Farm tours for the general public are growing in popularity in North & South Carolina, and now the Midlands of South Carolina are getting into the act. Daniel Tye, Midlands Farm Tour Coordinator for the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association:
“The on in the Piedmont of NC, I believe has been going on for about 18 years. The upstate Farm Tour in SC has been going on for about 8 years, so those two are pretty well established. This is the first year for the Midlands tour.”
And like many Carolina Farm Stewardship tours, there’s a variety of farms on the new Midlands tour:
“We have a really great variety. We have a few livestock farms that do specialty heirloom breeds and heritage breeds, like guinea hogs. One farm has a short haired variety of sheep that are bred for raising in the tropics and they are very well adapted to the climate here. We have a lot of produce farms like City Roots, the urban farm in Columbia that does great variety of yield crops and specialty crops as well. We also have a farm that specializes in rain water harvesting to irrigate their grapes and water their chickens. So overall we have a lot of good variety.”
Tye explains that most anybody would find something of interest in the farm tour:
“We are targeting anyone in the general public. Anyone that has an interest in seeing where their food comes from and how things are grown and seeing the innovative, sustainable and organic methods that a lot of these farmers are using. Its great because Columbia has a blossoming local foods scene right now and a lot of people are becoming more aware of it.”
Tye gives the particulars on tickets and locations:
“We have tickets for sale on line at www.carolinafarmstewards.org , they are $25 in advance and the day of the tour the tickets will be for sale at each farm for $30. One ticket will cover a car load of people. It’s a self-guided tour so you can pick the farms you are most interested in and go see them in any order.”
Whole Foods Markets also have tickets available, and there’s a map in PDF format on the Carolina Farm Stewardship website www.carolinafarmstewards.org . As an added bonus, the weather should be near perfect!
Midlands Farm Tour Coordinator Daniel Tye.