Farmers welcome public to see where their food comes from

Bee Tree Berry Farm is one of the stops on the Centre County Farm Tour, which takes place Aug. 12.
Bee Tree Berry Farm is one of the stops on the Centre County Farm Tour, which takes place Aug. 12. Centre Daily Times, file

It’s not every day you have the opportunity to see where your food comes from. But next weekend county farmers will open their doors to the public.

The 12th annual Centre County Farm Tour is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 12.

The farm tour, which has been organized by Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture for 11 years, is now in the hands of the Centre County Farmland Trust.

It features 11 working farms — everything from vegetable farms to wineries.

Most farms will have tours, food tastings and children’s activities, said Sarah Walter, CCFT executive director.

Just buy a pass for your car ($15 in advance, $20 day of — or $5 for a single farm) and hit the road.

There’s no predetermined route. People can choose the farms they’re interested in.

Walter recommends trying to visit four or five farms in the six hours of the tour.

It’s behind-the-scenes access people don’t normally get, said Jennifer Shuey, CCFT board member.

“It really is quite generous of our farmer partners to be giving such a big chunk of the day over to interacting with the public,” Shuey said. “I mean, obviously their chores don’t stop.”

Joseph Griffin, CCFT board member, said the tour is like a public service so that people can learn about one of the major industries in the county.

It’s an important industry that doesn’t get a lot of attention, he said.

“But we like to say ‘you need a farmer three times a day,’ ” Walter said.

Walter advised those who participate in the tour to bring a cooler to buy some products from the farms they visit.

“That’s really, for me, what it’s about is shining a spotlight on these farmers and kind of lifting them up,” Walter said.

The tour also is a way to make a connection between community members and where their food comes from and the land that supports it, Shuey said.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

Centre County Farm Tour

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 12

▪  Bee Tree Berry Farm, 494 Benner Road, Bellefonte

▪  Goot Essa Farm, 351 Wise Road, Howard

▪  Happy Valley Vineyard & Winery, 576 S. Foxpointe Drive, State College

▪  Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery, 300 Houser Road, Centre Hall

▪  Over the Moon Farm, 190 View Drive, Rebersburg

▪  Penns Valley Youth Center Food Centre, 106 School St., Spring Mills

▪  RE Farm Cafe at Windswept, 1000 Fillmore Road, State College

▪  Student Farm at Penn State, Fox Hollow and Big Hollow roads, University Park

▪  Spring Bank Acres, 531 Millheim Narrows Road, Rebersburg

▪  Triangle Organics, 5799 Penns Valley Road, Aaronsburg

▪  Way Fruit Farm, 2355 Halfmoon Valley Road, Port Matilda

Find more information at www.centrecountyfarmtour.com.