Arts & Leisure

30 miles and 8 farms: Tour de Farms is back

THIS YEAR'S TOUR de Farms will be hosted on Saturday, Sept. 18, when 400 riders will peddle through Charlotte, Ferrisburgh and Vergennes sampling food and beverages at the eight designated stops.

ACORN’s 13th annual Tour de Farms, one of Vermont’s oldest cycling farm tours, is returning after 2020’s COVID-induced hiatus. On Saturday, Sept. 18, riders will make eight stops along a 30-mile route and sample some of the Champlain Valley’s best food and beverages.

While the route and several of the stops are similar to previous years’, ride organizers have introduced many new vendors that will create a different experience for 2021’s participants. There will be new products to taste and enjoy, and as in past years, riders can make as many purchases as they’d like and won’t have to carry items as they ride. Ride organizers provide a concierge van that brings purchases back to the finish area.

Here’s a list of the farm stops and vendor pairings:

Boundbrook Farm — Vermont Rice will serve up sushi rolls and pastries that can be washed down with maple iced coffee from Vermont Coffee Company and kombucha from Aqua ViTea.

Fuller Mountain Farm will offer heirloom tomatoes and zucchini bars that can be accessorized with Vermont Vinegars’ vinegars and dressings, pickles from Pin Up Pickles, and locally made salami from Agricola.

Adam’s Berry Farm with host chocolatier Daily Chocolate, delicious fresh apples from Woodman Hill Orchard, locally produced honey products from Busy Bee Honey, and cheese slices from Cabot Creamery.

The refreshment station in Ferrisburgh Hollow will feature yummy baked goods from Otter Creek Bakery to be enjoyed with fresh, cold chocolate or white milk from Monument Farms Dairy.

Get a tour of Philo Ridge Farm and sample ciders produced by Shacksbury Cider and enjoy an empanada made by Viva El Sabor using Philo Ridge Farm’s meat and vegetable products.

Pair a wine tasting at Charlotte Village Winery with preserves made by V Smiley Preserves and award-winning goat cheeses made by Blue Ledge Farm.

CBD-infused juices and teas from Kimball Brook Farm, as well as fresh melon from Lalumiere Farm, and try an elixir made by Valley Clayplain Forest Farm.

Tour the dairy barn at Nea Tocht. Vermont Maple Market will be there serving some of the best maple creemees around and selling maple products.

When riders finish there’s an after-party at Vergennes Union High School with handmade ice cream from Lu.lu Ice Cream, switchel from The Yerbary, and a local musician playing acoustic guitar.

“Coming out of the long shut-down, it has been incredibly heartening these last few months to witness the community’s support for our local foodshed. In pre-COVID years, there was always a lot of excitement for the Tour, and this year that energy seems to have bubbled over 10-fold,” said Lindsey Berk, ACORN’s executive director. “The 2021 Tour de Farms is just what the doctor ordered for everyone to get out, celebrate our local farmers, and reunite in person while sharing delicious, nourishing food. This won’t be an event to miss.”

The Tour starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. at the Vergennes Union High School. Registration prices vary based on age and entry date ($35 to $85) and the field will be capped at 400 riders.

The terrain includes rolling hills with a mix of paved and dirt roads so a mountain bike or road bike with wide tires is recommended. As this is a casual ride through the countryside, riders are welcome to use e-bikes. The views of the Champlain Valley landscape are beautiful and camera-worthy. The Tour de Farms is a rain or shine event. Advance registration will close on Sept. 16, at 5 p.m.  Visit bikereg.com/tourdefarms to register and for more info.

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