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12th Annual Farm Tour by Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture This Saturday Featuring A Bus Tour

The Springhouse Farm will be one of the stops during the Bus Tours.

By Savannah R. Watts

This year on Saturday, June 16, the Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture will host their 12th Annual Farm Tours, but this year with an exciting new approach: a bus tour. Dave Walker says, “We’re really excited about this year’s tour because it’s a bus tour, which means more time spent with the farms and a delicious, farm-fresh meal at the last stop on the tour.” For $65, guests can enjoy four different farms and a great local dinner.

Against the Grain Farm will provide fresh produce for meals at the end of the tour, which is included in the Bus Tour’s price.

This exciting adventure features four local farms and some close encounters with cows, pigs, goats and chickens. Participants will also be able to walk through the farms and take a peek at beekeeping, cheese making, fermentation and more!

Guests can take a peek at all of the farms, including the lands at Against the Grain Farm.
Guests may get a chance to see the Against the Grain family at work or to speak with them about their farming practices.

The bus tour starts at noon and visits four farms of the High Country. Each of the four of these farms offer unique practices and insights into sustainable farming. Against the Grain will be serving a farm-fresh pizza along with cider and beer to conclude the day’s events.

So why a bus tour, you might ask? A bus tour eliminates any waiting around for everyone to get to the same place, but most importantly includes the meal! Courtney Baines, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture’s Executive Director, says they try to get feedback from the participants of the Farm Tour every year. “This redesigned tour will provide a more intimate experience with each farm and farm family, reduce the likelihood of getting lost due to GPS confusion, and treat participants to a delicious, farm-fresh meal prepared onsite by local growers and chefs!”

Guests can stop at Shipley Farm to buy lunch during their tour!

The featured farms this year include Shipley Farm, FIG Farm, Springhouse Farm, and Against the Grain Farm. Shipley Farm, established in 1872, has spent years raising some of the High Country’s most signature beef. Shipley Farms will have lunch available for purchase, but it is not included in the ticket.

Visitors will get the chance to see what makes FIG Farm such a great place for beginning farmers.

FIG Farm is designed to provide beginning farmers with a relatively low-risk entry avenue for new producers by providing land ​and production and marketing infrastructure to help farmers establish lasting farm enterprises in the High Country. FIG Farm is located in Valle Crucis.

Springhouse Farm was built in the late 1800s and grows organic produce and local pastured pork. Springhouse Farm never used synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or GMOs.

Amy Fiedler and her family, pictured, help keep Springhouse Farm organic.

Against the Grain Farm is a 20-acre farm located in Zionville, NC. ATG Farm is Certified to raise Biodynamic and Organic Vegetables on just over 2-acres of land. ATG also raises pastured turkey and Animal Welfare Approved chicken, pork, beef and goat. Their focus is to nurture the soil in order to grow high quality, nutritious food for our local community, which they will be doing during the Farm Tour by providing dinner for guests.

For more information about the tour or to purchase tickets, visit www.farmtour.brwia.org or call 828-386-1537. You can also email farmtour@brwia.org.