Local Farms Open for Tour

Selwin and Edwina Harrell, owners of Crooked Cedar Farm on Lawhorn Road.

Two Blythewood farms and nine others in Richland, Kershaw and Lexington counties will open their barn doors and farm gates for the inaugural Midlands Tour of Sustainable Family Farms, Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7, from 1 – 5 p.m. on both days.

Crooked Cedar Farm on Lawhorn Road, owned by Selwin and Edwina Harrell, and Doko Farm in Cedar Creek, owned Joe and Amanda Jones, will invite the public to take self-guided tours of their working farms and gardens.

In addition to gardens and crops, a variety of farm animals including chickens, pigs and goats, will be on hand to welcome the tour guests. The farmers will also be teaching gardening and growing techniques such as square foot gardening, permaculture, hydroponics and raised vegetable beds. All of the vegetables, fruits, flowers, mushrooms and more are grown without harmful pesticides.

Tour visitors are encouraged to enjoy a farm-fresh picnic or snack with food and treats purchased at the farms. Children will learn where their food comes from, play fun farm games and more.

Blythewood’s Crooked Cedar Farm produces for sale an endless array of seasonal tasty, colorful organic vegetables, herbs, fruits, strawberries and blueberries. The Harrells also grow and sell perennial plants and flowers.

The Harrells have lived on and worked the 11-acre farm for almost 35 years — since they were newlyweds. The garden started as a 50 x 100-foot plot when the Harrells’ boys were small. Today, the ever-expanding operation is a commercial endeavor that covers more than three acres. Besides garden produce, the Harrells raise chickens and sell eggs. Edwina cans or dries much of their garden’s produce for sale at the All-Local Market on Whaley Street in Columbia on Saturday mornings year round. Orders can also be placed for produce, eggs and canned/dried products by calling 786-4841 or emailing [email protected] and picked up at the farm.

Doko Farm, like the other farms, is always a work in progress and currently sells organic eggs, pork, lamb and ducks. It is located at 2102 Cedar Creek Road in Blythewood. The farm has been in Joe’s family for several generations. Today he and his wife take pride in turning acreage into a sustainable family farm. Orders for the Jones’ farm products can be placed by calling 803-873-7739 or emailing [email protected] or go to www.dokofarm.org.

Tour tickets, good for both days, are $25 per vehicle in advance. Tickets are available for purchase during the tour for $30 or you can also choose to pay $10 per farm (available for purchase at all the farms during the tour.) Groups of cycles count as one vehicle. Complete information about the tour and the farms, with interactive maps and driving directions to each farm, plus tour tickets are available at www.carolinafarmstewards.org. You can also pick up a printed brochure and buy tickets at Whole Foods Market in Columbia closer to the event date.

Visit any farm in any order and bring a cooler so you can bring home some of the farm fresh products that will be on sale at many of the farms. No pets allowed. The tour is rain or shine. Proceeds from the tour support the work of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.