Learn where food comes from on farm tour

Sep. 12, 2013 @ 10:35 AM

Have you ever wondered how a mushroom grows? Or have you ever been curious what a farmer at the Farmers’ Market is referring to when they talk about a “chicken tractor”? Do want to see what a milking parlor looks like?

 Next weekend, you can learn all of this and more on the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s  (CFSA) Eastern Triangle Farm Tour!  Saturday and Sept. 22, 27 sustainable farms in Durham, Orange, Person, Franklin, Chatham and Wake Counties will be opening their gates so that people can get to know more about local farming and local foods.  

CFSA hosts annual farm tours in many regions throughout North and South Carolina. These tours, especially the spring and fall tours around the Triangle, have done an important service of strengthening the local food economy by bringing a greater level of transparency and trust between the consumer and the farmer. 

Twice a year, consumers have the opportunity to see how their food is grown, how the animals are raised, see honeybees in a hive and ask farmers directly about their growing methods and practices. That is something that you’ll never have the chance to do with food available at a grocery store.

“This tour is a great way to learn where your food comes from and support the farmer who grows it.  It’s also a whole lot of fun, “said Roland McReynolds, CFSA executive director.

This year’s tour features five farms that regularly sell their goods at the Durham Farmers’ Market and many other innovative, beautiful, sustainable farms in the local countryside. The tour also features several urban farms have been popping up recently. Along with the pioneer urban farm SEEDS, Sweet Beet City Farm which started this year along Mangum Street, Angier Avenue Neighborhood Farm and Raleigh City Farm will be offering tours of their gardens in their distinctly urban settings.

To top it off, the tour offers two educational workshops (included in the price of the farm tour ticket)! On Saturday at 1:15, learn about raising backyard chickens at SEEDS and on Sunday at 1:15 learn about urban composting at Raleigh City Farm. 

The 8th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour will be taking place on Saturday and Sept.r 22 from 1 to 5 p,m, both days. Tour tickets, which allow you to visit all of the farms on both days are $25 a car or cycle group and they are available online and at Triangle area Whole Foods.

For a complete listing of farms and more information, visit www.CarolinaFarmStewards.org/etft

Erin Kauffman is market manager of the Durham Farmers' Market.