Wednesday, September 8, 2010

NCR-SARE Field Tour: Agri-Tourism/Alternative Agriculture

Source: Quad-Cities Online

ALPHA -- Country Corner, Bruce Curry's roadside stand that has grown into a thriving, 80-acre agritourism business near Alpha, is the destination of a tour Wednesday, Sept. 22, sponsored by University of Illinois Extension. Regisration is 9 a.m. with the tour and event lasting until 1 p.m.

The farm grows asparagus, tomatoes, corn, pumpkins, muskmelons, watermelons, and other produce. Country Corner allows its customers to pick fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, raspberries, pumpkins, and gourds directly from the farm. It has a two-acre timber park, playground, pavilion, picnic area, horseshoe pits, and sells local honey, jams and jellies, apples, cider and fall produce.

More than 50,000 people per year come to purchase produce or tour the farm, including up to 5,000 school children. They are in the fourth year of offering community-supported agriculture with share options and will explain how the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program works.

Cost is $20 per person, which includes lunch. Two adults pay $30 when registered together, and children under the age of 10 attend free. Registration by Thursday Sept. 16, is strongly suggested to assure lunch and materials will be available at the tour site. On-line registration can be made at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/smallfarm/ag_tours.cfm. Phone registration, as well as additional details about the tour and location can be obtained by contacting Donna Cray at 217-241-4644. For more information, contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at (217)-968-5512 or cvnghgrn@illinois.edu or Jeff West, County Director Henry-Stark Extension at jwest@illinois.edu. For more information on the location as well as a map, visit http://www.country-corner.com

The tours are sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension, the NCR-SARE Professional Development Program, the Agriculture Tourism Partners of Illinois (ATPI), the Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program at the University of Illinois, and the Henry County Extension Unit.

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