Cove Creek Farm Heritage Day Sept. 17
Cove Creek Farm Heritage Day marks the beginning of the fall
harvest season with a celebration of Watauga County’s farming community and rich cultural
Presented by the Cove Creek Preservation and Development, in conjunction with the Watauga County Cooperative Extension, the event takes place Sept. 17 at the Historic Cove Creek School in Sugar Grove.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., attendees can learn about farming, meet animals and enjoy music, food and family fun. Hands-on activities and agricultural demonstrations throughout the day will provide an enriching experience for children and adults alike.
Cornmeal grinding with a steam grist mill, wreath making, beekeeping, apple butter production and food canning are just a few of the educational displays.
The old-time country fair atmosphere will also feature face painting and balloon animals for kids, a horseshoe competition, wagon rides, an antique car parade, a color guard presentation and silent auction. Crafts and folk toys will be available for purchase, as well as barbecue, hot dogs, beans and cornbread.
The Watauga County Cooperative Extension is involved with Farm Heritage Day for the first time this year, and will be providing animal displays, lessons on small fruit production, a plant clinic, seed swap and more.
Jim Hamilton, county extension director, said his office is excited to participate in Farm Heritage Day and is especially looking forward to reaching out to young people.
“Children today are suffering from nature deficit,” Hamilton said. “We think it is important to expose the county’s youth to agriculture. We want to them to learn where their food comes from and have a hands-on experience with animals.”
This year will see the return of some other aspects of Farm Heritage, especially a Seed Swap where gardeners will be able to share some of this year’s harvest so that more people can plant heritage varieties next gardening season.
Also, there will be some new events added to put even more of the “farm” in Cove Creek Farm Heritage Day, including a Master Gardener Plant Clinic and a raspberry open house.
The Heritage Day and Seed Swap will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the raspberry open house happening just from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. that day.
Extension’s Richard Boylan said Watauga County and the surrounding region have a history of gardeners and farmers saving heirloom varieties of tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans, sorghum, squashes, corn, and other vegetables.
Many open-pollinated vegetables and grains are easy to save, he said, such as tomatoes, peppers, peas and beans are among the easiest. Squashes, sorghum and corn must be grown a little more carefully in order for the heirloom varieties to stay true, he added, but the process of saving the seeds is still relatively simple.
Of course, gardeners also save potatoes, garlic bulbs, gladiolas, dahlias and other vegetative parts of heirloom plants for propagation, too, all of which are welcome at the CCFHD Seed Swap.
For more information about seed saving techniques, contact Boylan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 264-3061.
In addition to the Cooperative Extension, many groups will be in attendance, including Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, 4-H Club, High Country Grown, Watauga River Partners, Boy Scouts, Friends of the Parkway and Cove the Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and younger. Parking is free.
The Historic Cove Creek School is located at 207 Dale Adams Road in Sugar Grove, eight miles west of Boone.
For more information on Cove Creek Farm Heritage Day, call (828) 297-2200 or visit http://www.covecreek.net.
The celebration is accepting vendors and demonstrators through Sept. 16.