#EscapeWithNCAg is a year-long series that will focus on agritourism across North Carolina. Many farms, wineries and other agricultural businesses in our state offer events such as tours, yoga, educational classes, pick-your-own events and festivals, to entertain the public and teach them about our state’s number one industry. Each Thursday, we will feature a new site for you to visit with friends or family. Stay tuned and learn how to escape the stresses of life by diving into agriculture!
Walnut Cove is a great place to jump into fun on the farm at Armstrong Artisan Farm. Well-known for their annual farm festival, the farm is expanding its agritourism offerings this year to include lots of fun adventures for the family, like Spring Festival, Sheering Days, Herding Days and Farm Fun Days!
In 2016, Austin and Jessica started their family farm in Stokes County with a few sheep and cows. “My husband grew up on the farm so he was always in love with this way of life,” Jessica said, “and growing up in a small town, I had been surrounded by it. So, we decided to both jump in head first to a life in agriculture, having no idea that it would lead us to where we are today.” In 2017, the farm expanded to include chickens, pigs and a variety of row crops, like corn, wheat and soybeans, and started offering their very first agritourism event on the farm, Fall Festival and a Corn Maze.
Fall on the farm is a coveted tradition for many families across North Carolina. Through the years, Austin and Jessica have added events and activities for families to enjoy at the festival. Their annual corn maze is highly anticipated in the community due to their elaborate maze designs. In fact, they have recently upgraded to include two corn mazes, one smaller in size for the kids. At night, the maze becomes haunted, for those thrill seekers who wish to embrace their Halloween spirit. In addition to the corn maze, the Fall Festival includes pumpkin patches, a jumping pillow, apple cannons, a petting zoo and more! This year the festival will be open every Friday and Saturday from Sept. 2nd through Nov. 4th.
Due to their love for agritourism and desire to grow strawberries on the farm, Austin and Jessica have decided to host a Spring Festival for the very first time this year! Every Friday and Saturday from April to May, individuals can travel to the farm for pick-your-own strawberries, food trucks, music, hay rides, games, an animal-petting zoo, pick your own tulips and smores by the fire pit. “The petting zoo during this festival will be a lot of fun because springtime always brings a lot of new baby animals to the farm,” Jessica said. “People can interact with the animals and see our baby lambs, chickens and calf.” General admission to the festival is $10 per child and $12 per adult. All activities detailed above are included. The price of strawberries and tulips will depend on quantity picked and can be determined at checkout. “We have wanted to grow strawberries for a while because they are such a hit within the community,” Jessica said. “So, we are very excited to see how people will respond both to the berries and the tulips.” Advance tickets are not required to attend the Springtime Festival. Individuals can simply show up on a Friday or Saturday of their choosing during April and May between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
In addition to the Spring and Fall Festivals, Armstrong Artisan Farms also offers farm tours to interested individuals and is planning a plethora of other new events throughout the year. Keep an eye on their social media accounts to learn more about these events as they develop!
By visiting Armstrong Artisan Farm, children and adults alike can learn what farm life looks like, how animals are cared for, the way crops are grown, why crop rotation is important and so much more. “We love watching both our kids and the kids of our customers learn about life on the farm,” Jessica said. “Our kids love it out here and it’s such a joy to watch them share that love and passion with other kids their age. We enjoy seeing families come back year after year and simply enjoying the beauty and excitement that can be found on the farm.” Eventually, Austin and Jessica would love to make agritourism on the farm a full-time, year-round endeavor that will allow them to share what they do with others in the community and beyond on a regular basis.
While visiting Armstrong Artisan Farm, be sure to check out their beef and pork products as well as fiber products made from sheep wool. Individuals can also purchase products from their farm through their website or by visiting Jessica at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market. “I enjoy building connections with our customers and watching them take home a product to their family that we have worked so hard for,” Jessica said. “It’s a source of pride that is simply unparalleled.” Be sure to mark your calendars for the Springtime Festival coming up in April and May to enjoy fun times and great memories at Armstrong Artisan Farm!