beyond.
“There are many people who don’t have enough food for a proper Thanksgiving — however, every bit as important is that many people don’t have a family to have a Thanksgiving dinner with,” says Ryan Goolsby, whose family owns Little Farm Store and is hosting the dinner. “This seems to be the last remaining holiday which is still about sharing food with family and friends. We want to open our doors to friends and neighbors who might not be able to enjoy a feast with family this year.”
While the menu is still being tweaked, it will include turkey and traditional favorites. “My mom makes pretty fantastic cranberry sauce,” adds Goolsby.
The dinner will be held at Little Farm Store, located right along U.S. Highway 60 east of Seymour, from 3 to 6 p.m.
“It’s just our way of giving back to the community,” says Goolsby, who encourages everyone who is interested to attend. “I hope we run out of food.”
By the way, there is no requirement for how many food items someone brings to partake in the store’s dinner. “Just whatever people feel called to give,” says Goolsby.
The family opened Little Farm Store in 2018 in connection with the family’s nearby Pleasant Valley Farm. They sell products produced on their farm in the store; the list includes jams, jellies, eggs, kombucha (fermented tea) as well as a variety of locally sourced meats, and body-care products.
The store also enhanced its presence in recent months by expanding its menu.
What started out as to-go food items now includes breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings including a line of breakfast burritos, biscuits and gravy, and crepes on Saturdays. Lunch and dinner feature sandwiches and wraps; salads; soup and Tamale Tuesday.
The store also has its own line of frozen custard available by the pint, cup or as ingredients in milkshakes or kombucha floats.