Wow, it’s farm tour central here in North Carolina, with two tours this weekend, in Charlotte and the eastern Triangle, and next weekend in Asheville and environs. (Many of the farms are in my book, which offers do-it-yourself tours!)
The 4th Annual Charlotte Area Know Your Farms Tour is this weekend from 1 to 6 p.m., with an impressive 45 farms participating. Tickets are $25 to $30 per carload, depending on where and when you get them. Farm stops include BirdBrain Ostrich Ranch (ostriches!), Creekside Farms (pigs!), and the famed Grateful Growers Farm (more pigs and etc.!) One of the prettiest farms/settings on the list is Stowe Dairy Farms, which features an old farmhouse, rolling hills, cows, and very friendly farmers!
In the Triangle, the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association presents the 7th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour from 1 to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday. Advance tickets are $25, which will get your carload into more than 20 farms. The CFSA’s bigger tour is held in the spring, but there is plenty to see on this one, including the goats at Prodigal Farm, the great activities going on a SEEDS Educational Garden, and both organic produce and agritourism action at Vollmer Farm.
Finally, out west, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, aka ASAP, has moved its traditional June Farm Tour to September. It’s Sept. 22 and 23 from 1 to 6 p.m., and advance tickets are $25. Farms opening their gates include Hickory Nut Gap Farm (agritourism and animals), Sunburst Trout (fish and streams), Round Mountain Creamery (goats), and Mountain Farm (lavender, goats, and gifts!).
A few visiting tips: Dress in clothes that can get muddy and dirty, leave the pets at home, and don’t forget to pack the four C’s: curiosity, cash, cooler, and camera!