Fernwood offers tour to local farms, farm-to-table dinner on Aug. 9Published 9:50am Thursday, July 31, 2014
NILES — Want to learn more about where your food comes from and how you can buy locally?
Fernwood Botanical Garden is once again offering a tour to local farms to learn about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a program in which local farmers offer shares of farm-fresh products to consumers. This popular tour will visit three local farms to learn different methods of raising and marketing produce and meat products, as well as a community garden to learn about renting a garden space, where patrons can raise their own vegetables.
The tour will be followed by a farm-to-table dinner at Fernwood.
The tour and dinner take place on Saturday, Aug. 9. Visitors may choose to participate in only the farm tour ($40, members $32), attend the dinner ($80, members $64), or sign up for the package, which includes both the tour and the dinner ($110, members $88).
The tour begins at Fernwood at 1 p.m. The first stop is Blue Star Produce, a small family-owned farm in Buchanan, Michigan, which grows all Certified Naturally Grown heirloom produce. The tour heads on to New Buffalo for a visit to Green Spirit Farms, a new addition to this year’s tour.
Green Spirit Farms, located in a retired factory building, uses indoor hydroponic vertical farming techniques to raise greens and herbs for local markets.
The next stop is Three Oaks for a visit to the Three Oaks Community Garden, where participants will learn how community gardens operate and what makes them so popular.
The last stop is a favorite, Middlebrook Farm, in Three Oaks, to learn the difference between grass-fed and grain-fed beef. The farm tour concludes at 5 p.m. and returns to Fernwood.
The hearty farm to table dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. that evening is prepared by Chef Tim Carrigan, incorporating products from the farms visited and local wine. This is a wonderful way to gain a greater appreciation for our farmers and the food we eat.
Reservations are required by Wednesday, Aug. 6. Register online at www.fernwoodbotanical.org, or call Fernwood at (269) 695-6491.
Fernwood comprises 105 acres on the St. Joseph River near Buchanan, at 13988 Range Line Rd. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. The Fernwood Café is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m. Fernwood is closed on Mondays.