Monday, August 26, 2013

Visit Local, Sustainable Farms and See Where Farm-to-Fork Begins

Agritourism is an increasingly big deal in Durham and the Triangle - so much so that five counties just collectively launched the website TriangleGrown. The need for such a site is foretold by events like the 8th annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour which occurs Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21-22 from 1–5 pm. People around here sure do love their locally grown goodies.

Each day the tour will open the barn doors and farm gates of 27 scenic and sustainable farms in Durham, Wake, Chatham, Franklin, Granville and Person counties. Over 3,000 farm visits were made on the tour last year.

Co-sponsored by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Whole Foods Market, this self-guided driving tour is your chance to see how your food is grown, taste farm-fresh treats, hang out with farm animals, and meet your sustainable farmers. The tour features urban mini-farms, a goat cheese dairy, lots of friendly Animal Welfare Approved livestock and gorgeous late-summer, organic vegetables, plus honeybee hives, a petting zoo, hayrides, chicken tractors, and more! Many farms on the tour have farm-fresh meals and treats, produce, fruits and meats for sale to create your own farm-to-fork feast.

This year’s tour features 6 new farms. Angier Ave. Neighborhood Farm and Sweet Beet City Farm are pioneering urban mini-farms in the heart of Durham. See how they are transforming vacant lots into vibrant, productive spaces! Green Button Farm in Bahama and Cypress Hill Farms in Louisburg showcase sustainably raised livestock and produce at their beautiful farms. Sun Raised Foods is an innovative solar farm that’s also home to grass-fed sheep. And, the young and young-at-heart will not want to miss Wake Forest’s Winterpast Farm where they have a wonderful petting zoo!

“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.The tour also features two educational workshops, which are included in the ticket price:
Tour tickets, good for both days, are $25 per vehicle in advance and $30 on the tour weekend. Or, you can choose to pay $10 per farm (available for purchase at all of the farms during the tour). Cycle groups count as one vehicle. Tickets can be purchased now online or at any Triangle Whole Foods Market.

The tour is self-guided and participants can choose the farms they wish to visit on the interactive map. Don't forget to take along a cooler to bring home some of the farm fresh products for sale. Pets are not allowed, and the tour is rain or shine. Proceeds from the tour support the work of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.

Discover more about Durham farms online and be sure to share experiences on social media with the hashtag #TriangleGrown.

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