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.
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!
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!”
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.
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.
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.