Folks in the High Country will have an opportunity to immerse themselves in the agricultural lifestyle this weekend.
Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA) is sponsoring the eighth annual High Country Farm Tour this Saturday and Sunday in Ashe and Watauga counties.
During the farm tour, a total of 20 farms in both counties will be opened up to the public for guided tours.
“Visitors will be able to take a farm tour any time from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday,” Suzanne Fleishman, program coordinator for BRWIA, said.
Those interested in going on the farm tour can purchase a pass for $30 at the first farm they visit. The pass is valid throughout the weekend and will get them into any or all of the participating farms.
A $10 pass is available for those who wish to visit only one or two farms.
“Our nonprofit has worked with about 20 farms this year,” Fleishman said. “Visitors will have a chance to go from farm to farm, meet the farmers and learn about agriculture in the High Country.”
Eight farms in Ashe County are participating in this year’s event.
Bear Pen Farms - Highland Meadows Cattle Company
Bear Pen Farms - Highland Meadows Cattle Company is a family owned and operated farm located at 998 Virgil Greer Road in Lansing. They breed and raise Scottish Highland Cattle for meat sales and breeding stock. The beef is raised without antibiotics or added hormones, they are never put in feedlots or exposed to chemicals or pesticides. They free-range on the high elevation pastures and drink from clear clean mountain water. Simply known as Highland Cattle, they’re instantly recognized by their sweeping horns and flowing hair.
Faith Mountain Farm
Faith Mountain Farm is a family farm located at 489 Big Laurel Road in Creston. Honey, fresh fruit, produce, eggs and shiitake mushrooms are harvested on the premises.
Zydeco Moon is a USDA Certified Organic farm with a solar greenhouse, three high tunnels and 11 fields along Helton Creek. It’s located at 2220 Big Helton Road in Grassy Creek.
Landmark Farm Alpacas
Landmark Farm is a small working alpaca farm located at 1118 Landmark Church Road in Grassy Creek. The alpacas are raised for their extremely warm and soft fiber that is sheared once a year in the spring. Much of the fiber is then processed into yarn (some hand spun and some mill processed), and made into socks, caps, scarves and other accessories and garments, including summer-weight socks.
Heritage Homestead is a working goat dairy located at 956 Roy Goodman Road in Crumpler. Visitors will be able to interact with the goats, view the milking parlor, cheese processing room, cheese tasting, blacksmith shop and studio where broom-making, basket weaving and tanning take place.
Woodland Harvest Mountain Farm
Woodland Harvest Mountain Farm is a permaculture homestead with adults and children, animals, gardens, pond and woodland habitat, located at 639 Edwards Road in West Jefferson. Visitors can learn how live in sync with nature, grow their own food and medicine, produce electricity with the power of mountain creeks and build their own infrastructure with forest and scavenged materials.
Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Teaching and Research Farm
The Goodnight Farm is run by Appalachian State University students and faculty. It’s located at 608 Water Tank Road in Fleetwood. The goal of the farm is to become a multi-purpose, integrated farming system that produces healthy food, fiber and other raw materials that can be cultivated successfully on a small scale.
A Berry Patch Farm
A Berry Patch Farm is a USDA Certified Organic farm that produces specialty vegetables, herbs and pure honey. It’s located at 240 Mesa Way in West Jefferson.
Alan Bulluck can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @albulluck.