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Three of the goats at Cross Island Farms. Photo: Cross Island Farms
Three of the goats at Cross Island Farms. Photo: Cross Island Farms

Local farmers open their gardens, barns for tours

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It's harvest season, and nearly two dozen farmers and farm businesses in Jefferson County are opening their doors to the public this weekend. Livestock, vegetable farms, wineries and retailers specializing in locally produced goods are participating in the 2012 Harvest Tour Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

Dani Baker, co-owner of Cross Island Farms on Wellesley Island, is one of the co-organizers of the Tour and her farm is open to visitors, too. She said it should be a great opportunity to make connections with area farmers.

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Todd Moe
Morning Host and Producer

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The 2012 Harvest Tour weekend is this Saturday and Sunday, with nearly two-dozen farms and agricultural business in Jefferson County opening their doors to the public.

Participants range from vegetable farms, livestock farms, wineries, and retailers specializing in locally produced goods. There are opportunities to tour a cider mill, a vineyard, and a fruit nursery, along with meet farm animals, and pick your own vegetables.

It would be a great opportunity to make connections with area farmers this weekend, said Dani Baker, co-organizer of the tour and co-owner of Cross Island Farms. Her farm is certified organic and located on Wellesley Island, one of the 1000 Islands.

Baker said, the idea to have a weekend where local farms were open to the public came from a friend of hers, another vegetable farmer from Kingston, Ontario. “I broached this at our January meeting with the other members of Adirondack Harvest in our county and they thought it was a grand idea,” said Baker.

Baker said, “We actually had a summer event in July and that was so successful we decided to do one in the fall. So that’s how this came about.”

The goal is to have people come to the farms and see how they work. “There are twenty-one farms on the Harvest tour participating this weekend,” said Baker, “some of them are open to the public normally, but many of them are not. So it is a really nice opportunity to check out some farms that are only opening for this special weekend.”

Murock Farms is the only dairy farm on the tour, said Baker, they are celebrating 100 years of farming in the Watertown area, and will be open Saturday.

Baker recommends bringing a cooler to keep purchased foods, such as frozen meet and vegetables that need be cold, refrigerated. She also stressed to wear sturdy shoes, because many of the farms that can be toured will go out into the pastures with uneven and possibly muddy ground.

“For people who may not from the area, if the weather is good, it would be a great opportunity to plan to spend the whole weekend. Book a hotel room, tour some farms, and eat in a local restaurant,” said Baker.

Also included on the tour are agricultural businesses and other related businesses within the county. To find a list of locations and participating agricultural businesses and farms, visit http://agvisit.com/.

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