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Monday October 20th 2014

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Foodie Field Trips

By Sarah McCartan

Everybody loves a good field trip—especially one that in some way, shape or form, revolves around food. With the growing concern for knowing where your food comes from, who is handling it, and how it’s being handled, an increased number of farmers are opening their doors, and their fields, allowing the public to see firsthand how the food they are eating to fuel their bodies and satisfy their taste buds is actually being grown, raised, harvested and handled. Many farmers are going beyond the food itself, offering tours, onsite markets, workshops, volunteer opportunities and more.

Depending on where your taste buds are leading you and what you are in the mood or market for, prepare yourself to have a foodie field day at any, or all, of the following nearby locations.

GET NUTTY
Fidler Farms
15705 Harris Lane
Silverhill, Ala.
(251) 945- 5687
fidlerfarms.net

Visit Fidler Farms and go home with nuts galore. Nearly 85 percent of peanuts from Fidler Farms are sold within a 40-mile radius of the farm to local individuals and local produce stands. Fidler Farms’ raw peanuts are freshly roasted, while their green peanuts are dug to fill orders, meaning typically they are less than a day old. Raw and roasted peanuts are available year-round. If you can’t make it to the farm, you can pick up a bag at Flora Bama Farms.

BIRD’S THE WORD
Meme’s Poultry and Quail
21985 Koier Road
Robertsdale, Ala.
(251) 716-1460

Now that you’re allowed to have chickens in the city—bird is officially the word. And Meme’s Poultry and Quail is your go-to bird dealer. Meme’s mission is to provide healthy, quality chicks and other poultry to local and national poultry lovers. If you aren’t in the market for live poultry to take home, visit Meme’s to enjoy holding some baby chicks, and take home some quail, turkey or chicken eggs. Meme’s eggs are also available at Flora Bama Farms.

Visit Meme’s Facebook page at facebook.com/memespoultryandquailsales to peep the current lineup of cute chicks.

MELONS AND MORE
Holland Farms
2055 Homer Holland Road
Milton, Fla.
(850) 675 – 6876
hollandfarmsonline.com

While Holland Farms is known for their “nuttiness” as well as their fall pumpkin patch and hayride, the farm is a year-round affair. Holland Farms currently has melons, tomatoes, peas and butterbeans for purchase and this season’s peanuts will be available by the end of July. Holland Farms grows and sells directly from their farm to the public.

A DAY IN THE LIFE
Cambridge Farms
3230 Deloach Lane
Milton, Fla.
(850) 855-6420
cambridgefarms.webs.com

Cambridge Farms invites you to experience life on the farm and offers tours, volunteer days, as well as classes and workshops on sustainable farming. They also have fruit for the picking and seasonal produce available for the purchasing. As an alternative to farms that sell larger orders to business and restaurants, like Holland Farms, Cambridge Farms sells directly from their farm to the public.

GET CHEESY
Sweet Home Farm
27107 Schoen Road
Elberta, Ala.
(251) 986 -5663
You may have unknowingly tasted their cheese at the Fish House, if not, you are in for a cheesy sweet treat with a visit to Sweet Home Farm family dairy. Sweet Home serves up several varieties of cheese that are available for purchase at the farm from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Cheese availability includes a core lineup, with rotating specialties featuring an extra-aged seasonal, and their delectable cheese fudge. The Guernsey cows at Sweet Home are grass fed and live a life of leisure in the fields for the majority of the day.

GET PICKIN’

BERRY RIPE
July may be National Blueberry Month, but hurry, hurry—the berries are going, going and nearly gone! As blueberry season winds down, this weekend may be your last chance to fill your buckets. Here are a few “U-pick” berry farms that anticipate having berries through mid-July due to favorable conditions. It’s always best to call first to check on the status of berries. And remember, it’s best to pick first thing in the morning to beat the heat.

Broom Bush Farm
15780 Lille Lane
Summerdale, Ala.
(251) 988-1700
broombushfarm.com

Hillcrest Farm
30497 Hixson Road
Elberta, Ala.
(251) 962-2500
facebook.com/hillcrestfarmalabama

If you can’t make it in time for blueberries at Hillcrest, check out their seasonal produce available for sale on-site.

LA Berry Farms
12562 Mary Ann Beach Road
Fairhope, Ala.
(251) 421-2073
laberryfarms.com

PRODUCE PICKIN’

B.J. Farms
27618 Hwy. 98 E.
Elberta, Ala.
(251) 986-5391

Although known as the go-to area strawberry picking farm when in season, B.J.’s is currently offering other picking opportunities for the public. Their current “U-Pick” lineup includes tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, corn, melons and more—a perfect opportunity to go home with some fresh produce, while staking it out so you know exactly where to turn for strawberry goodness.

For more seasonal pickin’ opportunities, visit pickyourown.org.