Once every year, a farms across eastern Kansas open their doors to tourists wanting to know more about where their food and other products come from at the Kaw Valley Farm Tour. We spent the weekend with friends from a meetup group called Prairie Fire. The event organizers recommend visiting no more than ten farms over the weekend. We visited 17. It was a whirlwind tour of agricultural enlightenment that spanned a diverse assortment of farms. Briefly, this is what we saw:
Vesecky Family Farms – Early start where we ate breakfast and enjoyed the turkeys.
Blossom Trail Bee Ranch – Richard Bean, beekeeper extraordinaire explains how honey makes it to the shelf.
Bluejacket Crossing Vineyard – Wine tasting and a cool behind-the-scene look at the wine-making proccess.
Davenport Orchards and Vineyard – More tasting, a hayride through the vineyards, and burgers for lunch.
Coal Creek Farms – Alpacas with goofy faces and some other animals.
Lawrence Landscape Tree Farm – A sling shot launching pumpkins into a lake and trees.
Red Tractor Farm – Mostly just vegetables. No gimmicks.
Washington Creek Lavender Farm – An olfactory experience of lavender fields, drying flowers, and a store of products.
Prairie City Minis – Tiny little horses and farm art.
Ad Astra Alpacas – More alpacas.
We ate Ethipian food in Overland Park and slept at a friend’s house in Raymond, MO.
Crum’s Herilooms – Fields of strangle looking veggies.
Manna Meadows – Alpacas and oh so soft alpaca wool garments.
Holy Field Vineyard and Winery – Wine tasting and lots of cutsy gifts.
Lanborn Farm – A hay maze, pumpkin patch, and cool barns.
Crescent Moon Winery – Wine tasting in what looks suspiciously like somebody’s backyard.
Juniper Hill Farm – Hayride tour of substantially grown vegetables.
Circle O Hedge School – Quirky hippie hangout with a cozy adobe guesthouse.
The Henry’s Plant Farm – Dazzling flowers and zany cacti.
I highly recommend the farm tour including any of these farms. It’s a pretty cool way to get some face to face time with some pretty interesting farmers. Look for this open house event the first full weekend in October. Go to http://www.kawvalleyfarmtour.org for details.