The Raystown Lake Region is home to rich agricultural diversity. Each year, the Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau works with local farms to organize “Farm Tour Fridays”, giving farmers the opportunity to share their passions with the general public. Agriculture is a wonderful outlet that deserves to be explored.
Beginning in 2021, “Farm Tour Fridays” has been giving consumers an inside look on what farm life and production is truly like. Each tour is unique to its area of agriculture, whether it be dairy, forestry or organics. The tours are an easy way to dig deeper into agriculture and the industries within them.
Star Lee Farm
One tour that visitors are ‘buzzing’ about is “Hey Honey! Intro to Beekeeping”. Located at Star Lee Farm, this tour specializes in honey bees and all of their products. Attending this tour is a great way to learn about bees, no matter previous knowledge or experience. Some components to the tour include beekeeping equipment, history and harvesting techniques. Experience the sweet surprises that lie within each hive and take home a sample of their honey. The bees will get up close and personal in some cases and for the most part will leave people alone to enjoy the duration of their visit. Being close to the bees is a bonus to have the best learning endeavor that apiary science has to offer.
Terrace Mountain Alpacas
Get “Up Close and Fleecy” with the alpacas that call Terrace Mountain Alpacas home. With this cute and cuddly excursion, Terrace Mountain offers a personal experience to build knowledge about alpacas. While on your visit, the curious alpacas will be patiently waiting for their next pets. Owner/operator Sandy, will demonstrate needle felting with the alpaca by-products and each guest will get to partake in creating bird nest material out of alpaca fibers. After the tour, explore the farm store for alpaca fiber products from the alpacas at Terrace Mountain Alpaca Farm.
Ever wonder how food makes it from the farm to the dinner table? Look no further because Lakevue Farms has the answer. Begin with a walking tour of their farm to explore the stages of growth of their dairy cattle herd. Don’t be afraid to get up close in the barn, they offer boot covers to keep shoes clean! View their triangular-style parlor where they milk their cows and learn how the milk is transported directly to the bulk tank. After the farm tour is complete, head to the farm house for dinner. The farm-to-table meal will include beef, homemade ice cream, assorted veggies and a fresh-fruit dessert. To top it off, the Huntingdon County Dairy Princesses might make a guest appearance!
Dr. Lindsey Sowers
Next on the tour list is one like no other. Learning how to turn milk into a variety of fermented products is easy and fun with the instruction from Dr. Lindsey Sowers. The best part of “Yo! Probiotics are ‘Whey’ Good For You” are the samples throughout the session. With the focus of the session being probiotics and digestive health, the possibilities of fermentation are endless. Although this isn’t a traditional farm with a tour, the experience is an amazing learning session for agricultural commodities. The tour will walk through how to make cheese and yogurt from only one gallon of raw milk! Dr. Sowers also lets the guests in on family recipes to take home to try for themselves.
Clover Creek Cheese Cellar
Following the fermentation process is the Clover Creek Cheese Cellar with a farm perspective on how products come to be. On their organic dairy farm, the Rice Family displays their cheese processes and the aging cellar. After learning the history of cheese and the steps to reaching the delicious product, each guest gets to make a soft-cheese of their own. Step outside to tour the farm and meet the cows who help make the cheese. Wrap up the “‘Gouda’ Time at Clover Creek” tour by testing your knowledge on dairy while enjoying a charcuterie board of assorted Clover Creek cheeses!
Experiencing peace and quiet can be a dream to some, but not a story of fiction with Phoenix Farm. Trella Dubetz is a holistic practitioner who is awaiting to share her knowledge with the public on her tour, “Land-Based Meditation & Healing”. This tour does not require experience in healing or meditation, so it is a great learning experience for all. While enjoying the hour-long session, Trella will guide each participant on land-based and body-based meditation techniques. Relaxation and soothing practices are top priority at Phoenix Farm during the unique tour that is both educational and healing throughout the tour.
Woodcock Hollow Farm
Have you “‘Herd’ About Sheep Dogs”? Woodcock Hollow Farm gives a behind-the-scenes look on how sheep dogs are trained to rangle sheep among the fields. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the sheep, horses and goats that reside on the property. Woodcock Hollow also offers maple syrup lines and fresh produce. Whether it be vegetables or fruit, one might be lucky enough to take some for the road. With a family-friendly environment, Woodcock Hollow Farm keeps each attendee entertained from arrival to departure.
Tuckaway Tree Farm
Tuckaway Tree Farm is situated on a beautiful landscape of rolling hills with a variety of trees that will someday make the perfect Christmas tree. The “Tree’mendous Tour'' shows the picturesque views of the tree farm and the ‘U-Pick’ flower patch growing strong. While enjoying the educational tour of Christmas tree production, the visitors will learn about pruning methods and the tree life cycles. The best part of the entire tour, hands-down, is the farm cat Douglas ‘Dougie’ Fir who might make an appearance during the evening. Following the walking tour, visitors will be invited to sip on some homemade white pine tea as they paint a watercolor pine tree. Another addition that will be made soon to the Tuckaway Tree Farm’s products is Buzz Honey Co., a company that sells local honey and beeswax products from the bees that call Tuckaway Tree Farm home.
Green Heron Farm
“Get Inspired! with Organic Food & Art Immersion” at Green Heron Farm. Take a stroll through the fields to see the variety of produce they have growing, with the help of Benny the Farm Dog. The walk will take a path to see the beautiful sunflowers, garlic, popcorn, leeks, onions and many more growing organically to their fullest potential. From the overlook of the pond to seeing the chickens, each view is breathtaking. Enjoy a tour of the art studio and browse the many products available to purchase. To conclude the tour, head to the barn to see the farm’s largest harvest, garlic, being hung to dry for the winter season. While there, watch their woodturning demo to learn how their specialty wooden bows are made from scratch.
It is easy to say that the Raystown Lake Region has plenty to offer when it comes to agritourism. Thank you to those who host the “Farm Tour Fridays” for all of their hard work and dedication to teaching those who are willing to tour and learn. In the Raystown Lake Region adventures and memories last a lifetime. Booking tickets for these tours can be found at farmtourfridays.com.