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The Last Green Valley, Inc. (TLGV) is announced the all-new “Farmers in the Valley Tours.” Four family-friendly tours are set to run from March through August, and will include kids’ activities, local foods to gobble up, alpaca haircuts, cows and more cows, visits with The Last Green Valley Rangers, and lots more wholesome fun and fresh air. The fifth and last event on the tour will be TLGV’s “Tastes of the Valley” annual fund-raiser with a whole new twist, presenting “A Farmer at Your Table.”
Kicking off the Farmers in the Valley Tours is a visit to Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm’s “9th Annual Spring Ice Cream Social” at 11 a.m. March 18. Gobble up some free homemade ice cream and make your own sundae at the toppings bar. Scoop up family fun and talk turkey with The Last Green Valley Rangers. A sweet way to celebrate the arrival of spring at amazingly scenic Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm at 227 Ekonk Hill Road (Rt. 49) in Sterling.
Morning Beckons Farm calls you in for the “7th Annual North American Shearing Contest” from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 24. This is a hair-raising excuse to visit the largest alpaca farm in the northeast. Watch the fleece fly at the Shearing Contest, a free event that is open to the public. Walk the farm and check out the other interesting animals living there, too. Visit the farm store for alpaca-related products and great gift ideas. The Last Green Valley Rangers will be on hand at this partner farm at 343A Sand Dam Road in Thompson.
Ice Cream and Bluegrass are the perfect combination for a summer day, and Fort Hill Farms, one of the six family farms that make up The Farmer’s Cow, is offering you the chance to enjoy both at their “National Ice Cream Day Bluegrass Bash” from 1 to 3 p.m. July 16. This diversified farm has been in continuous agricultural production for more than 300 years. Three generations work on this scenic and historic site, and three states can be seen from the peak of Fort Hill. Tap your toes, taste local ice cream, and learn about The Last Green Valley with our Rangers! Find Fort Hill Farms at 260 Quaddick Road in Thompson.
Fresh sweet corn calls you to Cushman Farm, another of the six family farms that make up The Farmer’s Cow. Enjoy a “Corn Roast in the Hayfield & Farm Tour” from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 5. What started on 155 acres at the homestead has grown into nearly 1,800 acres of cropland in three towns managed by the 6th generation of the Cushman and Smith families. The newest dairy complex includes a rotary parlor that milks 30 cows at a time, and a barn big enough for 900 cows. Enjoy freshly picked local sweet corn! And, the cows will be glad to show you their home. The Last Green Valley Rangers will be there. Cushman Farm is located at 393 Lebanon Avenue, N. Franklin.
The final tour event is TLGV’s annual fund-raiser with a new twist. This year, Tastes of the Valley presents “A Farmer at Your Table” Aug. 27, at the Publick House Historic Inn in Sturbridge. Enjoy the new flavor at this event - a seated five-course gourmet dinner. Locally-grown products will be cooked up into unique tastes by top chefs, all from our National Heritage Corridor, and you will dine with guest agri-superstars and TLGV notables as they move from table to table with each course. The auction items, drawing baskets and pledge forms will be present, too, but look for a whole new course of fun and fund-raising opportunities.
Made up of 77 percent farmlands and forests, The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor is a 35-town region in eastern Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts. You can find dairy farms, orchards, vegetable farms, herds of beef, bison, alpaca, goats, sheep, and flocks of poultry, including the largest bison, alpaca and free-range turkey farms in Connecticut. Celebrate the diverse agriculture by accepting the invitation and tour some of TLGV’s partner farms this year!
Learn more about the National Heritage Corridor, the rich agriculture and agritourism in the region, plus events, news and more at The Last Green Valley’s website, www.thelastgreenvalley.org. Keep up to date on TLGV’s Facebook page and Instagram, too.