by Madison V. Fisler
Aug. 23, 2013. Roaming through a sprawling, green farm in the fresh air, plucking up fresh grown produce and petting cuddly farm friends is a luxurious dream that many in the High Country, and indeed all over the nation have had at least once in their lives. On Saturday, Aug. 24, the Avery Fall Farm Tour brings this amazing experience to a sold out crowd of residents and visitors of Avery County.
The Avery Fall Farm Tour, which sold out yesterday with over 100 participants, offers guests the unique farm experience. This year’s Farm Tour features exciting venues like a produce farm, a winery, an apple orchard and even a hops farm!
The tour will begin at Avery County Cooperative Extension in Newland at 11 a.m., with Tour registration beginning at 9:30. Preregistration is required for this event. From there, transportation will be provided as part of the ticket price to take you to all of the lovely farms featured on the tour. Make sure to nab a raffle ticket as well, as this year prizes include a gift basket from Linville Falls Winery, a gift basket from Avery Farms and more!
Tickets for the event are $15 and includes the tour, transportation and even a pig pickin’ dinner at the very last stop on the tour, as you’re sure to work up an appetite. To register in advance for the Avery Fall Farm Tour, call the Avery County Cooperative Extension at 828-733-8270.
The first stop on the tour will be Andy’s Produce Farm. At this stop, Andy Vaughn will have a huge stock of the vegetables and other produce that he grows on 9 of his 20 acres of breathtakingly beautiful farmland. The more than 50 different varieties of produce that Vaughn grows help to supply fresh ingredients for local restaurants and bring a bit of the farm home when he takes his wares to the area’s farmers’ markets. Aside from the beautiful views and fresh produce, guests will also get to meet with the pigs that have just moved in, and take a look at the farm’s new greenhouse.
The second stop on the Tour will bring guests to a local hops farm. That’s right. Bullitt Farm has proven that with a little care and some patience, this crop which traditionally grows best in the western states can be successfully cultivated in the mountains of western North Carolina. Guests will have an opportunity to learn about hops and hops production in the High Country from the pioneers themselves, the Beuttell family, and learn more about the differences in growing hops in western North Carolina as opposed to other areas of the country.
The next stop will bring guests back to their childhoods, walking through lush greenery with the crisp scent of apples in the air. Crossnore Heirloom Apple Orchard not only grows apples but serves as a natural outdoor classroom for anyone who is curious about how this crop is grown. Guests will learn about how long it takes to grow apples, how long the trees take to mature, and get a chance to explore the orchard for themselves.
As the only winery on the tour, Linville Falls Winery is definitely a unique treat for guests to enjoy. Started in 2012, Jack Wiseman began the winery to realize his dream of producing delicious wines that everyone can enjoy. The vineyard is home to many types of grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Reisling along with many other varieties that are blended to create splendid varieties to delight the palate. Guests will get the chance to tour the vineyard and the winery to see how wine is made from the vine to the bottle.
To cap off the Tour, Avery Farms will provide the pig pickin’ dinner overlooking the beautiful farmland. Guests will get a chance to explore and meet the curious llamas, as well as see the hundreds of acres that make up the farm itself. Visitors will be able to see where their Christmas trees come from, as well as raspberries, pumpkins, beautiful sunflowers and so much more. This farm, which has been run by the same family for more than two centuries, provides a fitting end to yet another enriching and enlightening Farm Tour.
Transportation for the Farm Tour is limited, so if possible please pre-register by Friday, Aug. 16.