Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

December 5, 2012

Cafe’ Campesino leads inaugural Tour de Farm

AMERICUS — The Americus community welcomed some 30 out-of-town bike riders who participated in Café Campesino’s first Sumter County Tour de Farm, a two-day bike ride showcasing sustainable agriculture spots in the county. About a dozen local riders joined the out-of-town cyclists for a 60-mile, two-day tour.

The weekend kicked off with a dinner for 100 on Friday night at Easterlin Farm, an all-natural family farm re-established in 2010, by Bill Harris Jr . The farm just finished its second year of blueberry production. The dinner was sponsored by White Oak Pastures, a 145-year-old family farm in Bluffton that is a nationally recognized leader in sustainable livestock husbandry. White Oaks provided pasture-raised poultry for the dinner. The meal also showcased local food-and-tourism entities such Sweet Georgia Baking Co., Café Campesino, 13th Colony Distillery, Merry Cuss Brew Club, and Stripling’s Sausage.

After camping Friday night at Easterlin Farm, riders enjoyed beautiful blue skies, pleasant fall temperatures and natural scenery as they toured 38 miles of the county Saturday. They stopped in at Lenny’s Market in Americus Saturday morning to add to the festive crowd at the Harvest Festival before visiting an in-town backyard organic farm and then riding on to Plains and lunch at the Jimmy Carter Boyhood Home. The afternoon ride was to Koinonia Farm for another delicious dinner of fresh foods mostly grown there on the farm.

Riders camped at Koinonia Saturday night and then biked another 22 miles Sunday, visiting Café Campesino, Rudy’s Happy Patch Produce at the Perry Wellness Center, and two private residences. One of the latter is a local olive grove near Americus.  

Tour de Farm is an effort to promote Sumter County as a destination for cyclists, while at the same time showcasing innovative organic agriculture in the county. The event also served as a fundraiser for the non-profit Georgia Organics that works to increase the number of sustainable and organic growers. The organization provides education, technical assistance and marketing support to new organic farmers. 

Cycling support and route-planning for Tour de Farm was generously provided by the River Valley Regional Commission, Jimmy Carter National Historic Sites and Sumter Cycling. All three entities teamed up to host another cycling event Nov. 9-11 that led riders from Florence Marina State Park in Omaha to Andersonville for  a weekend of more than 100 miles of cycling.

 

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