Mark your calendars! Rowan County’s third annual Rowan Arts & Ag Tour is scheduled for June 5, 2021 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. This self- guided tour provides the opportunity to enjoy local art, local farms, and local people. The farms involved are:

  • Tranquility Farms,
  • Lutheridge Farms,
  • Ray Horton Farm Inc.,
  • Rowan County Country Life Museum,
  • Evans Family Farm,
  • West Rowan High School FFA Farm.

Each location will host a variety of artisans who produce some of the finest art pieces in the area. This is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the company of our farmers here in Rowan County!  

This event is graciously sponsored by Farm Credit Carolina, Patterson Farm, James River Equipment, Visit Rowan County (Salisbury, NC), NewPointe Realty, Rowan County Beekeepers Association, NC Small Grain Board, and L.L. Goodnight and Sons Inc. For additional information about the event, follow this link which goes into further details about each farm and artisan: https://artsandagtour.com/our-farms-artisans/.

Covid conscious? The Rowan Arts and Ag Tour should be Covid friendly as it will be outdoors to maximize the enjoyment of Rowan County’s peaceful agricultural landscapes. 

 

Tranquility Farm

Location: 11255 Unity Church Rd, Mooresville, NC

Owners: Crystal and David Allen

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Tranquility-Farm-862215777192210

 

I had the pleasure to meet Crystal and David Allen with Tranquility Farms. Tranquility Farms features muscadine and blackberry products provided from vineyard to farm stand (Fig 1). They also carry beef supplied by Hopeful Acres Farm. The land has been family-owned since 1904 and their muscadine and berry operation began in 2008. The farm stand is beautifully decorated by Crystal and David Allen (Fig 2) and provides a space where you can enjoy the tranquility of the muscadine vineyard close by. Crystal constructs her own decorative bows and even hosts bow-making workshops, which I thought was extremely neat (Fig 3)!

Both David and Crystal are strong advocates of their community and businesses and place emphasis on the importance of family. David mentioned that Tranquility Farms values both wholesomeness and safety of their products. Tranquility Farm looks forward to informing people who are unfamiliar with agricultural processes about what goes on in the processing of Tranquility Farms products. It is important for the consumer to understand how their product is made, especially on a local level. Personally, I look forward to trying their muscadine slushy which is a popular product on the menu!

The Artisans at Tranquility Farm

IT IS SO EXCITING SUPPORTING LOCAL ARTISTS!

  • Resin and glass art: Shelia Green. I had the chance to see some pieces when I visited Tranquility Farms. They are so delicate and intricate and a true gem for anyone’s home.
  • Paintings: Sue McHugh.
  • Stained glass pieces: Sue Smith.

 

Lutheridge Farm

Location: 455 Cline Road, Mount Ulla 28125

Owners: Steven and Kira

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Lutheridge-Jersey-Farm-105269751383635

Lutheridge Farm is a Jersey cattle farm located in Mount Ulla, NC. This is a third-generation farm that focuses on the production of cheese for Boxcarr Handmade Cheese in Cedar Grove, NC as of 2019. Visiting Lutheridge Farm, you get the opportunity to meet the strong family that maintains their beloved cows and livelihood.

In the dairy farm world, Jersey Cattle are known for their fertility, physical strength, calving capabilities, and substantial production of milk that is suited for added-value products such as cheese (Fig 4). In the market, their milk is sought after due to the high nutrition content compared to other dairy cows. Jerseys also display good temperament in comparison to other cattle (I would imagine this makes the milking process a bit easier). All in all, Jersey cattle are extremely efficient milk cows based on how much food they consume and milk they produce. I am definitely excited to see some cattle up close and to meet the people behind the scenes.

 

The Artisans at Lutheridge Farm

IT IS SO EXCITING SUPPORTING LOCAL ARTISTS!

  • Painting: Sharon Forthofer.
  • Wooden spoons and hats: Nancy Gaines.
  • Painting: Cherrathee Hagler.

Evans Family Farm

Location: 11180 NC 801 Hwy, Mount Ulla 28125

Owners: Jessica & Matt Evans

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/evansfamilyfarmnc

Native Californians Jessica and Matt Evans bring with them from the West a not-so-common sustainable agricultural practice called “regenerative agriculture” (Fig 5). Regenerative agriculture is the creation of rich and fertile soil by implementing sustainable grazing and agricultural efforts. It is using the land for their purpose and improving it through time. Evans Family Farm is a fantastic asset to the agricultural diversity of Rowan County and is definitely worth visiting! They offer farm tours, wine tastings, products from their farm store, and farm to table events. They also offer farm camp and farm workshops. Evans Family Farm is a gem in the Rowan County community and an advocate for pasture- based livestock which means the livestock “feeds themselves” on the land provided.

 After speaking with Jessica on the phone, she mentioned that the farm values sustainability through healing the land and nourishing the local community. They thoroughly look forward to the education piece for visitors during the Rowan Arts and Ag tour. Jessica is excited to show people how farming and grazing can leave a positive impact on our environment. I thoroughly look forward to seeing regenerative agriculture first-hand!

The Artisans at Evans Family Farm

IT IS SO EXCITING SUPPORTING LOCAL ARTISTS! Asterisk indicates the green thumb implied behind the art.

  • *Handcrafted birdhouses from recycled materials: Mike Drumand.
  • *Farm- fresh lotions and soaps: Ashley and Shelby.
  • Unicorn bows and bows-on-bows: Ashley Ompsach.

Ray Horton Farm Inc.

Location: 1685 Lyerly Road, Mount Ulla 28125

Owner: Ray Horton

Ray Horton Farms uses no-till practices for their 1,100 acres. This ties into the regenerative agricultural practices while yielding a substantial crop. No-till means the farmer plants the seeds without disturbing the natural state of the soil. This form of farming has proven to be extremely effective: yields more product than till farming and leaves the soil nutrient dense. Wouldn’t the seeds blow away or wash away eventually? Not exactly. Seeds are kept in place with previous crop residue (Fig 6). This means the bits and pieces left over from crops before are placed on top of the seeds to secure the seeds.

Ray plants corn, wheat, soybeans, and malted barley using no-till practices to reduce his carbon footprint as a farmer. It is so great to see farmers so passionate about their land and environmental impact. Ray also supplies malt for Carolina malt house and has farmed his property since 1984.

The Artisans at Ray Horton

IT IS SO EXCITING SUPPORTING LOCAL ARTISTS! Asterisk indicates the green thumb implied behind the art.

  • Jewelry and bead work: Marcia Hartman.
  • Painting: Keyth Kahrs.
  • Handcrafted wooden toys: Sherry Kye.
  • Woodwork: Stephen Martin.
  • Leather and woodwork: Lee and Rosty Menius.
  • *Goat milk soaps: Rachel Mowery with Rustic Edge Soaps.
  • Metal work: Chuck Payne.

Rowan County Country Life Museum

Location: 550 Sloan Road, Mount Ulla 28125

Run by: Carolina Antique Power Association members

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/countrylifemuseum/

Farming education is the goal of Rowan County Country Life Museum (Fig 7). This fantastic group of local folks focus on the importance of historical agricultural and antique preservation. Working with learners of all ages, we get a scope into the evolution of farming in Rowan County over the past century. I am sure we can all learn valuable lessons by visiting this top-notch display of antique farming technology.

 

 

 

The Artisans at Rowan County Life Museum

  • Painting: Jenny Booe.
  • Pottery: Connie Deese Christman.
  • Blacksmith: Seth Culp.
  • Glass art: Sue Davis.
  • Silver jewelry: J. Mark DeYoung.
  • Silverwork: Lisa Waugh.
  • *Lotion and beeswax: Lee and Mike Williams.

West Rowan High School FFA Farm

Location: 8050 NC Highway 801, Mount Ulla 28125

Run by: FFA members at West Rowan High School

The youth will carry with them knowledge through the years to support future generational food needs.  Future Farmers of America at West Rowan High School have implemented sustainable agricultural practices through:

  • Aquaponics- The utilization of growing plants without the use of soil, but the chemical processes of aquatic animals.
  • Hydroponics- Growing plants without the use of soil.
  • greenhouse horticulture- Growing plants in a greenhouse structure to maximize sunlight and the greenhouse effect.
  • Vermiculture- The maintenance and managed growth of worms and grubs for composting, or other purposes.
  • Mushrooms- Creating controlled prime climatic conditions for mass mushroom growth.
  • Nature trails- Paths used for navigation in the outdoors.
  • Agriculture mechanics- The mechanics behind our agricultural technology.
  • Traditional gardening- Patches of plants with controlled growth and cultivation.

Make sure to stop by and support this fantastic program in Rowan County!

It is our Duty to Support Farming and Artisan Livelihoods

Attending events like Rowan Arts and Ag will support our environment, people, and local economy.

The environmental impact that we have on the foods and products that we consume is significant. If we eat produce that is shipped overseas, in a truck from across the country, that is then processed in a warehouse and shipped to stores across the state, think about the carbon output for that product you are purchasing. 2019 data shows that greenhouse gas emissions from ships themselves totaled more than 40 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (statista, 2019). That is equivalent to around three hundred twenty billion (320,000,000,000) sweet potatoes! By purchasing products that were grown, raised, and created in North Carolina, you are preventing carbon output that will be detrimental to our greenspaces on a global scale. By supporting these artisans and farmers, you are supporting your fellow neighbors and their livelihoods. Furthermore, you are benefitting through learning about their creation processes. I am excited to visit these farms on June 5th and hope to see you, the reader and company there. Let’s knock a few sweet potatoes off of our carbon footprints.

Sources:

https://artsandagtour.com/our-farms-artisans/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1120541/us-shipping-ghg-emissions/