Amissville column for Sept. 22

Amissville’s fun Farm Tour venues

With the Rappahannock County Farm Tour just two days away, interesting Amissville area tour venues have made the decision of where to go even more difficult.

Coriander, born the first week of September at Crowfoot Farm, awaits visitors during this weekend's Farm Tour.
Coriander, born the first week of September at Crowfoot Farm, awaits visitors during this weekend’s Farm Tour. By Molly M. Peterson

Sometime during the two-day event, you’ve got to go to Crowfoot Farm to see whether Coco the Brown Swiss cow has given birth to her calf. This bovine bundle of joy will join the popular Coriander, a wide-eyed half Brown Swiss-half Jersey stunner born on the family homestead during the first week of September.

The family chose Brown Swiss cows because their milk has the ideal protein-to-fat ratio for cheese-making, cheese being one of many artisanal products for sale in the Crowfoot Farm Store, which will be open both days of the tour. In addition, visit with baby calves, sheep, turkeys, chickens and ducks and try your hand at the old-fashioned butter churn, which forms part of a display of antique dairy equipment. Two artisans will be at Crowfoot Farm — Donna Le Pre, who produces luxury natural skincare and fragrance products plus beguiling felted figures; and Diane Killmon, who will sell her beautiful hand-sewn bags.

Grape harvest continues at Narmada Winery during farm tour weekend. If you ever wondered how those grapes get picked, you’ll see it is still done by hand. In addition, step into their elegant tasting room for a glass of their just-released Tannat 2011. Another option would be their popular Midnight 2012, characterized by General Manager Mary Ann Dancisin as a “fruity, soft and luscious red” which will be released during farm tour weekend. Peckerwood Chainsaw Creations will be at Narmada during the farm tour weekend.

Are you still thirsty? What about lunch? You can do something about both at Wits End Farm. From 11:30 to 1:30 both days, they will serve a gourmet farm-to-table lunch featuring gluten-free lamb sausage from their own flock of grass-fed sheep. For adult thirst, come taste the locally sourced French-style dry ciders and dry sparkling meads produced by their new enterprise, Hinson Ford Cider & Mead. Youngsters can get a cup of sweet cider as they watch the cider pressings at 11, 1:30 and 3:30 both days, using a little muscle and fresh Rappahannock apples. Come see the beautiful hand-dyed fibers and meet personable sheep dressed in their lustrous wool sweaters. The artisan on hand will be jewelry-maker Cynthia Given.

While Happy Henz Farm has a Castleton mailing address, they’re almost in Amissville. They have many not-to-be-missed experiences during farm tour weekend, beginning with their wonderful fresh pizzas cooked in a wood-fired outdoor clay oven. In addition, visitors can stroll by fields of heritage grains, sunflowers and hops, then make a choice in the pumpkin patch. After meeting their new herd of Spanish Heritage goats, plus assorted chickens, ducks and livestock guardian dogs, take tours of Alex’s wood and guitar shops. On-site artisans represent a family affair; Libet Henz from Far Ridge Ceramics will have her handmade tiles and Mary Henze will be doing fiber spinning demonstrations.

The Rappahannock Farm Tour runs from 10 to 5 on Saturday and 11 to 5 on Sunday. All 17 venues have copies of the tour guidebook. You may also download one at the event website at