With a variety of farm tours and open houses scheduled in April and May, now is a great time to plan a trip to a North Carolina agritourism farm.
“With more than a thousand agritourism farms across the state, it is easy to find all types of activities the family can enjoy,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Whether you spend a few hours picking strawberries or an entire weekend doing a farm tour, there’s a lot to learn about modern agriculture by visiting a farm.”
Here are some of the events happening in April and May:
- In Durham County, Blue Whistler Farm will host an open farm tour and market on April 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors can purchase sustainably raised meats and eggs from the farm, sample rabbit and learn more about the young farmers who run Blue Whistler.
- Mitchell’s Nursery & Greenhouse in Stokes County is also having an open house April 16. Visitors can tour the nurseries and greenhouses from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The open house also serves as the kickoff event for the nursery’s Plant a Row for the Hungry. The charity program encourages home gardeners to add a row to their vegetable gardens and donate the crop to a local hunger relief agency. Visitors can pick up a free starter pack at the open house while supplies last.
- On April 17, Plum Granny Farm, which is also in Stokes County, will hold its open house from 1 to 5 p.m. The farm will have a variety of certified organic transplants for home gardeners, including heirloom and hard-to-find varieties. In addition to plants, the farm also will sell organic soil amendments, farm-fresh produce and jams.
- The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association will hold its annual Piedmont Farm Tour April 23 and 24 from 2 to 6 p.m. The event features 38 farms stretching across Alamance, Chatham, Durham, Orange and Person counties. Advance tickets are $30 per car load of people.
- In Beaufort County, Raised in a Barn Farm will host a Boots ‘n’ Bouquets Bridal Show & Farm Tour on April 30. The country store, wedding and event venue will hold the bridal showcase from 2 to 5 p.m. Guests can tour the farm and learn more about its history.
- The Chase FFA Alumni will hold a Farm Day on April 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rutherford County Agricultural Education Facility in Rutherfordton. The event will feature antique farm equipment, barnyard animals, live music and food.
- The Farm Heritage Trail in Buncombe County will hold a grand opening event on May 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the historic Sandy Mush Farm in Big Sandy Mush. The trail is a scenic, two-hour drive through rural Buncombe County connecting several farm stops.
- For some light recreation, tourists can visit Jackson Farms in Sampson County. The 150-acre working farm is also part of the North Carolina Birding Trail. Guests can expect to view a variety of birds including redheaded woodpecker, brown-headed nuthatch, prothonotary warbler, blue grosbeak and indigo bunting.
In addition to these events, strawberry farms across the state are opening their doors to visitors searching for sweet berries at roadside stands and you-pick-farms. The N.C. Strawberry Association maintains a map of all the farms on its website at www.ncstrawberry.com/growers.cfm.
For additional agritourism events and activities, go to www.visitncfarms.com.