Connect with the Source of Your Food on the 22nd Annual Piedmont Farm Tour
By Leah Joyner, carolinafarmstewards.org
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) and Weaver Street Market are opening the barn doors on 35 sustainable farms in the Piedmont, Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23, 2017, 2-6pm each day.
The 22nd Annual Piedmont Farm Tour, the oldest of its kind in the United States, is the way to connect with the source of your food.
“Come on the tour to meet local farmers and see firsthand how they grow and raise the sustainable, nutrient-dense food you love,” says Leah Joyner, CFSA Farm Tour Coordinator.
The affordable, family-friendly tour features 35 farms spread across Alamance, Chatham, Orange and Person counties. Tour tickets purchased in advance are $30 per car for all farms, all weekend. Your button is your car pass — good for a full carload of people. Day of registration is $35. Buy your tickets in advance and save $5! Or, become a CFSA member and you’ll save $5 more (members pay $25 in advance).
Tickets can be purchased online at www.carolinafarmstewards.org/pft, at Weaver Street Market locations in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough, and at many other convenient spots throughout the Triangle.
Volunteers take the tour for free and receive a limited-edition Piedmont Farm Tour tee-shirt. Volunteer at www.carolinafarmstewards.org/ft-volunteer.
Make the most of the Piedmont Farm Tour by picking a favorite farm each day as a starting point and using the online map to plan a self-guided tour to three or four more tour farms surrounding your favorite. Visit any farm in any order. More than 2,400 visitors took part in the tour last year, connecting the dots from farm-to-fork.
“There is absolutely nothing like seeing a field of spring vegetables, hearing a passionate farmer describe the love and skill they put into making it grow, and learning how difficult that is – especially without using synthetic fertilizers and harmful pesticides,” Joyner says. “It makes you want to support this local business, this local farmer, who is a true steward of the land and an important part of the community.”
Going to see a working farm that practices sustainable agriculture and treats their animals humanely is a great way to cut through noisy, buzz-word-filled marketing of “natural” and “free-range” food. Tour visitors can see baby barn animals and fields of veggies, sample and buy farm-fresh products, and talk directly to the farmers growing the food. “Food you can trust starts at the source — at the farm,” Joyner says. “Don’t forget to take a cooler so that you can bring home some of the farm fresh products for sale at many farms!”
The event is co-sponsored by CFSA and Weaver Street Market, an essential partner in building the Piedmont Farm Tour into a Triangle institution over the past 20+ years. Proceeds support the work of CFSA. No pets allowed. The tour is rain or shine.
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a farmer-driven, membership-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic foods by advocating for fair farm and food policies, building the systems family farms need to thrive, and educating communities about local, organic agriculture. Founded in 1979, CFSA is the oldest and largest sustainable agriculture organization in the Southeast.
Weaver Street Market is a community-owned grocery with stores in Carrboro, Southern Village and Hillsborough. Weaver Street Market has been supporting local family farms for over twenty years.