It’s time for the 2017 Rappahannock County Annual Farm Tour, a free, two-day, self-guided tour taking place this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23 and 24, and offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse of many of the county’s diverse working farms.
Rappahannock County, officially founded in 1833, has long been deeply rooted in agriculture, with the majority of its early settlers working as small farmers.
The mission of the Farm Tour, now in its ninth year, is to present to locals and visitors alike an unforgettable educational and enriching experience of Rappahannock agriculture.
“Out of town visitors can experience Rappahannock County to its core. It’s definitely an opportunity for us show off to people from out of town what this county is like,” says tour co-chair Laurie Smith. “This county is so tourism based, and much of the attraction centers around agriculture. So people coming from the city will be able to experience the fun of visiting a farm and getting a little dirty.
“Locals, at the same time, can visit the farms to see what’s in their backyard, to experience the inner-workings of these farms. It is so important to keep that connection.”
Apart from getting a little dirty, each farm will provide distinct hands-on experiences, including lavender infused food tastings, hayrides, animal pettings, art yarn blending and spinning, even sampling clay oven pizzas. And of course observing if not participating in everyday farm life undertaken by the farmers themselves.
This year’s tour, from 10 to 5 Saturday and 11 to 5 on Sunday, will feature eleven farms: Bean Hollow Grassfed, Belle Meade Farm (Saturday only), Caledonia Farm, Freestate Llamas, Garden of Eatin’ at the Inn at Little Washington (Sunday only), Happy Henz, Heritage Hollow Farm, Narmada Winery, Rock Mills Farm, The Farm at Sunnyside, Woolf Lavender Farm.
Rappahannock County Farm Tour 2017 guidebooks were distributed this past weekend and can be picked up at numerous local businesses (stop by the newspaper and we can hand you one). The guidebook is also available online, and contains an interactive map.
Farm tour participants take note: There is little cell phone coverage in Rappahannock County, so map your schedule and directions in advance; wear appropriate shoes and clothing for the farms; leave pets at home; be careful of barbed wire and electric fencing.