Having grown up in Downingtown, PA—not too far from Hershey—I was ecstatic when I found out Farm Aid fans around the country, (not to mention Willie, John, Neil and Dave) would enjoy the state's beautiful rural landscape and meet its amazing farmers and eaters at this year's benefit concert at Hersheypark Stadium on September 22.
Here at the Farm Aid office, we've been so excited to work with partners old and new as we prepare for the show. We've met with family farmers from all across the state, and as we do each year, look forward to shining a spotlight on them.
But we get to go a step farther this year! The day before the show, on Friday September 21st, we'll be hosting two very special tours to farms surrounding the Hershey area. Check out their descriptions below and visit www.farmaid.org/farmtours to register.
Let me tell you—these are some of Pennsylvania's most innovative and visionary farms. You'll tour their farms, taste delicious produce, enjoy a farm fresh lunch and learn about the pressing issues facing these farmers for just $25.
I hope you'll join us!
Rodale Institute Experimental Farm
Visit the birthplace of organic agriculture in the United States. Explore the Rodale Institute's Farming Systems Trial – a 30-year research study comparing organic and conventionally managed farm plots, see heritage livestock demos for small scale poultry, hog and goat production, and enjoy a wagon ride to a neighboring dairy farm that just transitioned to organic in 2012. A discussion of organic farming practices and the history of organic agriculture will be featured on this tour.
Spiral Path Farm
Join us for a special tour of Spiral Path Farm, a unique and innovative family farm that includes 80 acres of vegetable production, an extensive solar energy program and worm composting project, large greenhouses for seasonal extension, a packing facility and a CSA program serving over 2,000 shareholders. Participants will also visit Sunset Valley Farm, an Amish family farm with a grazing dairy and processing facility for its state-licensed raw milk operation. Ice cream and other delicious dairy products will be served! Discussion of direct marketing, value-added production, and food safety policy will be featured on this tour.
The registration deadline is September 14. Visit www.farmaid.org/farmtours to register!