Summer Farm Tour to Focus On Sustainable Agriculture
Farmers in Moore and Richmond counties will have an opportunity this summer to take seven field trips to observe examples of sustainable agriculture practices.
The tours, to begin Tuesday, June 17, are sponsored jointly by the Cooperative Extension Service centers in Moore and Richmond counties. The deadline to register is June 13.
Taylor Williams, an agriculture agent on the Moore County Extension staff, said the Farmer to Farmer Program will take tour members to farms in the area, including two in Chatham County, where they will tour the operation, learn production practices and ask questions of host farmers.
The first tour, on June 17, will take them to the Cohen Farm, where organic hay and grain are raised, and to the Lindley farm, a transitional dairy farm. Cohen has 30 years of experience in organic production. The Lindley Farm is a generations-old dairy in the process of converting to an organic operation.
On Saturday, June 28, tour members will visit the Carboro Farmers Market, described as "an incredibly bountiful and prosperous market" where farmers will have an "opportunity to assess new market possibilities and crop opportunities."
Harland's Creek Farm is the site for the Tuesday, July 8, tour. This is a historic farm with extensive flower and vegetable gardens and is an example of agritourism and Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA).
Williams said a CSA is an agreement whereby an individual farmer contracts to supply a family with produce during a given season. The concept was introduced in Japan in the 1970s and is just catching on in areas of the United States.
The Monday, July 21, trip will take the Farmer to Farmer Program to Perrywinkle Farm, where tour members will see pastured pork and poultry and learn about incorporating animals into a vegetable production system.
The Billy Carter farm at Eagle Springs in Moore County will be the destination for the Tuesday, Aug. 5, trip. This visit will feature organic sweet potato production in which the farmer finds satisfaction and profit growing for the organic market, according to Williams.
The Wednesday, Aug. 20, tour will feature Bill Dow, who produces vegetables for sale to restaurants. Dow is regarded as one of the area's premier organic farmers, and he will share his insights.
Doug Jones, a farmer and instructor in the Central Carolina Community College Sustainable Ag Program, will close the program on Tuesday, Sept. 9. He will discuss growing produce beyond the conventional seasons.
For each session, the tour group will leave at 8 a.m. from the Moore County Agriculture Center, 707 Pinehurst Ave., Carthage. Expected arrival time at the farm will be about 9 a.m., and everyone should return to Carthage about 1 p.m.
The $100 cost for the program includes transportation as long as seating is available, or the participant may choose any two programs for $50. The fee covers payment to mentoring farmers for their time, and checks should be written payable to the Richmond County Cooperative Extension.
If there is not sufficient interest by the June 13 registration deadline, the program will be canceled. For this reason, the Extension Service is urging interested persons to register as soon as possible. Information is available by calling the Moore County Extension office at 947-3188.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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