The NWI Food Council will present its second annual FarmHop series on Saturday, Aug. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This event will feature five tours of multiple farms throughout Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Starke and Jasper counties.
“Our tours are designed to connect consumers with the amazing work taking place every day on the farms that grow our food,” said Lyndsay Ploehn, owner of Lyndsay’s Flowers and NWI Food Council board member. “Whether you buy your produce from the local farmer’s market or grocery store, dine at local eateries, buy ethanol gas, plant gardens for pollinators, or do none of those things, I guarantee guests will learn and gain a new appreciation for agriculture in Northwest Indiana.”
Participants can choose from one of five tours. Buses will leave from designated locations and visit multiple farms.
FarmHop 2018 will feature the following tours:
- Tour A – depart Gary; see several urban farms with unique solutions for community food access, an aquaponics system, a garden for the visually impaired, an urban farmstead with exotic plants and medicinal garden, and a food pantry with an abundance of homegrown produce.
- Tour B – depart Valparaiso; explore a successful biodynamic hops farm with heritage breed animals; a biodynamic farm that has been organic since 1969 and features fruits, vegetables, and heritage breed animals; and a mini-tour of a cluster of commercial farms featuring corn, mint, tomatoes, and onion sets.
- Tour C – depart Gary; visit a faith-based farm with several high tunnels full of produce, bees, chickens, and more; an established community garden with raised beds and off-grid water solutions; an old armory converted into an urban farm, training center, and food pantry; a creative homestead; and a school with a hands-on agriculture program.
- Tour D – depart LaPorte; this tour includes a visit to a church that created a food-providing organization to serve the hungry in addition to their youth agriculture training center and community garden; an organic farm that grows a variety of vegetables, flowers, herbs, and eggs for their CSA, farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and local schools; and a modern sustainable community intentionally cultivated to honor the original historic farmstead and not merely develop it.
- Tour E – depart Valparaiso; this tour includes a visit to an egg farm with nearly 600 egg-laying chickens; an organic tilapia farm; a sustainable vegetable farm known for its soil conservation techniques and black garlic; and a diverse homestead including fruit production, heritage breed animals, value-added products, and plans for a future winery.
Cost of the FarmHop tour is $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Ticket prices include a locally sourced lunch for all and a local foods gift for adult ticketholders. Registration is available online at https://farmhop2018.eventbrite.com.