ASHEVILLE NC – On June 25 and 26, the gates and barns of Appalachian Grown family farms will open to the public for ASAP’s highly anticipated Farm Tour. This fun, farm-filled weekend offers a chance for locals and visitors alike to discover how food is grown and raised in the mountains, taste farm-fresh fare, and meet the community’s local producers. The Farm Tour moves to late June this year, treating visitors to a bounty of summer sights, tastes, and smells.
One sweet taste of summer visitors can look forward to enjoying on the tour is seasonal fruit such as berries. Zimmerman Berry Farm is one stop on the tour where tour goers can see berries ripening on the vine and hopefully get to pick some to take home. “Visitors will be able to learn about the working side of a pick-your-own farm and hopefully (if mother nature permits) they will also be able to pick black raspberries,” says Pam Zimmerman, owner of the farm.
This year’s Farm Tour will welcome back other past tour participants including Lady Luck Flower Farm and Spinning Spider Creamery. “When people come here they’ll actually get one of us from the creamery saying, ‘This is how I make the cheese; this is where we milk the goats,’” says Chris Owen, co-owner of Spinning Spider Creamery, who is looking forward to welcoming visitors to her family’s artisan goat dairy to learn about their operation, tour their milking parlour, and interact with their goats. “The Farm Tour is an important way for us to allow our customer base to get an educational opportunity, not just to see the animals, but to hear us as family members talking about what we’re doing and why.”
From u-pick operations to flower farms to creameries, this year’s tour is sure to delight visitors of all ages and interests. Tour goers can expect around 25 farms to choose from with a recommendation of selecting three or four farms to visit per day. This year’s tour will feature farms in Buncombe, Madison, and McDowell counties. Future tours will highlight different areas of the region giving visitors the opportunity to visit new farms across the central mountains of Western North Carolina from year to year.
Farm Tour passes are on sale now at asapconnections.org. Passes are $30 in advance; $40 the weekend of the tour. One pass admits an entire carload. The tour runs 12-5 pm Saturday and Sunday.
More information, including a list of where to pick up a tour guide (coming in May) and details on volunteering and attending the tour for free, can be found at asapconnections.org or by calling 828-236-1282. ASAP will share details and stories leading up to the tour on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)
ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work in the region, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.