Monday, May 14, 2012

GOFO Urban Farm Tour

When we moved to South Carolina, Paul wanted to become involved in the local sustainable agriculture scene and ended up joining with this group: Greenville Organic Food Organization. and sitting on GOFO's Urban Farm Tour's planning committe, which happened this past weekend. The tour included 31 sites to visit, all within 8 to 10 miles of downtown Greenville, and all which follow organic practices.
My friend, Joy and her family came down to attend with us. We started out at the GOFO headquarters to tour a couple of gardens there, get acquainted with local businesses, and attend a workshop on raising chickens. We were also able to buy some organic snacks and rub elbows with urban farmers that are in the know! What a treat for those of us who are still pretty new to all of this!

We left HQ and toured a couple of sites with impressive gardens. The first one, Appalachian Feet, contains chicken, bees, vegetables, and berries, all in an 1/8th-acre backyard space! All over the place the owners had posted handy little notes for our reading.

From there we headed to another site, where the owners also raise chickens, bees, vegetables, and berries, but they also have a backyard greenhouse. Just beside the greenhouse we noticed a large raspberry bush, where one of the owners invited us to taste the berries to our content!

At that point we headed home to let Miss Penny nap and have lunch, and then we headed back out to some sites on the other side of the tour. Along the way our trip was slightly delayed by some geese crossing the road:

Once we'd found our way to Blueberry Hill, we were quite impressed with its 120 chickens and huge area of blueberry bushes! This family farm offers pick-your-own berries in the summer, which we will be sure to take advantage of this year!

Our last stop was a backyard garden in a subdivision. It was quite different from the rest of the sites we visited, but equally impressive with its raised beds, blueberry bushes, flowers, vegetables, and herbs:

What I appreciated most about this tour was the manner in which each site owner made the most of his space. Being an urban farm tour, the criteria included being within 10 miles of the GOFO Headquarters, so some of these sites had very little space. Appalachian Feet best exemplified this aspect, for sure!
I was also quite impressed with the beauty and diversity of these sites. It was apparent that these site owners love what they do and are interested in sharing their knowledge with others. I am happy to have made some contacts with businesses and gardeners who can help us get just a little closer to what we as a family are trying to achieve!

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