Posts Tagged ‘agritourism’

Vollmer Farm returns with fall festivities

September 30, 2012

Happy fall, y’all! … One of my favorite photos taken for my “Farm Fresh North Carolina” guidebook is this one, of a boy we spotted at Vollmer Farm in Bunn, NC, carrying a load of pumpkins. It might look staged, but it’s not. And the big news this week is that Vollmer’s “Back Forty” just opened for its fall festivities, which it has expanded to include a puppet play tent. You might want to go later on a Saturday afternoon for the 5 p.m. bonfire and marshmallow roast, followed by a family movie at dusk. Not only does the former tobacco farm, 45 minutes northeast of Raleigh, have loads of activities for families, it has become an fully organic farm and has the largest you-pick organic strawberry field in the state. I’m a big fan! I also want to mention that the farm lost its matriarch this past summer. Betty Vollmer was an integral part of the farm, and her generous spirit still prevails.

Here’s my entry from the book: Few in the state (LET ME ADD HERE: PERHAPS THE COUNTRY!) do agritourism at the level Vollmer Farm does. What’s most admirable is that the Vollmers operate a working farm, having made the switch from tobacco to produce, while also attracting thousands of visitors a year to their “Back Forty” entertainment complex. In the spring and summer, certified organic strawberries and blueberries are ripe for the picking, while some farm produce, snacks, and ice cream are for sale in the large gift shop. Starting in mid-September, the action really picks up. Tractor rides take hundreds of visitors and school groups a day to the “back forty” acres, filled with games, playgrounds, mazes, and other agriculturally themed attractions. Address: 677 Highway 98 East, Bunn (Franklin County), 919-496-3076, www.vollmerfarm.com. Open April to October.

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‘Farm Fresh North Carolina’ has arrived!

March 6, 2011

Alpaca nuzzles Diane at Bedford Falls Alpaca Farm in Warne, Clay County.

So it’s finally here! “Farm Fresh North Carolina,” my farm-travel guidebook to my home state, is now out, Both my hometown papers, the Durham Herald-Sun and the News & Observer, have written it up this week, with more articles across the state to follow! The N&O piece used one of my favorite photos — me being nuzzled by an alpaca at the state’s first alpaca farm, Bedford Falls. What a fun day that was, way, way west in Clay County, a part of North Carolina that often gets relegated to an annex on state maps. I fell in love with alpacas during my research, and included a few alpaca farms in the book.

As for sales outlets, it’s available at the usual online spots and of course in stores all across North Carolina. Even NC Costco stores will start carrying the book in April! That is nuts (in a great way!) and a testament to how crazed the local-food movement has become. I pitched the idea for this book in 2007, the same year that “locavore” was named the New Oxford American Dictionary’s Word of the Year. My, how times have changed.

In case you’re wondering what the heck a farm-travel guidebook includes, the subtitle says it all: “The Go-To Guide to Great Farmers’ Markets, Farm Stands, Farms, Apple Orchards, U-Picks, Kids’ Activities, Lodging, Dining, Choose-and-Cut Christmas Trees, Vineyards and Wineries, and More.”

If you want to know more about it, visit my “Farm Fresh North Carolina” website. And remember: Keep it Fresh in NC!