The 2019 Tour Features Two Routes and Finishes at Eat on the Green
Vermont Business Magazine ACORN’s 12th annual Tour de Farms, one of Vermont’s oldest cycling farm tours, is returning to Vergennes, Charlotte and Ferrisburgh. On Saturday, September 21, riders will be welcomed at Adam’s Berry Farm, Boundbrook Farm, Brenderwalk Farm Stand, Nea Tocht Farm, Pelkey's Blueberries / Charlotte Village Winery and Philo Ridge Farm for a day full of fresh flavors. The tour features a 30-mile route, as well as a shorter, family-friendly 10-mile route for those who prefer a more relaxed adventure.
“Tour de Farms is a great event for participants to get closer to their local food sources and meet the farmers and producers who feed us,” says Sue Hoxie, the Tour de Farms Event Manager. “In addition to the farm visits, each stop will feature additional vendors offering product samples to the riders--producers such as Agricola Farm, Vermont Vinegars, Buck Mountain Maple, Dakin Farm, Aqua Vitae, and Vermont Coffee Company, to name a few.”
The Tour starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m. at the Vergennes Union High School, which is located 20 miles south of Burlington, just off of Route 7. Riders will be able to purchase products directly from the farms and ACORN provides a concierge van that will bring purchases back to the high school. Riders can make as many purchases as they’d like and won’t have to carry items as they ride.
Farm stops and vendors sampling their products include: Boundbrook/Good Companion Bakery, Vermont Coffee Company, Brenderwalk Farm Stand, Vermont Vinegars, Vermont Cookie Love, Adam’s Berry Farm, Agricola, Dakin Farm, Philo Ridge Farm, Vermont Tortilla Company, Body Botanicals, Charlotte Village Winery/Pelkey’s Blueberries, Shelburne Farms, Aqua Vitae, Ferrisburgh Fire Station/Evolution Kitchen, Vermont Pure CBD, Nitty Gritty Grains, Woodman Hill Orchard, Nea Tocht Dairy Farm, Ben & Jerry’s, Monument Farms and Buck Mountain Maple. Samples of Vermont Soap available at registration.
The terrain includes rolling hills with a mix of paved and dirt roads so a mountain bike or road bike with wide tires is recommended. The views of the Champlain Valley landscape are beautiful and camera-worthy. The Tour de Farms is a rain or shine event. Advance registration is now open at https://www.bikereg.com/tourdefarms and will close on September 19 at 5:00 p.m. Registrations prices vary based on age, distance and entry date. Early entrants receive the best rates and the field will be capped at 500 riders.
The last stop on the ride is the Eat on the Green Festival in downtown Vergennes which is organized by the city’s many restaurants and the Vergennes Partnership. The festival features live music, kids’ activities, local foods and beverages beginning at 3:00 p.m. The Third Annual Eat on the Green is a chance to explore a variety of delicious dishes served up by Vergennes-area eateries.
The 2019 Tour is sponsored by Local Motion, Ben & Jerry’s, Earl’s Cyclery and Fitness, Middlebury Dental Group, IPJ Real Estate, City Market, Vermont Gas, Cabot Cheese and the Middlebury Rotary Club.
Photo caption: Riders enjoy sampling food at an Addison County farm during 2018's Tour de Farms
ACORN (Addison County Relocalization Network) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community organization based in Middlebury, Vt. Its mission is to promote the growth and health of local food and agriculture in Vermont’s Champlain Valley. ACORN is working with growers, schools, businesses and community and statewide partners to double the consumption of locally-grown food by 2020. For more information, go to http://www.acornvt.org/.
TOUR DE FARMS: This year’s Tour de Farms will be hosted on Saturday, September 21. To date, over 4,000 people have ridden the Tour. The Tour is ACORN’s top fundraiser of the year, and 20 percent of the proceeds from advanced registration go to participating farms on the Tour. The 2016 Tour was featured on Vermont PBS: http://www.vermontpbs.org/clip/4299.