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Arts and Agriculture go together like peas and carrots

By Amy-Lynn Albertson

Rowan County Extension Director

This weekend will be the inaugural Arts and Ag Farm Tour in Rowan County. This is a self guided free tour Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.

On this tour you will get to experience Rowan County agriculture and meet some of county’s finest farmers and artists. There are 12 farm sites on the tour this year.

At Back Creek Farm, 2600 Back Creek Church Road, Mt. Ulla, farmer Joe Hampton will offer guided pasture walks on his farm of Angus beef and Katahdin sheep at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 3 on Sunday.

Joe has been recognized nationally for his work with the Black Angus Association and is now working with Katahdin Hair sheep and an extensive collection of prize-winning heritage breed chickens. The Hamptons will be grilling some of their farm products for tasting throughout the day, as well.

At Moore Farms, 2225 Hall Road, Mt. Ulla, you will see a family farm and dairy in action. The Moores raise corn, soybeans and wheat as well as operate a thriving dairy. Dairies are a large part of Rowan County’s agricultural history and the Moores want you to enjoy some of the tastiest treats with free ice cream and milk. On Sunday, Hoffner Brothers Dairy will serve homemade ice cream at Moore Farm, a gift not to be missed.

On down the road a bit, don’t miss out on Patterson Farms and Bent Creek Ranch. Bent Creek Ranch, 3955 Millbridge Road, China Grove, is a century farm and host to the 4-H club BCR Trailblazers. Several of the club members qualified for the state horse show earlier this month. At Bent Creek, a blacksmith will demonstrate his craft, along with a talented potter.

At the Country Life Museum in Sloan Park, you will see some antique farm equipment and have the chance to buy some yummy hotdogs and hamburgers for lunch from the West Rowan FFA.

After lunch, you can head over to the Piedmont Research Station and check out some of the cool agricultural research happening right here in Rowan County. The station will offer tram tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday only. The tram tours will be about 45 minutes and you will see all aspects of a premier research farm.

If you are done traveling for the day on Saturday, head over to West Rowan Farm, Home and Garden Store. The Band Hwy 801 will play excellent country music Saturday night for their Big Barn Dance, and on Sunday there will be an open jam session with a community ice cream social from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The east and north sides of Rowan County have farms on the tour, too. At Twin Creek Farm, 2205 Hollywood Drive, Salisbury, you can visit with farmers Mark and Corrinne Mauldin. They have a freezer beef operation and plan to become an agritourism site. Mark will lead tours at his farm on Saturday at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday. While you are there, you can visit with artist Ann Bourque at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

At Elium Farm, 2085 Lake Road, Salisbury, the Eliums have an extensive collection of John Deere memorabilia, honey bees, blueberries, vegetables and a unique firewood program.

As you head down Stokes Ferry Road, stop at Emerald Rose Farm, 575 Windy Knob Way, Salisbury, a horse farm and host to the Happy Trails 4-H Club. A new foal was born just six weeks ago and will be on site with Amira, the mother.

After all that excitement, you can head on down to Morgan Ridge Vineyards. Relax and watch the outstanding documentary “Farmers for America” that follows several people as they try to realize their dream of becoming farmers.

For more information about the Arts and Ag Farm Tour, go to www.rowanartsandag.com or check it out on Facebook.

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