You may be familiar with the term “farm to table” used in many restaurants over the past few years. If you really want to get an idea of a farmer’s life and how his products get to the market, come and visit some of our favorites with our list of best farm tours in Western NC. These include a wide variety of agricultural products, from vineyards to a goat dairy, honey bees, and hemp fields.
Western North Carolina is home to many family-owned and operated farms; many are organic. These farms provide a local source of products for our community. Some farms closest to Wildberry Lodge have partnered with us to provide farm tours for our guests.
Addison Farms Vineyard
4005 New Leicester Hwy., Leicester | 828-581-9463
Addison Farms Vineyard is the place to go for spectacular views. Not only do you get to enjoy the views, but you can sip wine while gazing and snapping photos. Depending on the season, there may be availability for a wine maker’s tour complete with details about vintages. Ask us about scheduling a tasting for you.
For sale on tour: Wine tastings, wines by the bottle, wines by the glass, and charcuterie products.
Mount Gilead Farm/French Broad Creamery
588 Green Valley Rd., Leicester | 828-515-0120
Mount Gilead Farm is a working goat dairy and farmstead creamery on about 50 acres. Tour the barns, milking parlor, and cheese house. You’ll also want to stop in the farm store. Hike up the hill into the upper pastures to visit our highly sociable goat herd or take an easier half-mile walk along the restored stream that runs through the farm. Every season brings a different experience.
For sale on tour: Farmstead goat cheese, cajeta (Mexican goat-milk caramel sauce), jams, local pottery, and art.
Franny’s Farm and The Utopian Seed Project
22 Franny’s Farm Rd., Leicester | 828-708-5587
Franny’s Farm has something for everyone: organic herb and vegetable gardens, honey bees, greenhouses, and fully operating composting. Learn about our hemp plants and their use for food, fiber, and medicine. Explore the diverse crops grown in The Utopian Seed Project’s experimental trials, and watch a seed-saving demonstration. Meet and greet with our rescue donkeys and our goat herd—and feed them treats! View our flock of heritage chickens and learn how we incubate, hatch, and raise them as a central force behind our sustainable agricultural practices.
For sale on tour: Produce, organic herbal tea blends, honey, preserves, and hemp and CBD products.
Enjoy a meal: Franny’s Pasta and Prana food truck with hemp pasta.
Jason Davis | 147 Gilbert Rd., Leicester | 828-989-4046
At Davis Ranch, take a wagon ride tour through the farm to see our livestock and hay fields and learn about wholesale vegetable production in the region. Hear about the history of family farms (which includes North River Farms in Mills River, NC) and our best management practices for sustainability, natural resource management, and agritourism. Meet Julie from the Society of St. Andrews to learn the importance of gleaning and how they help the local community. Enjoy a hike along a one-mile trail or stop for a rest or a picnic along our creek.
Good Wheel Farm
Michael Richarde | 293 Sandy Mush Creek Rd., Leicester | 828-231-2737
Good Wheel Farm has planted several acres of trees, most of them native species, to provide future food, improve and diversify our pastures, and provide shelter for our animals. Take a map-based self-guided farm tour to see our small hybrid grape vineyard, young hazelnut grove, a riparian zone filled with paw paws, persimmons trees, and aronia berries. Plus, see our 250 laying hens, turkeys, and a flock of sheep.
For sale on tour: whole chicken, eggs, lamb, or pre-order a Thanksgiving turkey
ASAP’s Work in the Southern Appalachian Region
ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) is a nonprofit based in Asheville committed to assisting local farms in succeeding, linking local farms to appropriate markets, and connecting communities to healthy food sources. This includes offering support for farmers’ markets and creating an online local food guide resource allowing for searches by products, classes, and CSAs.
Every year ASAP sets aside a weekend in September for a widespread farm tour. Not only are there tours, but they also have hands-on demonstrations and tastings. Purchase a pass and visit multiple farms.
Start Your Day with From-Scratch Breakfast with Local Ingredients
As you visit one or two farms of our best farm tours in Western NC, you may wonder, “Where do all of the delicious and varied ingredients from these farms go?” Some of them are right in our kitchen here at Wildberry Lodge! Come and stay with us, and find out exactly how farm-to-table works. You will find the freshest ingredients in your breakfast and a peaceful and comfortable night’s slumber.