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Program Post: A Kid’s-Eye View of the Farm Tour!

Hickory Nut Gap Visit

Each Thursday, ASAP’s programs take you behind the scenes of their work. This week, our Growing Minds Farm to School Program talks to the youngest of our area farmers and finds out why they think the 2013 Farm Tour is a must for kids!

From ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program

Farms in Western North Carolina are getting ready to open up their barn doors and welcome visitors on September 21 and 22 as part of ASAP’s Farm Tour. The Farm Tour is an exciting opportunity for people of all ages to see first-hand where the food that supplies their favorite restaurants, grocery stores, and tailgate markets comes from—but it’s especially fun for kids. Plus, it’s a neat way for students participating in Farm to School activities to continue learning outside the classroom and cafeteria!

So what do kids living on participating farms think about the upcoming Farm Tour? For some of them, like Andy Harrill at Imladris Farm, it’s an opportunity to share the beautiful place where they live with visitors. Andy loves living at Imladris Farm and enjoys doing his share of the chores each day. “Working with the animals is a fun part about living on a farm,” Andy says. “Right now we have rabbits and chickens; we used to have goats and sheep but not any more. The chickens are my job, so I work with them every single day.”

Andy is especially excited about showing kids around the farm. “This year, I’m going to be with one of my friends, and she’s going to be doing a kid’s class,” he shares excitedly. “We’re going to be talking about how plants grow, nature, stuff like that. Kids will get a learning experience and get to hold baby rabbits. They can even try to catch a chicken if they want. Notice I said ‘try!’”

The Fairview Cluster of the Farm Tour (click for a map in our Farm Tour guide) has a number of additional highlights for kids along with Andy’s activities at Imladris. Young visitors can play a pollinators bean bag game at Cloud 9 Farm and enjoy a special tasting activity at Adelbert Farm.  They can also check in with nine-year-old Cyrus Ager at Hickory Nut Gap Farm.

During the tour, Cyrus will be busy playing his guitar to entertain farm visitors with a little help from his cousin on viola. “Kids should go on the tour because it’s a great way to learn about the farm,” explains Cyrus. “They can ride the kiddie carts as part of the fun fall activities!”

Cyrus’ brothers Levi (three) and Nolin (six) will also be on hand to help children navigate the farm. They will assist visitors and show off the farm’s newest arrivals. “Kids should go on the Farm Tour to see the baby chicks!” exclaims Nolin.

Download a tour guide or pick up a copy at vendors around the region to learn more about farms offering highlights and/or special activities for children. Also be sure to download or pick up a copy of our Local Food Guide for Kids; on page 18, you’ll find a Farm Tour Journal activity!

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