3rd Annual Georgia Mountains Farm Tour

| 5/15/2014 11:08:00 AM

Georgia Mountains Farm Tour 2014

The Georgia Mountains Farm Tour is rapidly becoming a favorite summer event for families, foodies, and farmers.  This is the third year of the annual farm tour featuring sustainable growers throughout northeast Georgia.  The farm tour is a project of Georgia Mountains Farmers Network (GMFN) in association with Soque River Watershed Association (SRWA).  GMFN was formed in 2011 with grant funding from Certified Naturally Grown in response to small farmers throughout the region looking for a way to connect and strengthen the local food system. 

Justin Ellis, GMFN organizer and SRWA director, explains “GMFN farmers decided on a set of priorities to focus on as a group.  One of those priorities is to host public events to increase awareness and generate support for our local food producers. Georgia Mountains Farm Tour is the result.” 

GMFN farmers volunteer their time to the farm tour to accomplish that goal and to generate funds for the organization so that the network can work on accomplishing other priorities on their list, such as cooperative marketing efforts, acquiring equipment that can be shared, and hosting technical workshops for network members.

Brooks Franklin of Leah Lake Farms, one of the farmers featured on the tour and a GMFN Board member, says he enjoys the variety of visitors that come for the farm tour. “It is a great event for families. Each location is unique; some have games for kids, others have animals to pet, visitors can bring a fishing pole and try their luck in Leah Lake.  New farmers, home gardeners, and everyone who eats can learn a lot on the tour about the successes and challenges of sustainable growing practices. I get a lot of great questions from guests who want to understand how I am able to grow lettuce year-round.” 

“We are blessed to live in a region with a strong and growing local food system,” says tour coordinator Maggie Van Cantfort. “The Georgia Mountains Farm Tour is an opportunity each year to celebrate our regional food producers who are committed to growing without using synthetic chemicals or GMOs. It is also a rare opportunity for the public to get an intimate look into farm operations.”