Carolina Kitchen

Today is last day for Inaugural Midlands Farm Tour

sardis@thestate.comApril 3, 2013 

  • If you go Midlands Farm Tour

    What: Ten farms and gardens in Richland, Lexington and Kershaw counties

    When: 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

    Cost: $25 per carload or bicycling group, in advance. Ticket is good for both days. Or $30 for all farms the day of the tour or choose to visit a single farm, $10 apiece

    Information: Brochures and tickets at Whole Foods Market at Cross Hill or download map and purchase tickets at www.carolinafarmstewards.org


    Tour Tips •  The ticket price is per carload so it doesn’t matter if you’re a single in a Mini or a family of ten in a minivan. It’s the same price, make the most of it. •  Look for the red tomato signs that help mark the way to the farms. Download the map or bring the brochure. •  Relax, don’t expect to get to all the farms in one day. Pick three or four that are in the same area and allow about an hour or so per farm. •  Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. Tour is rain or shine and ... you’re visiting FARMS. •  Bring a cooler for those purchases of fresh eggs, veggies, cheese and such. •  Sanitize. You may be asked to wash your shoes or to step on a disinfecting mat before entering a farm. This is to prevent farm-to-farm spread of germs. You may also want to bring along a hand cleanser for the kids. •  DO NOT bring pets •  DO NOT visit farms before 1 p.m. or after 5 p.m. •  DO NOT enter private homes
    Other farm tours

    Upstate Farm Tour , June 1 and 2; cosponsored by CSFA and Whole Foods; farms throughout Greenville, Spartanburg, Laurens, Newberry, Anderson, Abbeville and Greenwood counties; information at www.carolinafarmstewards.org

    Lowcountry Dirt Roadtrip, April 20; sponsored by Lowcountry Local First; tours on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands and McClellanville; www.lowcountrylocalfirst.org

Yippee! It’s finally here ... the very first Midlands Farm Tour is this weekend.

So what? Well, this is the perfect chance to go out and meet those farmers that you see or buy produce from at the various farmers markets around town. On. Their. Own. Turf.

Put a face to those veggies ... and eggs ... and chickens, etc.

It’s very important that we support these folks because local and organic food is not only good for you, but it’s good for the local economy (spend the money where it stays, in the community). I’ve been on the Upstate Farm Tour before (scheduled for June) and had been hoping that eventually there would be a tour around here. It’s fun to get out and see where the farmers live and how they work and what makes them so special to us all.

So ... who’s on the tour?

There are 11 stops on the tour, sponsored by Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Whole Foods Market. Here’s a brief idea of what you’ll see:

City Roots , 1005 Airport Blvd., Columbia, (803) 254-2303, www.cityroots.org

Take a look in the greenhouses and learn about micro-green production or check out the state-of-the-art aquaponics system that reuses water from the tilapia pond to grow edible flowers and watercress.

USC Community Farm & Garden, 1216 Wheat St., Building C, Columbia, (803) 777-0833, www.artsandsciences.sc.edu/greenquad/garden

Located at the Green Quad, this new in-town farm produces herbs for campus dining halls and boasts both greenhouses and outdoor permaculture areas.

NOMA Community Garden, 2700 River Drive, Columbia, (803) 545-3100, www.columbiasc.net/communitygardens/491

NOMA stands for North Main and is the largest of the 20 community gardens in Columbia. Gardeners rent 5-foot-by-20-foot raised beds to grow vegetables and flowers with compost and water supplied by the city.

Terra Kotta Farms, 2412 Lewie Road, Leesville, (803) 580-9642

This small farm uses only water collected from rain barrels. Learn about the process of rainwater catchment and meet the heritage breed chickens.

Heritage Fields Farm, 10350 Broad River Rd., Irmo, www.heritagefieldsfarm.com

Heritage Fields Farm uses low-impact farming methods, beehives for pollination and the hydroponics system in the greenhouse allows for year-round lettuce crops.

Doko Farm, 2101 Cedar Creek Rd., Blythewood, (803) 873-7739, www.dokofarm.org

Family-owned since the mid-1800s. Features heritage breed chickens, pygmy goats and produce. Tours of the farm and pastures every hour on the hour.

Crooked Cedar Farm, 1464 Lawhorn Road, Blythewood, (803) 786-4841, www.sites.google.com/site/crookedcedarfarmsc

Raised-bed vegetable production, free-range chickens and perennial flowers and daylilies

Paradise Acres Farm, 374 Gettys Road, Elgin, (803) 427-6943, www.paradise-acres-farm.com

Tour the farm and feed the free-range chickens and turkeys, learn about guinea hens, check out the goats, the raised bed gardens and the new fruit orchard. Home-baked gluten-free pies and cookies and pulled pork BBQ for sale.

Wil-Moore Farms, 1916 Three Branches Road, Lugoff, www.wil-moorefarms.com

Check out the cattle, Tamworth hogs and free-range chickens – all raised on certified organic pasture. Sample some of the products and let the kids have fun at the children’s station.

Carolina Bay Farms, 5301 Lower Richland Blvd., Hopkins, (803) 422-4929, www.facebook.com/carolinabayfarms

Heritage breed chickens, turkeys, quail and guinea hogs roam land that was part of a 1760 land grant from the King of England. Fresh seasonal produce.

 

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