Local News

Tour offers a look at local farms

Posted September 20, 2009 5:53 p.m. EDT
Updated September 20, 2009 11:01 p.m. EDT

— People of all ages got to sample some locally-grown food and meet with farmers this weekend during the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association's 4th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour.

Amazing Acres Farm at 732 Piney Grove Wilbon Road in Holly Springs was among 20 farmers taking part in the tour.

”We don't raise our animals for meat,” said Kathleen Kesselring, with Amazing Acres Farm.

Instead, Kesselring’s farm promotes farm education for children.

“So they could learn science and all the curriculum they are learning in school here hands-on with the animals and with the garden,” Kesselring said.

“Organic local farming is good for farmers, the environment and your health,” said Roland McReynolds, with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.

The tour gives city residents a chance to talk with farmers, sample produce and learn about food quality.

“This area supports local organic food in a very strong way. We are actually attracting farmers to this area,” McReynolds said.

The USDA census shows that while the overall number of North Carolina farms shrunk in the past five years, the number of small farms has risen. Farms around 10 acres are up from 4,400 to 5,000 across the state, according to the USDA.

Amazing Acres is one of about 600 new farms.

“They are absolutely so gentle, so used to being touched and played with,” Kesselring said of the goats on her farm.

Goats, sheep and a pot-bellied pig are among the star attractions for children.

“He is everybody's favorite because he is so friendly,” Kesselring said of goat Peekaboo.

The Carolina Farms Stewardship Association is planning another farm tour in the spring.