Image by Flickr user gwen
Update April 16: Lowcountry Local First's Dirt Roadtrip farm tour made for the perfect, delicious and educational Saturday away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Charleston.
A carload of friends and I set out at 10 a.m. for the all-day adventure. Lured by the promise of a farm-fresh hamburger and bratwurst lunch, we decided our first stop would be Legare Farms. Upon arrival, guests were met with a little market of herbs, eggs, jams, preserves, pickles, beans, salsas and more all made right on the property.
Ninth generation farm owner Thomas Legare took the entire group on a hay ride to feed some very zealous cows then allowed the group to "ooh" and "ahh" at his farm animals which included chicks, sheep, some frisky pigs, and a mini pony.
After meeting and greeting all of the adorable animals, the tour ended with a bittersweet bbq lunch.
Our next stop was Joseph Fields Farm, one of only two certified organic vegetable farms in the state of South Carolina. Our wonderful tour guide took us through the fields, explained the 50 acre farm's planting practices, let us taste all sorts of veggies and schooled the group in the agricultural arts.
Stuffed from our lunch at Legare Farms, our group opted to pass on the farm plate offered by Joseph Fields Farm, but embraced yet another opportunity to play with farm animals - this time, goats!
Next stop - Ambrose Farms. Pete Ambrose lead the tour of his beautiful land which serves as a u-pick strawberry patch, working farm and CSA production site. A market dubbed "The Hangout" made for a great spot to soak in the scenery, take a load off and score some of Ambrose's finest veggies.
Our last stop brought us to the picturesque Charleston Tea Plantation - the only working tea plantation in the United States. Free tea, a fleet of rocking chairs, a beautiful gift shop and a self guided tour of the complex production room made for a relaxing way to end the day.
The Dirt Roadtrip was a great reminder of how a 30-minute drive away from downtown can be the ultimate escape into a world of green, fresh air, beauty and the real heart of the Lowcountry. A big thank you to Lowcountry Local First and all of the participating farms for such a great event.
First reporting: Lowcountry Local First, Legare Farms and a handful of other farms on Johns and Wadmalaw Island are joining together for a one-day-only 'Dirt Roadtrip' on Saturday, April 14th.
This one-day farm tour event features a variety of farms on both Johns Island and Wadmalaw. Tour goers will be able to buy a car pass for $30/$35, check out the local farm-tour map, and pick their must-see farms to visit. The day will include everything from meeting the farmers and getting a behind the scenes tour of the farm to learning about the farming process.
Legare Farms will be serving their own hamburger and brats from cows raised right on the farm, so be sure to stop by around lunch time.
These tours will be fun for all ages with walking tours, hay-rides, u-pick, farm games and tastings. Many farms will have some of their great local products for sale, so bring a cooler!