by Madison V. Fisler
July 30, 2013. On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3-4 from 2-6 p.m. High Country residents and visitors will get the unique chance to really see and experience where their food comes from at the High Country Farm Tour. During this event, which is hosted by Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, guests will get a chance to meet the local area farmers and see the farms where local food is grown year round.
This week, we will be featuring different locations each day to showcase what each local farm, winery, vineyard and brewery has to offer guests of the Tour.
Apple Hill Farm is an alpaca farm nestled in Pitsgah National Forest. The farm offers daily tours during the summer and fall months of the farm. Apple Hill Farm also offers alpaca wool for sale, as well as premade baby booties and other items made from alpaca wool. At the Farm Tour, guests will be able to see the workings of the alpaca farm and see real alpacas face to face.
Six Waterpots Vineyard and Winery is a family owned winery which offers several varieties of wines, such as wines made from strawberries, blackberries, muscadine and raspberries. They are available for wine tastings and private parties as well. Six Waterpots is located in Hudson.
Against the Grain Farm, which is located in Zionville, specializes in locally grown vegetables, poultry, molasses and even cornmeal. Against the Grain is located at 619 Camp Joy Road in Zionville.
Herbville and Crane Farm in Granite Falls specializes in over 75 varieties of herbs. The farm also offers five different varieties of herbal teas, homemade barbecue sauce, fresh grown vegetables, and homemade bar soaps. Herbville and Crane Farm is located at 4491 Ike Starnes Road in Granite Falls.
Cornett and Deal Christmas Tree Farms in Vilas is one of the many Christmas Tree farms in the High Country. This family-owned farm specializes in wholesale and fresh-cut Christmas Trees. They also offer a craft shop. The farm itself is located at 142 Tannenbaum Lane in Vilas.
A weekend pass to the tour is $25 in advance per carload, which covers admission to all farms for the entire weekend. Tickets are available online here, at the Ashe County Farmers’ Market, at the Blowing Rock Farmers’ Market, at the Downtown Lenoir Farmers’ Market, the Watauga County Farmers’ Market, and at the Trosly Farm Store in Elk Park. You can also purchase a ticket on the first day of the tour at the first farm you visit for $30, or at each individual farm at a rate of $10 per farm.
Volunteers are also welcome at the Farm Tour to help farmers prepare for the visitors and to work each farm on the days of the event. A donation of at least 4 hours of volunteer time will be rewarded with a discounted Farm Tour Pass. Event day volunteers will receive a free t-shirt plus a free pass to take the tour themselves.
“Its one level to go to the farmers market and meet the farmers, but when you take the extra step and visit the farm, see the farmers in action, see the land and meet the families it really inspires you and touches you on a deeper level,” said Courtney Baines, Farm Tour coordinator and director of programs for Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture.
“It really makes you want to support these families and local agriculture.”
This year, the Tour offers much more than just a jaunt through the various farms. For the kids, there will be stickers and workbooks and a “Little Locavore” learning series to teach children about eating locally. There will also be adult and little Locavore photo contests.
For more information on this event, please click here.