Local farms offer outdoor activities, events

RALEIGH — Residents and visitors looking for farms that offer outdoor experiences and local food will have plenty of options, as many farms across the state are offering special summer events for guests.

Visitors will find festivals, berry and flower picking, farm tours and camps, picnics, workshops, farmers markets and Father’s Day events. Here’s a selection of experiences being offered at North Carolina farms through early summer.

Visitors can find farming experiences across the state by downloading the Visit NC Farms app with nearly 2,000 farms, fisheries and agricultural destinations near and across the state. The free app is available at www.visitncfarmstoday.com and by downloading it from the App Store on mobile devices. The app allows users to customize routes. Activities can also be found online at www.gottobenc.com, by clicking on the Agritourism listing under the Find Local link.

Visitors should check event dates, ticket requirements, and hours of operation before visiting.

Western North Carolina

Mother Nature in all her glory is always a reason to celebrate at Leicester’s Sandy Mush Herb Nursery. Visitors can stroll through the gardens, nursery and greenhouses while listening to the sounds of streams flowing over the farm, gentle breezes and the sounds of birds. Self-guided woodland hikes are available. Open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. https://sandymushherbs.com/

Located in historic Grassy Creek in the middle of a Christmas tree farm, the Old Store offers local produce, crafts, gifts, a Christmas tree education center and a large patio for sit and enjoy the scenery. A grand opening will take place on June 16th from 3-5pm http://theoldstoregrassycreek.com/

Appalachian Barn Alliance is hosting a benefit art gala June 3 from 5:30-8 p.m. in Weaverville. Mingle with 12 Asheville artists as they offer art for sale while sampling local food and drink. https://appalachianbarns.org/

central NC

Canady Farm of Hope Mills is open through July from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and offers strawberries and fresh produce. https://www.facebook.com/canadyfarm/

Our local farm in Smithfield offers summer farm tours by reservation only, as well as an educational workshop and farm day camp for children. The 2022 Mini Summer Farm Schools run June 13-16 from 9 a.m. to noon and June 20-23 from 9 a.m. to noon. http://ourlocalfarmonline.com/

Greensboro’s Brookhaven Mill Farm offers Barnyard Birthday Parties (weekend dates through June available upon request) and Lavender Harvest in a Jar (June 25 & 26 and July 2 & 3) during this summer season. Check the farm’s website for more information. http://brookhavenmillfarm.com/

Celebrity Dairy Farm & Inn of Siler City Offers Goat Dairy Dinner and Tour: Celebrating Fathers – Father’s Day Dinner and Barn Tour – June 19, 1:30 p.m. https://celebritydairy.com/

Sandy Creek Farm in Lexington is hosting its 8th annual Blueberry Fest, June 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Live music, food, berry picking, observation hive and bee exhibit, and a nature trail. Farm store and greenhouse open for shopping. http://www.sandycreekfarm150.com/

Flint Rock Farm of Cameron offers “Choose Your Own Bouquet” from late June to early July. Call to make an appointment. Farm experiences and educational activities can be scheduled for field trips, individual family outings, birthday parties and family reunions. http://flintrockfarmcameron.com/

Ramseur’s Millstone Creek Orchard hosts the Randolph East Farmers’ Market with events such as fruit picking (blueberries, blackberries, early peaches), luxury picnics, fruit picking hours and peaches with relaunch. The Apple Barn and Ice Cream Parlor are also open. Check website for dates and times. http://millstonecreekorchards.com/

Smith’s Farm Market, Strawberry Farm and Garden Center of Benson offers Farm Storytime every week on Tuesdays from 2-3 p.m. The farm is hosting a luscious workshop on June 3 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and will be open this summer. with gardening workshops, self-guided farm tours, story time with crafts and a kids’ gardening club. Check the farm’s website for more information on events and plan to spend a day with your family. http://www.smithsnurseryinc.com/

The Tobacco Farm Life Museum of Kenly hosts a living history at the Tobacco Farm Life Museum: weekly on Saturdays, 10am-2pm. The museum hosts its annual BBQ Cook-Off Challenge on June 17-18. http://www.tobaccofarmlifemuseum. org/

Hinnant Family Vineyards of Pine Level hosts a Farmer’s Market and Local Craft Show beginning June 18 and recurring on the third Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. http://www.hinnantvineyards.com/

Hillsborough’s Firefly Farm begins its Fireflies on the Farm event in June. On select Friday nights, guests are encouraged to bring a picnic, pick flowers, and settle in to watch the fireflies put on their nightly show. Check website for dates and times. https://www.fireflyfarmnc.com/

Fernrock Farm in Hillsborough will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. starting in mid-June for pick-your-own flowers. The farm features a peaceful setting with raised beds containing Southern favorites such as dahlias, zinnias, celosias, daisies, cockscombs and more, as well as a farm pond with a fountain and plenty of feeders for goldfinches, bluebirds and hummingbirds. http://www.fernrockfarm.com/

De’Farm on Catawba’s Blueberry Hill will be open for blueberry picking and farm tours until August 15. The unique experience starts at the antique market cart with photo ops, followed by fun in the blueberry field harvesting delicious blueberries, then farm tours, which include a log-grown mushroom plot and trails hiking trails covered in moss. http://www.defarmonblueberryhill.wordpress.com/

Sunshine Lavender Farm of Schley is hosting a June Bloom Festival June 4th and 11th with Cooper Lasley Farm, Honeygirl Meadery and Picnic Basket Catering along with other local businesses and non-profits. Farm visits. Fresh lavender. Unique workshops. Relax in a yoga class. Shop the Farmers Market, and more. Prepaid tickets are required. Learn more on the website. http://www.sunshinelavenderfarm.co/

Visit Serenity at Stony Point Alpacas of Stony Point for alpaca interactions and educational farm tours. Reservations must be made in advance. https://www.serenityalpacas.com/

Olin’s Plants and Products from the Prevette Family Farm will open in mid-June with pick-your-own or pick-your-own blueberries and blackberries. The farm will also have flowering perennials for sale in the nursery. Call Debbie for appointments at 704-880-8284.

Eastern North Carolina

Gregory Farms and Vineyard of Currie is gearing up for its blueberry harvest celebration on June 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit the vineyard on select weekends for Saturday wine, music and food events. Check website for dates and times. http://gregoryfarmsandvineyard.com/

Purple Bloomers Lavender Farm in Lillington will open June 4-5 for pick-your-own lavender. The farm invites guests to come visit, see all the flower fields and cut their own lavender stems. Visit the farm’s Facebook page for additional dates. https://www.facebook.com/purplebloomerslavenderfarm/

Twiddle Dee Farm of Clinton is open to the public through a farm membership program. The farm is open to members for an intimate, safe and unique getaway experience including new trails. Guests can also enjoy blooming flower gardens, fire pits, wide open spaces, streaming jazz music, and a store with unique gifts and edibles. Only adults. http://www.twiddledeefarm.com/

Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Lu Mil Vineyard in Elizabethtown and treat yourself to an afternoon on Doc’s Deck, stroll through the vineyard, rent a golf cart, go-kart or bicycle, browse the museum of antiquing in the Barrel Room, enjoy a few minutes admiring God’s Creations or spending the night in one of the winery’s cabins. http://www.lumilvineyard.com/