This trail showcases four very different farms across the Wake Forest and East Durham areas. At Turtle Mist Farm visitors will see a variety of heritage breed animals and learn about hydroponic and aquaponic growing techniques. You definitely don’t want to miss the fainting goats, delicious mushrooms and beautiful pastured poultry at ChickCharney Farm. Stop by MamaSprings Farm or Laurel Branch Gardens for a glimpse at the incredible foods being grown within a stone’s throw of downtown Durham. With such a wide range of stops to choose from you can make an entire afternoon of this trail, or choose one or two to mix and match with the nearby purple adventure trail!
Turtle Mist Farm
Visit with farmers Bob and Ginger Sykes at their pastoral small family farm, a former horse boarding and bull riding facility which has been converted to raise animals and produce in sustainable, humane ways. Visitors will see raised hair sheep, Gelbvieh beef cattle, Bourbon Red turkeys, Muscovy duck, free-range laying hens, quail, partridges, pheasant, geese, LaMancha goats, Flemish giant rabbits and Berkshire, Tamworth and Ossabaw hogs. Tour the vegetable garden to learn about a variety of unique growing methods and check out the greenhouse equipped with hydroponic growing systems and see the aquaponic gardens. A narrated hayride is available for a small fee. Time your visit well and make it for the goat milking demo conducted at 3PM. Enjoy live music both days. Tasty bratwurst sandwiches, snacks, & drinks await at this meal stop!
Dr. Julie literally wrote the book on caring for the health of your chickens! Backyard poultry enthusiasts and other pastured poultry farmers – this is a must see stop for you. Come learn about ChickCharney farm’s mission to preserve vanishing historic varieties of poultry and to demonstrate that heritage poultry are not just pretty birds; they are productive and useful in small scale, sustainable, local agriculture. Visitors will also be in for a treat with the chance to harvest log-grown shiitake mushrooms, plant microgreens, learn about pastured poultry production, watch hatching chicks and swimming ducklings and make sure you get a video of our fainting goats!
(Pro tip: Don’t forget to charge your phones & bring a camera! You heard us when we said fainting goats, right? That’s insta worthy – use #ETFARMTOUR to show off your farm tour photo finds!)
Laurel Branch Gardens
Laurel Branch Gardens is a 12-acre section of an old tobacco farm between Raleigh and Durham. Just 15 minutes from downtown Durham, farmer Evan Hughes has been hard at work regenerating the farm and soil through sustainable production of a diversity of vegetables, fruits and livestock. Visitors will enjoy seeing this farm’s flock of pastured hens and other livestock plus stroll through the perennial and annual garden plots of a new Triangle farm!
Mama Springs Farm
MamaSprings is a family run, urban farm located in East Durham. In addition to seasonal vegetables, flowers and herbs, the farm is also home to a small flock of happy laying hens and ducks. Farmer Carolyn Rose-Seed and her family are committed to sustainable farming practices, growing produce free from chemical inputs. This stop is perfect for home growers looking looking for smart, creative ways to increase your own backyard food production as it is small in scale, and more of market garden operation than large commercial farm. Pick up beautiful cut flowers, seasonal veggies, and save room for a snack of homemade baked treats & lemonade!
Ready for this adventure?