Farm Tour set for Friday, Nov. 20
Posted On: November 11, 2020
Specialty crops from soil to sea will be highlighted during Volusia County’s 39th annual farm tour. The agricultural industry is the silent engine of the Volusia County economy where local farmers create jobs, feed families and pump more than $780 million into the local economy.
The local agricultural industry will open their doors for visitors to learn more about local farming from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Nov. 20. The farm tour, which has been a popular fall tradition since 1981, is jointly sponsored by the University of Florida/Volusia County Extension and the Volusia County Farm Bureau.
This year’s event will spotlight eight of the more than 1,500 farms in Volusia County. To practice social distancing the farms, will open their doors for visitors from 9 a.m. to noon and offer tours to small groups every half hour unless otherwise noted. This open house format will allow best practices for protection against COVID-19 transmission. Face coverings are highly encouraged.
This year’s farm tour will include four East Volusia and four West Volusia farms that can be visited in any order, at any time during the scheduled times. Each tour stop will have signage that delineates the entrance, exit and parking. Follow the signs and park in the designated parking spots. Some locations will have limited parking.
The following West Volusia farms will offer tours every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to noon:
- Four & Change Farm/Katahdin Sheep Farm, 1327 W. State Road 40, Pierson. Sally Mangra has been raising Katahdin sheep for almost 10 years and is president of the Florida Meat Sheep Alliance. Participants will better understand sheep production in Florida and how Mangra markets her products to the end consumer and youth livestock exhibitors.
- Legacy Farms and Ornamentals, 665 Bennett Road, Pierson. The McNaughton family are fourth and fifth generation farmers who will show how they have created a business using their knowledge and experience in cattle ranching, raising hogs, and growing cabbage and cut foliage. They will also showcase their newly constructed agritourism venue, which can be rented for special events.
- Perez Nursery & Landscaping, 1375 U.S. 17, Seville. Perez Nursey & Landscaping has been in business for over 13 years and is owned and operated by three brothers. This tour will highlight the company’s 25 acre retail and wholesale nursery. Trees, shrubs and perennials will be available for purchase.
- Vo-LaSalle Farms, 601 Johnson Lake Road, DeLeon Springs. The Crump family will discuss the latest vegetable varieties, citrus and orange juice, and cutting-edge irrigation techniques at this diversified vegetable farm that sells directly to the consumer. Fresh-picked fruits and vegetables will be available for purchase.
The following East Volusia farms will offer tours every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to noon:
- Benedict Farms, 705 Airport Road, New Smyrna Beach. Benedict Farms, established circa 1934, is in Samsula and is built on family tradition. After many years of producing hay for their cattle, the farm is expanding by growing delicious seasonal vegetables to be enjoyed by the community. Fresh-picked fruits, vegetables, baked goods and jellies will be available for purchase.
- 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 food wisely and eating healthy. Fresh picked fruits and vegetables will be available for purchase. Tours will be offered every hour from 9 a.m. to noon.
- IROC (Indian River Oyster Company), 520 Barracuda Blvd., New Smyrna Beach. This oyster company is family owned and operated by farmers who share a passion for raising oysters from tide to table. Their oysters are grown in the Indian River Lagoon, where IROC strives to bring the highest quality oyster while conserving the lagoon for future generations. This tour stop will take place at the Marine Discovery Center. IROC promotional products will be available for purchase and oysters will be available for order.
- Yaupon Brothers American Tea Co., 1814 Fern Palm Drive, Edgewater. Yaupon Brothers American Tea Company was founded in 2015 by two brothers, Bryon and Kyle White, and a former mentor-turned-business-partner, Mark Steele. This tea company uses leaves from the native yaupon holly to create local, sustainably produced teas. Each leaf is hand-plucked, carefully dried or fire-roasted, graded and milled, and hand-packed in Edgewater. A wide variety of yaupon teas will be available for purchase.
For more information, visit www.volusia.org/extension or call the extension office at 386-822-5778.