Tour de Farms gears up for bicycle ride

BRISTOL — The Tour de Farms is one of Vermont’s oldest cycling farm tours and is set in Addison County’s rolling farmlands — voted New England’s best biking by Yankee magazine. Over 3,000 people have ridden the tour over the last 7 years in Shoreham and Orwell.
The eighth annual tour features a new route and will be staged out of Bristol on Saturday, Sept. 26, starting at Mount Abraham Union High School and ending at the Bristol Harvest Festival on the green. The new 37-mile route will feature eight farm stops and 18 participating farms and restaurants sampling everything from apple cider to pesto, from pulled pork to watermelon.
The Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN) organizes this cycling and local food sampling tour through the beautiful rolling farm country of northeast Addison County. The tour is the most important fundraiser for ACORN’s work to promote local food and agriculture in the southern Champlain Valley. One-quarter of the proceeds from advanced registration will go to participating farms on the tour. Numerous business sponsors are helping to make the event possible.
 “The tour is a one-of-a-kind experience,” says Jonathan Corcoran, ACORN’s executive director. “People keep coming back to share a relaxing day with family and friends to experience the flavors of the fall harvest, the beauty of the land and its fall colors and the great people who make our local food community special.”
The 2015 tour runs through Bristol, New Haven, Monkton, Hinesburg and Starksboro, and will showcase the wonderful diversity of farms and local foods in this lesser known part of Addison County. The terrain is hilly with a mix of paved and dirt roads so a mountain bike or road bike with wide tires is recommended. A route map, a list of participating farms, and other tour information is available at: http://acornvt.org/portfolio/tour-de-farms.
Those not interested in riding may wish to consider volunteering at the tour. Volunteers are needed to assist with parking and registration, with prep, set-up, serving and take-down at farm-stops, and with photography. Volunteers will be entered into a raffle to win various prizes including gift certificates from the Farmhouse Group, Hotel Vermont and other sponsors. People interested in volunteering can send an email to [email protected]. The Tour de Farms is a rain or shine event.
Advance registration is now open at http://acornvt.org/portfolio/tour-de-farms/ and will close on Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. The advanced registration fee is $35 for adults and $20 for kids 14-18 years of age. The on-site registration fee the day of the event is $55 for adults and $30 for kids. For questions about the tour, contact ACORN at [email protected] or (802) 382-0401.

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