Tour de Farms will give you a view of our world

VERGENNES — ACORN’s 11th annual Tour de Farms, one of Vermont’s oldest cycling farm tours, has released the list of farms for the Tour’s first-ever route in Vergennes. On Sunday, Sept. 16, riders will be invited to stop at Adam’s Berry Farm, Boundbrook Farm, Flower Power VT, Kimball Brook Farm, Nea Tocht Farm, Pelkey’s Blueberries/Charlotte Village Winery and Philo Ridge Farm for a day full of fresh flavors. There is also a shorter, kid-friendly 10-mile route for those who prefer a more relaxed adventure.
“There will be so many different tastes, landscapes and food systems to experience, it really will be a feast for all the senses!” says Amelia Norris, the Tour de Farms event manager.
Boundbrook Farm in Ferrisburgh is the first stop on this year’s tour. Erik Andrus, and his wife, Erica, began farming their land over 14 years ago. Originally interested in growing wheat and having previously lived in Japan, Andrus realized that with its wet, heavy soil, the land would be better suited for rice. At under six acres, Boundbrook is much smaller than typical Japanese rice operations, but is considered large in New England.
FARMER ERIK ANDRUS holds a duckling destined for the rice fields at Ferrisburgh’s Boundbrook Farm, the first stop on this year’s Tour de Farms.
Courtesy photo
The Andrus family uses a unique system to manage its weeds and fertility using ducks. In addition to providing a natural pest and weed control, the ducks provide a rich source of meat and eggs for the farm. Boundbrook Farm is also home to Good Companion Bakery, which produces wood-fired breads, pastries and pretzels. Tour participants will learn about the Andrus family while enjoying Good Companion baked goods and maple iced coffee brewed fresh from Middlebury’s own Vermont Coffee Company.
After Boundbrook Farm, riders will continue on to Flower Power VT, run by Anne Flack-Matthews and her partner, Ed. Using organic farming and permaculture methods to lessen the farm’s impact on the environment, Flower Power VT boasts over 100 varieties of perennials and annuals, as well as vegetables, herbs, and eggs. At the farm, each rider will get a beautiful flower to attach to their bicycle and will be sampling pickles from Pin Up Pickles as well as maple glazed ham, cheese, crackers, and mustard from Dakin Farm. 
“I’m very excited to be a part of the Tour and share our beautiful valley with outdoor lovers. We will have thousands of flowers to enjoy and the donkeys and llamas are looking forward to saying hello,” says Flack-Matthews.
Adam’s Berry Farm in Charlotte, where Adam and Jessica Hausmann grow organic strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, is the next stop on the tour. The Hausmanns will be serving up fresh strawberry lemonade alongside Agricola Farm (Panton) sausages, bacon bites and torcetti cookies as well as baked goods from Nitty Gritty Grain (Charlotte). Berries, popsicles, and other goods from Nitty Gritty Grain and Agricola will be available for purchase.
ADAM AND JESSICA Hausmann grow organic fruit at their Adam’s Berry Farm in Charlotte, which will be a stop on the 11th annual Tour de Farms bike ride, Sept. 16.
Courtesy photo
A Farm Van will enable riders to purchase products directly from the farms without having to worry about how they’ll get them back to their car. The Tour de Farms will start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. at the Vergennes Union High School.
The last stop on the ride is the Eat on the Green Festival in downtown Vergennes, which is organized by the city’s many restaurants. The festival features live music, kids’ activities and local foods and beverages from noon-6 p.m. The second annual Eat on the Green is another chance to explore Addison County’s local food providers with an added bonus of valet bike parking provided by Local Motion for riders of the Tour.
The tour terrain is hilly with a mix of paved and dirt roads so a mountain bike or road bike with wide tires is recommended. The Tour de Farms is a rain or shine event. Advance registration is now open at bikereg.com/tourdefarms and will close on Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. The advance registration fee for those who sign up by Aug. 19 is $60 for adults and $35 for students and kids under 18. The on-site registration fee the day of the event is $75 for adults and $50 for students and kids.

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