City slickers can see how the other side lives during the 37th annual Farm Tour, set for Friday, Nov. 16.
The self-guided tour has been an annual tradition since 1981. Drivers can follow a west side or east side tour, each of which includes five farms.
The Farm Tour is sponsored by the University of Florida/Volusia County Extension and the Volusia County Farm Bureau to showcase the county’s agricultural industry, which has a $781 million annual impact on Volusia County and represents 3 percent of the county’s economic activity. The county’s 1,114 farms cover 229,000 acres and produce the area’s fruits, vegetables, honey, cattle, sod, fish, timber and plants.
9 to 10 a.m.: Fern Trust, 2184 U.S. Highway 17 N., one mile north of Seville. Fern Trust was founded in 1986 as a cooperative of quality-oriented growers sharing a rich history in agribusiness. Together these growers have decades of experience.
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.: Evans Fish Farm, 1195 E. Washington Ave., Pierson. Visit one of the most progressive aquaculture facilities in Florida, and see several species of sturgeon and other varieties of fish.
Noon to 1 p.m.: Vo-LaSalle Farms, 601 Johnson Lake Road, DeLeon Springs. The Crump family will discuss the latest vegetable varieties, hydroponic strawberries and cutting-edge irrigation techniques at this active vegetable farm. Fresh-picked fruits and vegetables will be available for sale.
1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: EFG Orchids, 4265 Marsh Road, DeLand. This fourth-generation nursery was established in Illinois in 1939 and moved to DeLand in 1999. Take advantage of this opportunity to buy orchids directly from the wholesaler.
3 to 4 p.m.: S & S Apiaries, 630 Bottle Island Road, New Smyrna Beach. Meet owner Jesse Azam and watch honey extraction. Learn about raising honeybees, cloning queens, pollination, honey production, and the positive impact of honeybees have on the ecosystem of the Indian River Lagoon. Discover what is being done and what can be done to preserve bees in the United States. Food truck refreshments will be available for sale.
9 to 10 a.m.: Harvest Fields Hay Ride, 1093 S. Williamson Blvd., Daytona Beach. Take a hayride and enjoy a 500-acre farm-animal production that is available for educational field trips and group agri-tourism events. This event is cosponsored by Southeastern Hay & Nursery.
10:30 to 11:30 a.m.: Weaver Organic Recycling, 4323 State Road 44, New Smyrna Beach. This mulch farm recycles land-clearing debris and compost into mulch and topsoil. This keeps valuable nutrients out of the landfill and redistributes it across the landscape.
Noon to 1 p.m.: Common Ground Farm, 1330 E. Taylor Road, DeLand. This vegetable farm combines traditional organic practices with the latest in farming approaches. The owners will explain how they grow their vegetables to be more nutritious and offer tips on choosing your food wisely and eating a healthier diet.
1:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Tomazin Family Farm, 191 S. Cucumber Lane, Samsula. This 40-acre family farm, started by Slovenian emigrants in 1915, is now run by Bill Tomazin, the “barefoot farmer,” with help from his son Paul. They farm year-round, growing 70 varieties of vegetables.
3 to 4 p.m.: S & S Apiaries, 630 Bottle Island Road, New Smyrna Beach. Jesse Azam will share information about raising honeybees, cloning queens, pollination, honey production, and the positive impact honeybees have on the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem. He will also demonstrate honey extraction and explain what is being done to preserve bees in the United States. Refreshments will be available for purchase.
For more information, visit www.volusia.org/extension or call the extension office at 386-822-5778.