by Maggie Cramer
On June 25 and 26, the gates and barns of 41 Western North Carolina farms will open to the public for ASAP’s annual Family Farm Tour.
The self-guided tour, organized by Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), is your chance to learn how food grows, taste farm-fresh treats, interact with farm animals, and meet the community’s food producers—many of whom don’t regularly open their farm to visitors.
Photograph by Patrick Cavan Brown
Says Chris Owen, who owns and operates Spinning Spider Creamery, a
farmstead goat dairy, with her family in Madison County. “The Family
Farm Tour lets us give our customers a chance to see our farm in
operation, in all its different aspects.” Over the weekend, Spinning
Spider sets up stations dedicated to activities like hand-milking goats
and border collie herding demonstrations.
This year, 18 new farms join the Owen family and other past
participants. Newcomer Jordan Blackley Farm grows a variety of berries;
raises bees for honey, as well as chickens; and offers on-farm
Just how do you visit these farms? 1) Purchase a tour button at select
area businesses and tailgate markets, or online at familyfarmtour.com;
buttons are $25 in advance. 2) Pack your car with friends and family.
One button admits an entire carload. 3) Set off to celebrate the
region’s agricultural heritage and beautiful rural landscapes.
The tour runs 1-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Before you go, grab a tour
guide, available from button vendors and for download at
familyfarmtour.com. The guide includes a map and directions, tour tips,
and other details. This year, your ASAP Family Farm Tour button also
gets you into the Polk County Farm Tour, Saturday, June 25 from 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m. Details at polkcountyfarms.org.
For more information, including a list of button vendors, visit familyfarmtour.com or call (828) 236-1282 ext. 114.