2011 High Country Farm Tour
The health of the High Country community finds its roots in healthy soil.
Just ask Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA).
For the last three years, the local nonprofit has hosted the High Country Farm Tour to strengthen the local food system by connecting producers and consumers, educating the public about sustainable food and agriculture, and providing farmers with opportunities to increase their income.
BRWIA recognizes that the health of the local food system depends upon community support and consumer education. The nonprofit believes that by providing community members with opportunities to visit local farms, connect with farmers and learn more about growing food sustainably, they will be able to improve community health and support the development of a thriving local economy.
On Aug. 6 and 7, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture invites community members to meet the farmers who feed the High Country.
During the 2011 High Country Farm Tour, participants will have the opportunity to visit more than 20 farms in Watauga, Ashe, Wilkes, Avery and Alleghany counties. Along the way, they will have the chance to participate in wine and cheese tastings and watch demonstrations of fiber arts, worm composting and mushroom production.
Children will have the opportunity to learn more about alpacas, llamas, chickens, goats, horses and other farm animals. Participants will be able to tour a working goat dairy, honey house and shiitake structure.
A variety of vegetables and fruits, meat, eggs, artisan cheeses, herbs, mushrooms, honey, molasses, preserves, cider, cut flowers, fiber products, cookbooks and homemade soaps will be available for purchase.
The farm tour is self-guided, so community members can pick up a guidebook and ticket, gather their friends and plan a route today.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 if purchased at a farm and entitle the passengers of one vehicle to visit farms on both days of the tour - or pay $10 per farm. Tickets are available for purchase at Bare Essentials Natural Market, Earth Fare, Mast General Store in downtown Boone, Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, N.C. Cooperative Extension (Watauga Center), Stick Boy Bread Company, Watauga County Farmers' Market and online at http://www.brwia.org.
Farm tour guides are available at all ticket outlets and contain farm descriptions, driving directions and maps.
For more information about Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA) and the High Country Farm Tour, visit http://www.brwia.org.
The 2010 High Country Farm Tour is sponsored by Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture with support from Heifer International, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, High Country Grown, Stick Boy Bread Company, Gamekeeper, Appalachian State University's Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Program, Orchard Hill Media, and the Armfield and Rachel Rivers Coffey Memorial Fund, a component fund of the North Carolina Community Foundation.