ASAP likes to share stories of people who help us fulfill our mission. This month, in anticipation of the Farm Tour, we’ve spoken with Tom Elmore of Thatchmore Farm. Tom is a farmer who attends the Farm Tour as a visitor each year. Hear why Tom visits other farms, and purchase your pass today to attend the tour yourself on June 25-26!
How many of ASAP’s Farm Tours have you attended?
I have attended the Farm Tour for many years beginning when CFSA managed it and since ASAP generously assumed the management role. I try to go at least one day each year. We periodically are a host farm on the tour.
As a farmer, what do you enjoy about visiting other farms on the tour?
Farm tours are a great learning opportunity. Most sites are niche market growers and it is fun to see how each farmer solves the puzzle of how to make a living on the land.
What tip(s) would you give to a first-time visitor on the Farm Tour this year?
I suggest picking a cluster of farms for each day. Two or three farms might be a good target although some farms keep us occupied for an entire afternoon. Occasionally, we pick a site near our farm for the trip home if we have a little extra time.
How did/do you decide which farms to visit?
Consider visiting a farm that grows the food that you eat – from tailgate markets for example. Ask if they are on the tour. Another approach is to pick a farm growing a crop that you know little about. I also like going to farms similar to ours. Nearly everyone has a different approach to solving problems that we all have in common.
What was a memorable moment or experience you’ve had on the tour?
It’s very rewarding to see farms that have grown from a concept to reality and then became more successful over the years. Eventually they become mentors to other apprentices and young farmers and the cycle continues.
How has attending the Farm Tour influenced you afterwards?
I rarely attend a farm tour where I do not learn something that I can use on our farm. On two different occasions, I picked up approaches to stacking shiitake logs that helped improve our efficiency. The tour also helps to remind us that we are part of a network of local food providers, and it helps to see how excited other attendees are at being part of the process of keeping family farmers on the farm.
To learn more about the tour, visit ASAP’s Farm Tour page.Tags:ASAP event, faces of local, Farm Tour