NC Agritourism Opportunities Abound for Fall

Lucky 3 Farm Goat, one of the many farm residents welcoming agritourists.
Lucky 3 Farm Goat, one of the many farm residents welcoming agritourists.

Released by Annie Baggett, agritourism marketing specialist, NCDA&CS

From celebrating alpacas to picking apples and from corn mazes to pumpkin patches, NC agritourism farms are full of family fun this fall.

“Whether it’s picking fruits and vegetables or learning about livestock, agritourism farms offer a fun way for the general public to learn about agriculture,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “With about 600 agritourism farms across the state, it’s easy to find an agritourism experience near you.”

Following is a listing of several agritourism farms opening their doors to visitors this fall:

Alpacas

  • Apple Hill Farm in Banner Elk will hold an open house to celebrate National Alpaca Farm Days with guided farm tours September 24, 2016, from 10am to 4pm and September 25, 2016, from noon to 4pm.
  • Alpaca Dreams in Louisburg also will hold an open house September 24 and 25, 2016, from 10am to 4pm.
  • Perry Farm Alpacas in Hillsborough will hold its celebration for National Alpaca Farm Days on September 24, 2016, from 10am to 3pm.

Apples

  • Justus Orchards in Hendersonville will offer apple picking at the farm through mid-October 2016. The century-old farm offers more than a dozen varieties of apples.
  • Millstone Creek Orchards in Ramseur will host Apple Fest 2016 each weekend of September. The celebration includes apple picking, cider-press demonstrations and apple pie eating contests. The orchard also will host Oktoberfest Saturdays and Sundays in October with pumpkin-themed activities.

Corn mazes and pumpkin patches

  • Blackwell Family Farms in Oxford opens its corn maze Saturdays and Sundays in October. The farm also has a paintball shooting gallery, pumpkin patch and farm animal petting zoo.
  • Corn Maze at Hubb’s Farm in Clinton, September 17-November 14, 2016. Hubb’s Farm is open to school groups Tuesday-Friday and to the public Friday-Sunday. The farm features a corn maze, pumpkins, hayrides and a ride on Cranky the Combine.
  • Cukabury Farms in Fairmont will open its Maze Craze and Pumpkin Fetchin’ September 26-November 4, 2016. The program is open to private groups and schools Monday through Friday.
  • Gross Farms in Sanford will be open September 17-November 6, 2016. The farm offers a corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides and other activities for the public on Saturdays and Sundays. The farm will open on Fridays starting in October. School groups can schedule weekday appointments during the season.
  • Lineberger’s Maple Springs Farm in Dallas will offer a pumpkin patch and pick-your-own muscadine grapes starting September 2, 2016. The farm also offers weekend hayrides in September and weekend and weekday afternoon hayrides in October.
  • Odom Farming Co. in Goldsboro will run a corn maze and pumpkin patch September 24-November 5, 2016, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
  • Thomas Family Farm in Richfield will kick off its first season with a grand opening on September 12, 2016. The farm will have a pumpkin patch and other fall activities Saturdays and Sundays through October 31, 2016.

Food-related events

  • Greenlands Farm in Bolivia will host a Farm to Fork Tapas and Tour on September 24, 2016.
  • Grove Winery & Vineyards in Gibsonville will partner with the NC Cheese Trail to host its Cheers to Cheese Fest on October 1 from 1-5pm. The event will feature local wine and cheese pairings.
  • Goat Lady Dairy in Climax hosts monthly farm-to-fork dinners during the fall. Each dinner features a five-course meal featuring locally sourced products. Fall 2016 dinner dates are September 23 and 24; October 14 and 15; November 11 and 12; and December 2 and 3.

Other events

  • Carolina Farm Stewardship Association will host its 10th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour September 17 and 18, 2016. The self-guided tour includes 25 Triangle-area farms. (Ed. Note: More information at www.carolinafarmstewards.org/etft.)
  • Cypress Bend Vineyards in Wagram will host its 12th Annual Fall Harvest Festival and Grape Stomp on September 10, 2016, from 11am to 6pm. Visitors can pick grapes, compete in a grape stomp and enjoy other grape-related activities.
  • Deans Farm Market in Wilson will host a fall festival September 24 and 25, 2016. The celebration will include hayrides, children’s games, pumpkin decorating, a soybean maze and other activities.
  • Franny’s Farm in Leicester will be the site of Asheville BARNAROO 2016 — September 30-October 2, 2016. The weekend music festival promotes local food and musicians.
  • Happy Hills Alpaca Farm in Monroe will host its Spinning Yarns Festival on October 22, 2016. The event features storyteller Linda Goodman, Celtic music and farm tours.
  • Hop’n Blueberry Farm in Monroe will host a Monarch Tag and Release event on October 1, 2016. Guests can catch migrating butterflies in the farm’s Zinnia field, tag them for research and release them back into the wild.
  • Raised in a Barn Farm in Chocowinity will host the NC Sunflower Festival September 2-4, 2016. The event includes live music, games, food and hot-air balloons.
  • Rising Meadow Farm in Liberty will hold its 14th Annual Farm Fest on September 25, 2016, from 11am to 4pm. The event features fiber animals, shearing demonstrations, food vendors and more.

Visitors are encouraged to call ahead to check operating hours. A complete list of agritourism farms is available at www.VisitNCFarms.com. The online directory provides contact information and allows visitors to search by areas of interest and location.

 

Ed. Note: In addition to the events listed above by the NCDA&CS, check out these Eastern NC Farms with agritourism and Fall event options:

  • Franklin County’s Lucky 3 Farm — welcomes agritourists to stay and experience their working farm. More information is online at www.lucky3farm.com/#!farmstay.
  • Vollmer Farms — Fall events some years include bonfires at the farm. See www.vollmerfarm.com/fall-season-fun.html. Note that there is also a farm house that may be rented for a stay at the farm, on AirBNB here.
  • Deans Farm Market — Watch for special Fall events, or stop by for a haywagon farm tour —  deansfarmmarket.com.
  • Kindred Spirits Farm — planning a Fall open house with barn tour and horse-ing around. — www.kindredspiritsfarmnc.com.
  • Meadow Lane Farm — hosting Dinner in the Meadow 2016, an outdoor meal with farm-fresh foods prepared by local chefs plus a silent auction, and host Frank Stasio (WUNC’s The State of Things). Proceeds benefit the Leonard-Mobley Small Farm Fund. The Louisburg NC dinner is September 11, 2016, tickets are $100, and details are here.

If you know of an Eastern NC farm offering agritourists options, please let our editor know via email.

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