Family Picks

Kid-friendly farm outing tours 27 local farms

CorrespondentSeptember 19, 2013 

On the Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, your family can learn where food comes from while petting baby animals, eating ice cream and taking tractor rides.

JERRY DEWITT — RARE EARTH FARM

This weekend on the Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, your family can learn where food comes from while petting baby animals, eating ice cream and taking tractor rides. This is farming made kid-friendly.

From 1-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, you can make the rounds of 27 small farms in Wake, Durham, Chatham, Franklin, Granville and Person counties. Sites include urban mini-farms, a goat cheese dairy and many farms that raise organic vegetables and Animal Welfare Approved livestock.

“The tour is a great way to learn where your food comes from and support the farmer who grows it,” said Roland McReynolds, executive director of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, which organizes the yearly tour. “It’s also a whole lot of fun.”

The tour is self-guided, so you buy your ticket, get a map and visit any of the farms you choose. Tickets good for both days and unlimited farms are $30 per vehicle, and can be purchased at Whole Foods stores or at carolinafarmstewards.org. If you only want to visit one or two farms, you can pay $10 at the individual farm.

Organizers say all the farms are great for families, but a few especially kid-friendly ones include:

• Winterpast Farm in Wake Forest will have a petting zoo with pigs, goats, sheep, emu, llama, mini-donkeys, geese, ducks, peacocks, chickens, quail and rabbits. Homestead Harvest in Wake Forest and MAE Farms in Louisburg also promise lots of animals.

• Bull City Farm in Rougemont will have face painting and a scavenger hunt, in addition to barnyard animals.

• Melvin’s Gardens Herb Farm in Rocky Ford, north of Louisburg, will have pumpkin painting, plus lots of baby animals.

• Rare Earth Farms in Bunn will have a tractor ride.

• Also in Bunn, Vollmer Farm sells ice cream at its store and will open its “Back 40” playground for free during the tour.

If you live in the city and don’t want to drive a long distance, several small urban farms are on the tour. Raleigh has the Interfaith Food Shuttle and Raleigh City Farm, while Durham has Angier Avenue Neighborhood Farm, Homegrown City Farms, Sweet Beet City Farm and SEEDS.

All the information you need is at carolinafarmstewards.org.

If you’re not in the mood for farms, there are plenty of other happenings this weekend in the Triangle.

BugFest and Harvest Festival

Saturday is BugFest at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh. From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. you can see, touch and eat bugs at this yearly free extravaganza. There will be more than 100 special exhibits, as well as crafts, games and other activities.

For information go to bugfest.org.

It’s also Harvest Festival Time at Wake County’s Yates Mill County Park. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be historic demonstrations, hands-on games and crafts, live music, storytelling and more. N.C. State ice cream will be for sale.

More information at wakegov.com/parks/yatesmill.

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