As I have said over and over, the Triangle area has a great farm-to-fork culture with restaurants capitalizing on their proximity and access to local farms. Luckily, there are several opportunities for us lay people to visit these bountiful farms. The largest of these events is coming up in just a couple weeks, The 17th Annual Piedmont Farm Tour. In fact, it is the nation’s largest sustainable farm tour and will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29, from 1-5pm each day. The tour is great event for the whole family and an opportunity to learn where our food comes from. We had a wonderful time last year and are planning to go again this year and check out some different farms!
This self-guided tour features 40 scenic and sustainable working farms in Orange, Chatham, Alamance, Durham and Person counties. Sites include a biodynamic fruit farm, a food truck farm, pasture-raised livestock farms with lots of wonderful baby animals, sheep shearing and fiber demonstrations, hayrides, pick-your-own strawberries, two vineyards, an award-winning cheese dairy, lots of organic produce farms, and more!
Tour tickets, good for both days, are $25 per vehicle in advance and $30 on the tour weekend or you can choose to pay $10 per farm (available for purchase at all of the farms during the tour). Groups of cycles count as one vehicle. Tickets can be purchased online now at www.carolinafarmstewards.org or at WeaverStreet Market.
Choose the farms you want to visit on the interactive map at www.carolinafarmstewards.org to plan your tour. Visit any farm in any order. And, don’t forget to bring a cooler so that you can bring home some of the farm fresh products for sale at many farms! No pets allowed. The tour is rain or shine. Proceeds from the tour support the work of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.
New farms on the tour this year.
o Boxcarr Farms: This 3-year-old farm features dairy goats, pigs, chickens, bees, and produce. Their food truck, Local in Motion, will be selling food from the farm during the tour!
o TwoChicks Farm: This small farm grows year round thanks to their hoop houses. They sell fresh and preserved veggies at Farmers’ Markets throughout the Triangle.
o MinkaFarm: Come meet their baby chicks,goat kids, calves, and tour their beautiful orchard! Wool sheep will be sheared by hand on Saturday!
o Irvin Learning Farm: This impressive farm project assists Karen refugee farmers from Burma transition into farming in the US.
o Sunset Farms: This multi-generational farm will show off their free-ranging poultry, intensively-grazed beef and a wide variety of vegetable crops.
o Dutch Buffalo Farm: Check out high tunnels and hoop houses, on-farm composting, trellised crops, perennial fruits and veggies!