Winter is over, trees and bulbs are blooming, and outdoor adventures are beckoning us to go play, explore, and learn. Georgia agritourism offers many different outdoor activities in the neighborhood or within day trip distance. And just in time, the 2021 Farm Bureau Farm Passport is ready for pick-up at local Farm Bureau and UGA Extension offices.
What is a Farm Passport?
Because most Georgia farms are family-owned and operated, each one has individual character.
From apples to zucchini, Georgia farm commodities directly contribute $13 billion to our state economy. The food, fiber, and timber that farmers produce supports other industries, like trucking, processing, and retail stores, and compounds the economic value to $70.1 billion in output while creating over 359,000 jobs. Agritourism is another opportunity that many Georgia farms offer.
The Farm Passport is a guide to over 80 Certified Farm Markets throughout Georgia that welcome patrons to enjoy a variety of activities, such as picking your own fruit, wandering a corn maze, petting farm animals, participating in festivals and special events, on-farm dining, and direct sales of locally produced foods.
With each visit to a unique farm, passport holders collect a stamp in their booklet. More stamps mean more options for prizes when you return the passport to Georgia Farm Bureau.
Suggestions for Planning Farm Visits
By month. Because Georgia farmers produce such a variety of products, there are reasons to visit farms year-round. For example, April is strawberry season, so you can start your Georgia Farm adventure with a u-pick outing to Warbington Farms right here in Cumming. Visit www.warbingtonfarms.com for more information.
Other North Georgia farms welcoming visitors in April include Hillside Orchard Farms in Lakemont (Rabun County), Jaemore Farms in Alto (Hall County), and Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge (Fannin County). The Passport indicates which months individual farms are open to visitors.
By product. Are you on a mission to find the perfect apple? Then a visit to Gilmer County, the Apple Capital of Georgia, in the fall is in order. Looking for locally produced beef?
Farms offering beef and other Georgia grown meats include Warbington Farms, Chisholm Hill Farm (Madison County), and Jensen Reserve (Walton County). Horticulture farms offer native and other ornamental plants and trees to enhance your landscape.
Choosing and cutting the perfect tree at a local Christmas tree farm could become a generational family tradition. The Passport lists the different products grown or sold at each destination.
By activity. Many Georgia agritourism farms offer seasonal activities, such as festivals, corn mazes, hayrides, and petting farms. Some also offer venues for private events, such as weddings and birthday parties. The Passport includes activity icons for each participating farm.
By trail. Find a Georgia Agritourism or farm trail to follow, like the Georgia Foothills Wine Trail or the North Georgia Farm Trail. Hit the road and follow the signs to a variety of destinations, including farm-to-table restaurants, alpaca farms, and farmers markets. Visit Explore Georgia at www.exploregeorgia.org/ and Georgia Grown at georgiagrown.com/ to map your destinations.
At home. If your back yard is your perfect destination, get tips on home gardening with the Forsyth County Extension Connect with Food Gardening videos on the UGA Extension Forsyth County YouTube channel at https://bit.ly/2Pymyvq. Please also check our website for upcoming classes.
You can reach Forsyth County Extension at 770-887-2418, firstname.lastname@example.org, and extension.uga.edu/county-offices/forsyth.html.