Polk Farm Tour set for June 24

Published 5:00 pm Friday, June 2, 2017

On Saturday, June 24 farmers will swing open their gates and invite the public to join them for the Polk Farm Tour. This full day event will offer visitors the opportunity to connect with farm animals, explore fields and orchards, and meet the farm families who help make Polk County such a special place.

Agriculture has been the backbone of the county for centuries, and an exciting crop of young farmers is helping to reinvigorate the traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation.

Returning to the tour this year are TK Family Farm and GO Garlic, both wildly popular destinations last year. TK Family Farm is the home of Brittany and Jon Klimstra and the farm’s namesake three knuckleheads – their children.

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Visitors to their farm will learn about pasture-raised pigs, chickens, goats, and donkeys, as well as Polk’s first high-density apple orchard, which uses a modern trellis system to produce higher quality fruit earlier than other methods. The farm will have stations for learning about the different jobs on the farm and is sure to be a kid favorite.

Visitors to the TK Family Farm will get to meet goats, pasture-raised pigs, chickens, and donkeys, as well as tour Polk’s first high-density apple orchard.

GO Garlic launched one of the first vegetable specific Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription programs in our area. The CSA allows customers to get a monthly allotment of high-quality, heirloom garlic to spice up their home cooking. Owners Amy Feldman and Theresa Granito grow 12 unique varieties of garlic, and cure and package them right on the farm.

Also returning to the tour for the first time in more than five years is Nelon Knoll farm. You may have seen this epic herd of American Bison grazing on their pasture from your car window while driving on Highway 74. Motorists often stop on the side of the highway to take pictures and catch a glimpse of American history. At the Polk Farm Tour, visitors will have the rare treat of seeing the bison up close.

After a full day of experiencing life on a farm, tour participants can indulge in a cold glass of sangria or a refreshing chardonnay at one of Polk’s local vineyards. Several wineries will also be featuring tasty treats from local farms, including cheese from Looking Glass Creamery and pastured meats from Bradley Farms.

The Polk Fresh Farm Tour is once again partnering with Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) to hold the tour the same weekend as their region-wide tour. Polk Fresh pass holders are welcome to use their pass to visit farms on the ASAP tour, which is spread across western North Carolina. Tour passes are on sale now at growrural.org and many establishments throughout Polk County, including the Columbus and Tryon farmers markets.

For more information, contact Patrick McLendon at 828-436-0040 or by email at patrick@growrural.org.

– article submitted by Alex Kazer