Farm tours now in season
The harvest season will soon peak, and one of the highlights of the agricultural year is the annual farm tour sponsored by Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture.
"We have bunch of new farms on the tour, with 17 this year and it should be a really fun event," said BRWIA's program coordinator, Mel Weiss.
The tours are Aug. 7 and 8, with area farms open to carloads of visitors who have purchased tickets to support local agriculture. Participating farms are open to ticket holders for both days.
A total of 17 farms are participating in Watauga, Ashe and Wilkes counties, including some new stops. The High Country Farm Tour celebrates diversity in agriculture and the growing local-foods movement, and Weiss said the tour is important against the backdrop of issues such as Watauga County's new farmland preservation plan.
"We're trying to create a stronger relationship between producers and consumers and make more vibrant ripples through the High Country," Weiss said.
The brochures are available at the ticket outlets, which include Bare Essentials Natural Market, the Original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, Mast General Store in downtown Boone, North Carolina Cooperative Extension (Watauga Center), Stick Boy Bread Company and Watauga County Farmers' Market.
Tickets are $20 and can also be ordered online. They are good for each carload of visitors, regardless of the number of occupants, and ticket holders can visit any farm on the tour between 2 and 6 p.m. both days.
BRWIA's mission is to empower women and their families with resources, education and skills related to the production and consumption of sustainably grown food from the community.
For more information or a ticket, visit http://www.bria.org.
* Apple Hill Farm
* ASU Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Teaching and Research Farm
* Horse Helpers, Inc., at Wisteria Farm
* Leola Street Community Garden
* Moretz's Mountain Orchard & Farm
* Springhouse Farm
* Watauga River Farms
* Blue Ridge Organics
* Foxfire Holler Farm
* Heritage Homestead
* New River Winery
* Old Orchard Creek Farm
* Shady Grove Gardens & Nursery
* Zydeco Moon Farm
* Brushy Mountain Farm and Orchard
* Four Winds Berry Farm
* Tumbling Shoals Farm