Experience Farm Life in the Tennessee River Valley

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A visit to a working farm offers a look into the past, present and future of farming in the United States. The Tennessee River Valley Mapguide provides visitors with information from a local’s perspective on working farms, u-pick operations, petting zoos, living history farms and on-farm farmers’ markets.

Visitors to Sweetwater Valley Farm experience a glimpse of life on the farm and learn about food production.

Teaching and sharing where food comes from has become an increasingly popular activity for families. A quick weekend getaway to a working farm is not only entertainment and educational for families, it plays a role in revitalizing local economies in often a rural area.

With fertile soil and four distinct weather seasons along with close proximity to the Tennessee River, the Tennessee River Valley offers an ideal setting for farming a variety of produce. The farmers of the Tennessee River Valley have opened their land, offering a variety of activities throughout the year where the public can experience farm life firsthand and learn about the area’s agricultural heritage.

Coleman Farms began its journey in 1987. Today, the locally owned farm in Savannah, Tenn. offers fresh produce, including peaches, blackberries and blueberries. Throughout the year, the orchard offers farm tours Monday through Friday. Visitors can experience farming first hand by picking their own produce. To inquire about harvest days and to set a day to pick produce, call (731) 925-9710.

Situated among the rolling hills in Dover, Tenn., Black Family Farms is a 600-acre working farm, operated by three generations. With a history of raising dark fired tobacco, the farm today cultivates strawberries, blackberries, soybeans, corn and hay, as well as other traditional crops and livestock. Other produce available in season includes sorghum molasses, sweet corn, tomatoes, squash, green beans, turnips, cucumbers, peaches and pumpkins. Activities at this site include pumpkin slingshot, pick your own, a seasonal gift shop and other events through the year.

Visitors to Sweetwater Valley Farm experience a glimpse of life on the farm and learn about food production. The farm, located between the towns of Philadelphia and Loudon, is in the heart of southeast Tennessee’s dairy-rich Sweetwater Valley.

Sweetwater Valley Farm is one of a few farms in the country producing fine farmstead cheese. Visitors can stop by the farm store to see where its fine cheeses are made and to sample one of the award-winning cheddars. Cheese is typically made from January to June. Additional activities offered include farm excursions to experience a working dairy farm and the Udder Story, an educational dairy exhibit.

At 1818 Farms, enjoy a hands-on farm life experience with rare sheep, pigs, goats, Buff Orpington and Americauna chickens, barn cats, and Great Pyrenees dogs. Located in the quaint historic village of Mooresville, Ala., 1818 Farms is named for the year Mooresville was incorporated, one year before Alabama became a state.

During a farm tour, visitors learn about the different breeds of chickens and the history of the Southdown Babydoll Sheep, gather eggs and feed the goat and adult sheep. Visitors should stop by the Garden House to see the different stages of making yarn and the growing area for produce and cut flowers. For those looking for a keepsake to take home or unique gift ideas, the gift shop offers a variety of hand made in Alabama products ranging from high quality lip balm and hand whipped Shea Crème to coconut wax candles and 100% organic cotton clothing. Visit http://www.1818farms.com for available tour dates and times.

“Teaching and sharing where food comes from has become an increasingly popular activity for families. A quick weekend getaway to a working farm is not only entertainment and educational for families, it plays a role in revitalizing local economies in often a rural area. Those in search of farm life activities can design a fun and engaging agritourism itinerary on the Tennessee River Valley Geotourism Mapguide,” said Julie Graham, spokesperson for the Tennessee River Valley Mapguide Council.

On a farm tour, guests are encouraged to come dressed for the weather and for the elements of a farm, such as mud or manure. Closed-toe shoes are also recommended. Since the destinations are actual working farms, a phone call prior to a visit to verify hours of operation for the public is also strongly encouraged.

Along with these farming adventures, the Tennessee River Valley offers a compelling story, captivating visitors with its little unknown facts, pristine, untouched areas and rich, authentic experiences. Plan a trip easily with the Tennessee River Valley Geotourism MapGuide, an online guide to explore authentic places and adventures that have been recommended by locals.

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