Monday, August 29, 2011

Exploring rural culture

Fourth Annual Farm Tour set for September 10

We Goochlanders like to cite the joys of our rural lifestyle but how long has it been since you actually set foot on a farm?

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 10 when local farms in Goochland and Powhatan will welcome visitors.

The free, self-guided tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, when six unique agricultural and agribusiness sites will be open to the public. Operators will make presentations on the hour and the half-hour.
The following farms will be featured:

• Belmead and Belmead Stables and Riding Club, 5000 Cartersville Road in Powhatan. This is a 2,000-acre former plantation recently placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.”

• Carter Duke’s Farm, 2251 Sheppard Town Road in Goochland, features a bucolic historic property built in 1773 and Angus-Gelbvieh cattle managed with an effective rotational grazing practice.

• J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s Goochland Campus, 1851 Dickinson Road in Goochland, is home to a well-established horticulture program. Faculty and students will be giving tours of three different demonstration gardens.

• Kelona Farm, 4277 Old River Trail in Powhatan, which produces 1,200 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and barley and has a 50,000-bird poultry operation. Three generations are active in this family business. Visitors will be able to explore large farm equipment.

• Oakdale Farm, 5719 Cartersville Road in Powhatan, is a nationally recognized equestrian operation that specializes in dressage, stadium jumping and cross-country racing. Visitors will have the opportunity to watch dressage and jumping demonstrations.

• Shalom Farm, 1231 Westview Road in Goochland, is an outreach program of the United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond. The 2-acre fruit and vegetable operation provides tons of healthy produce for four impoverished inner-city neighborhoods. More than 1,400 volunteers pitch in each year to help provide fresh, local produce neighbors in need.

The Michaux-St. James Foundation will serve lunch and pie at the historic Michaux-St. James Church, 4097 Old River Trail in Powhatan. Foods used to prepare the meal will come from local farmers, and all proceeds will benefit the foundation.

Reservations for lunch can be made by calling Sara Corbett at 804-598-3590 by Sept. 7.

Details are available online at,, and on both the Powhatan and Goochland County Extension Office websites.

Tour sponsors include: the Powhatan County Farm Bureau; Powhatan Tomorrow; the Powhatan and Goochland Chambers of Commerce; The Center for Rural Culture; the Powhatan County Office of Economic Development and the Powhatan Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension.

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