Get closer to your food

Two farm tours to be Saturday and Sunday
Sep. 20, 2013 @ 04:09 PM

It’s a chance to see how cows are milked, where tobacco is grown or to understand how produce is grown organically.

Two different farm tours are being held in the Triangle region this weekend, offering a chance for visitors to tour farms where operators are growing vegetables, raising animals such as buffalo and cattle, and in at least one case, producing wine.

The 8th annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour includes stops at 27 farms in Wake, Durham, Granville, Franklin and Chatham counties. There are 16 stops in the second annual Person County Farm Tour.

“It has great appeal for families, for foodies, for gardeners, and people who are just excited about local food,” said Laura Reedy, education coordinator for the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, which organized the Eastern Triangle Farm Tour in partnership with Whole Foods.

More than 1,100 people were on the tour last year, Reedy said, and organizers expect more this year.

This year’s event includes a talk by a chicken expert at the non-profit educational community garden SEEDS in central Durham off Gilbert Street. Reedy also said there will be lots of hands-on opportunities at a new farm on the tour, Wake Forest’s Winterpast Farm, a family farm and petting zoo that has goats, rabbits, chickens, peacocks and ducks.

 “It’s a great, family-friendly opportunity,” she said.

In its first year last year, the tour in Person County drew 250 people, according to Kim Woods, livestock extension agent and interim county extension director for the N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Person County Center. This year, she said organizers hope to see a 25 percent participation increase.

“This is a great opportunity for folks to see where and how their food is produced,” Woods said. “Farmers are looking forward to talking to customers to show and explain what is involved in the production of various foods.”

The tour includes 15 stops, with two new ones. One stop on the tour is the Person County Farmers Market, where farmers within a 70-mile radius sell fruits, vegetables, flowers and other items. The market will only be open on the first day of the tour on Saturday.

Another stop will be the Person County Museum of History, where information is available about historical methods of growing and harvesting crops. The museum is open on Saturdays, but not on Sundays.

The price per vehicle for two-day access to the Person County Farm Tour is $20 prior to the event, and $25 the day-of. The tour will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on both days.

Attendees are encouraged to bring coolers to carry home purchased products such as meat, produce, flowers and plants.

The Eastern Triangle Farm Tour will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The cost is $25 a car for all farms. Advance tickets can be purchased online at www.carolinafarmstewards.org. They can also be purchased in Durham at Whole Foods at 621 Broad St. The day of the tour, tickets are $30 for all farms, and $10 for each individual farm.