By Tina Moessner
Open skies, valleys and 32 farms make the annual tour through the Kaw Valley an easy retreat from the city. The tour features everything from an organic lavender farm and wineries to tractor rides and a giant pumpkin slingshot.
The Kaw Valley Farm Tour will be held 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., October 3 – 4 in northeast Kansas. Guided tours will be available at all farms and attendees choose individual tour stops. Tickets are $10 per car and can be used both tour days. For more information and to get tickets, visit www.kawvalleyfarmtour.org. The event is hosted by K-State Research and Extension — Douglas County.
To make the most of the tour, select your route ahead of time. Download the 2015 tour map to see these 32 featured farms:
Ad Astra Alpacas 168 E. 1700 Rd., Baldwin City, KS
Located on a paved road just south of Baldwin City, KS, Ad Astra Alpacas raises friendly, elite-fleeced alpacas. The farm shop sells socks, gloves, hats, scarves and sweaters made from the fleece. Alpacas like children, so it is easy to have a fun, educational experience.
Amy’s Meats 17967 23rd St., Lawrence
This farm features pasture-raised pork and lamb, chicken, pasture raised eggs, heirloom vegetables, native fruits, gooseberries, blackberries and elderberries. The farm also grows wheat, barley, popcorn and broomcorn from which it makes brooms that are for sale. Its farm products are offered seasonally through community-supported agriculture (CSA).
Blossom Trail Bee Ranch 669 E 2100 Rd, Baldwin City
Adhering to organic methods, the Blossom Trail Bee Ranch includes garden beds, apple trees, a chicken flock and beehives.
BlueJacket Crossing Vineyard & Winery 1969 North 1250 Rd, Eudora, KS
Located near the Oregon Trail, this vineyard and winery will show a behind-the-scenes look at a working vineyard. Picnic areas, a tasting room and gift shop round out the visit.
Circle O Hedge School 2979 Republic Rd., Oskaloosa, KS
Circle O Hedge is a diversified educational homestead that practices intensive grazing of sheep and chickens utilizing perennial polyculture. It includes fruit trees, vegetables and energy-efficient architecture that highlight insulation, earth plasters, adobe floors, rainwater harvesting, solar power and timber framing from local wood. The tour will feature natural art, crafts, baby chick and the Permaculture Collaborative Kansas.
Coal Creek Farms 1676 N. 1000 Lawrence, KS
Coal Creek Farms has been operating for nearly 30 years as a horse boarding facility. Owners Rick and Vicki Andrews, with their three children and spouses, grow conventional crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat; raise grass-fed, antibiotic-free beef and open range chickens; alpacas; pastured heritage breed hogs; and operate the Simple Living Country Store. Lunch will be available at the farm.
Crescent Moon Winery 15930 246th St., Lawrence, KS
Stroll through vineyards, sample wines and tour the winery’s retail store and tasting room. The winery grows eight grape varieties and make red and white wines that range from dry to sweet.
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