Photo by Briana Brough
Local, local, local -- the mantra of Chapel Hill foodies -- is front and center for the 17th annual Piedmont Farm Tour this weekend. Consumers get to go right to the source of their meat and produce -- literally.
Matt Ballard of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association says the idea is to show people the reality of what a farm looks like. The two-day, self-guided tour features 40 farms in Orange, Chatham, Durham, Alamance and Person counties.
The tour serves two purposes, Ballard says -- first, to raise consciousness about farms and local food. Second? "It's fun," Ballard says. "People like to visit the countryside on a spring day."
The idea has spread, too. The Farm Stewardship Association also runs tours in the eastern Triangle in the fall, as well as upstate South Carolina.
Rob Bowers of Whitted Bowers heirloom vegetable and strawberry farm in northern Orange, which has been on the tour for five years, says it was a great way to introduce his farm to the community when it opened about six years ago. He and his wife, Cheri, have been farming for 20 years -- in California before moving to North Carolina. They worked for environmental nonprofits before turning to farming.
"It's great to see the interest that people have in farms, and the food and farm ethic here is just incredible," Bowers says. TW
The 17th annual Piedmont Farm Tour is from 1-5pm April 28 and 29. The cost is $25 per carload.