Polk Fresh Farm Tour Saturday, September 20

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Last week Dawn Jordan and I traveled Hwy 64/74 for a beautiful drive through the forest. We were on our way to visit New Beginning’s Farm in Rutherford county minutes from the Polk border.

Dawn was excited to have me meet John and Sheri Crenshaw and have them show me the “really cool” projects they have going on since their purchase of their land 14 months ago. As we pulled up to the property, the first impressive sight was the large, multi-story farm house. Before I could finish my first thought of, “Wow, would I like to see inside that.” John and Sheri greeted us and whirled us indoors. They began talking about the history of the 1900s home and let us know the improvements they had already made plus the the projects that were underway. One could not help but feel the energy in this grand old dame.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

They showed us the home’s original split-level outdoor kitchen, which now serves as a root cellar downstairs and soon to be guest house upstairs.

Outside, their tiny Tennessee Fainting goat gave out a call, along with their four female Nubian goats and guard donkey, came over assuming it was feeding time. We made our way inside the gate and entered the most elaborate goat house I had ever been in. Originally a grain bin, this octagonal structure was a site to be seen.

In another building, we walked amongst the new flock of heritage breed hens of many colors. In the same building are rabbits that are sold mostly as pets but also for meat.

The Crenshaw family will be rolling out the red carpet for a visit for all to remember. I cannot wait for my children to enjoy the period games, their petting zoo inclusive of their newest addition, a Great Pyrenees puppy. Lemonade and light snacks will be available as will farm fresh eggs. This is a must-see for history buffs and families.

Headed back on Hwy. 9 towards Sunny View is Old Mule Farm. Named for the appreciation of their farming background and the role farm mules played in past family farms, Old Mule farm has been around since 1993, home to Old Mule BBQ sauce.

Situated on 64 acres of wooded and cleared pasture, Old Mule Farm raises Katahdin Hair Sheep which are a breed of sheep that were developed in the United States in the late 1950s. Katahdin are hardy, adaptable, low maintenance sheep that produce superior lamb crops and lean, meaty carcasses. They do not produce a fleece and therefore do not require shearing. The breed is ideal for pasture lambing and grass/forage-based management systems.

On this stop, visitors will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the sheep and learn how the livestock guardian dogs play a role in the flocks’ survival against predators.

This is the perfect opportunity to get first-hand accounts of the steps involved from inception to production. Old Mule Sauce will be available for sale at the Farm.

Farm Tour tickets are sold by the carload. Special discounted passes will be available to families with students in Polk County schools thanks to a generous donation from Slow Food Asheville Foothills. A motorcycle pass and Growing Cycle Farm Tour passes will also be available. Tickets are available for purchase at the Mill Spring Farm Store inside the Ag Center, Meanwhile Back In Saluda’s Shop, Overmountain Vineyards and La Bouteille in Tryon as well as online. All vehicle passes sold will be accepted throughout the weekend at both the PolkFresh Farm Tour and the ASAP Farm Tour.

Contact Dawn Jordan 704-692-4358 or d.jordan@polknc.org or Mindy Wiener mindywiener@gmail.com for further information or to get involved as a volunteer.


– article submitted
by Mindy Wiene