family farm tour

This weekend was the Family Farm Tour in western North Carolina. My roommate Lane and I went to several farms near her hometown of Celo and in Marshall and Mars Hill. Check out these photos for the Reader’s Digest version…

The first farm that we went to was Green Toe Ground Farm. It’s out in Yancey County, about a mile from the inn that Lane’s parents own and operate. (The Celo Inn, highly recommended.)

Here are some baby basil beds at green toe ground:

Next, we went to a place that’s also close to Celo, called Mountain Farms that is a lavender/blueberry/goat farm. Why these three things, you may ask? I’m not sure, but I had a feeling it would lead to blueberry lavender goat cheese. It did! And blueberry lavender goat milk lotion, and various combinations of each of the farm’s products.

When we arrived, they had lavender lemonade out for visitors and I was tempted to take the whole cooler and run. Anyway, to the goats. I will warn you, the rest of this post is mostly goats. I really love goats.

There were people feeding them.

So naturally, we got involved. This is my goat. They are surprisingly insistent and if you put your fingers too close, they may also mistake those for bottle nipples.

This was the mama goat, her name was Aurora and we fed her some clovers.

Then we went to Spinning Spider Creamery in Marshall, NC. I’ve been a fan of their rosemary fig goat cheese since I discovered it, and became a fan of lots of other kinds of cheese today. The farm is run by a family, and one of the sons is really into herding dogs. They use them to herd goats, but they also go to herding competitions, so they got some sheep so the dogs would know what they look like. They did a demonstration.

The rest of the pictures are goats from Spinning Spider. They had a lot of babies, and this one was chewing on some guy’s (human) baby carrier.

In this photo, they are in the milking room, where they had just been herded by the border collie and are about to get milked by machines.

After the creamery, we went to Wild Mountain Apiaries to see some beekeeping in action. Unfortunately, I got way excited and forgot my camera in the car. I’m very disappointed about it now. I learned about bear fences and honey beehive keeping. Very cool. I’m sorry there is no visual here.

Instead, I’ll leave you with this:

I got really excited about the idea of farms today. There’s something so romantic about being able to do something with your hands, be it milking goats and making cheese or growing vegetables, and live off of your work. I also think it’s really wonderful that people around here try so hard to make sure that small farmers can keep farming and supporting themselves. I want to become a farmer? I don’t know of what, or where, but I hope there are goats!

Posted in wnc

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