Well, the SlowFood First Coast Chapter did an outstanding job organizing and holding its’ first Tour de Farm yesterday. Touring with my friends Roxy and Joe, we learned most farms expected about 30 or 40 people at most and were amazed at well over 300 people visiting their farms. Traveling along picturesque roads we visited Fresh Start Hydroponic Farm and learned quite a bit about vertical gardening, tasted some datil pepper concoctions and bought a tomato. From there we visited a goat farm and sampled delicious sorbet from Seacow Confections…I tried the fennel and mango lime flavors…yum! Goats’ milk, cheeses and vegetable plants were also available. Next was Maggie’s Herb Farm. Not only was the farm beautiful with every variety of herbs you could want, the property was decorated with great wooden chairs and their small gift shop carried many unique pots and garden art. Blue Sky Farm was our next stop complete with a display of various potatoes and a yummy sample of fingerling potatoes prepared by the Floridian Restaurant. From Elkton we headed south a couple miles to Hastings and the Partnership for Water, Agriculture and Community Sustainability for a view of an edible landscape. I hope to implement some of the landscape design I saw in my yard. After a U-turn we headed to Sykes and Cooper Farm for one of the homemade pies only to find an empty table…they had sold out of the pies about 1 1/2 hours before our arrival 😦 After arriving back in St. Augustine there was one final stop at the Cracker Style Sustainable Retreat on the banks of Moultrie Creek. Local artists Gayle Prevatt and Enzo Torcoletti have created a 3 acre sustainable farm with beekeeping, chickens, citrus trees, a veggie garden and composting areas. The marble sculptures, pottery and an alligator integrated into the landscape were a bonus to this amazing marsh side farm! This was our last stop as we quickly approached 5:00 PM and the close of the tour. We all agreed Tour de Farm was a great success and hoped it would be a 2 day event next year so we could visit more farms! Enjoy the slide show from on our Sunday journey.
Sources: Blue Sky Farm, Fresh Start Hydroponic Farm, Maggie’s Herb Farm, Cracker Sustainable Retreat, Partnership for Water, Agriculture and Community Sustainability, Terk’s Goat Farm, Sykes and Cooper Farm, First Coast Chapter of SlowFood