Start your Eastern Triangle Farm Tour adventure, Sept. 17-18 from 1-5 PM, on the Orange trail. With 4 farms, each one about 15 minutes away from the next, this trail has a huge amount of variety and is a great trail for farm tour goers coming from the Cary, Apex, or Southern Wake County areas. Your first stop, just minutes from downtown Raleigh at the Lake Wheeler Field Station near Historic Yates Mill Park, is the NCSU Agroecology farm. Visit with students at NC State to see how they’re learning to grow food not far from campus. Then, head to Ninja Cow for expansive views and grass-fed beef and pork, pack your cooler with organic veggies at Hilltop Farms, and finish the trail with a visit to the heritage breeds (including beautiful Oberhasli dairy goats) at In Theory Farm.
NC State Agroecology Education Farm
This student learning farm provides hands-on education about agroecology and sustainable agriculture to NC State students, staff, faculty and the surrounding community. Currently, there are around two acres under production, including a hoop house and an acre of open field. All produce is used in the NCSU dining halls or donated to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Students and volunteers will be available to lead a guided tour and answer questions.
Ninja Cow Farm
Just about 15 minutes from downtown Raleigh, Dan Moore and his family operate this stunning 100 acre farm tucked away on the edge of the city. Visitors will enjoy meeting grazing cows face-to-face, learn about rare breed pigs living naturally in the forest, see top bar beehives, and watch chickens free ranging on responsibly managed pastures. The Moore’s raise their pastured beef and pork using no commercial feed, instead utilizing over nine million pounds of reclaimed produce per year! Stop in the farm store to pick up Ninja Cow products and treats from other like-minded local family farms like ice cream, chocolate milk, and snack sticks. Wondering where the fun name came from? Check out Dan’s blog for all the details.
Hilltop Farms of Willow Springs
If you’re a Raleigh/Cary resident who’s been considering joining a CSA, you’ve got to check out the Hilltop CSA program. Hilltop Farms is Wake County’s first and only USDA certified organic produce farm, operating on 44 acres of historic family farmland in southern Wake County. Farmers Fred & Virginia Miller grow a variety of vegetables and fruit, and have a horse boarding operation as well as free range chickens and a couple of pet goats! Take a hayride to visit the organic fields or sign up for an equine lesson with an up-close visit with their horses in the horse barn. Pack your cooler full of fresh-picked organic veggies at this stop, and pick up 100% USA organic cotton Hilltop Farm t-shirt.
(Pro tip – speaking of T-shirts, if you want to snag one of our limited edition, CFSA tour T-shirts printed in NC on Cotton grown in the Carolina’s the only way to do it is by signing up to volunteer! Volunteers get an insider view of the farm, a free t-shirt & complimentary car pass to take the farm tour they day they are not volunteering.)
In Theory Farm
Built in 1890, this farm was in disrepair when farmers Rachel and Lindsey started their rehabilitation of the pastures and barns in 2010. As many of CFSA’s beginning farmers will tell you, when you’re starting your farm business from the ground up things don’t often go quite to plan. In Theory…. The best laid plans always work out, right? Come see how this farm has grown into a beautiful 10-acre, diverse, pasture-based, Animal Welfare Approved farm raising Oberhasli dairy goats, Jersey cows, and pastured poultry and pigs. Pet the goats and calf, hold a chick, watch a milking demonstration and learn about caring for livestock. We’ll have eggs, pork, lamb, raw goat and cow milk (for pet food) and soap for sale.
Ready for this adventure?