There has been a lot happening here around the farm since our last posts. One big change that we are all excited about is adding some new members to our farm! A few months back, we added about 30 beautiful cows to our farm and they have been doing awesome! Our crew has been checking on them daily and keeping them well fed! All are happy and healthy!
Mills River Day 2015 was a wonderful success. We had even more visitors than last year–nearly a thousand people showed up to celebrate the river that connects us all. More than thirty booths decorated North River Farm, teaching about everything from soil and water conservation to fun summer camps to agriculture.
Huge thanks to everyone who made this day possible! The Mills River Partnership put on this event, and we’re so grateful that we were able to have it at North River Farms. We enjoyed all of the booths, music, authors, vendors, and community members who came out to make Mills River Day 2015 the best one yet.
Thanks again, and we hope to see you next time!
Hello, everyone! It’s the time of year again for us to be preparing for Mills River Day. Last year, the Mills River Partnership sponsored Mills River Day for the first time. We’re excited that it has become an annual event, with the second Mills River Day taking place on Sunday, May 31st, rain or shine, from 2:00-5:00.
If you came out to Mills River Day last year, you know all about the ice cream, farm animals, equipment display, live music, and wagon rides. All of those fun activities will be back this year, plus barbecue, a book signing, fly-fishing demonstrations, a farm simulator, a fire safety house, and more. Admission is free, and the first 100 guests will even receive a free flowering hanging basket.
We had so much fun at Mills River Day last year, and we hope that even more of our community members come out to connect this year. If you would like more information, check out this video from the Mills River Partnership.
We hope to see you there!
It has been a busy autumn at North River Farms. Our molasses facility is open, and we were thankful that Jason’s grandfather and grandmother were able to be with us as we made the first batch of molasses. They are the inspiration behind our expansion into molasses; we have the original equipment that they used in making their own molasses, and their experience and expertise has been invaluable as we’ve begun this venture.
If you’d like to learn more about how we operate our equipment, check out this great article from the Blue Ridge Times. Many thanks to them for helping us spread the word about our old-timey molasses!
On August 18th, North River Farms was pleased to be able to donate a potato field to the Society of St. Andrew. The Society of St. Andrew is an organization that gleans food straight from farmers’ fields in order to feed the hungry.
There were forty-two volunteers that came to glean the potatoes, and our crew helped, too. With all of that help, we were able to harvest and donate 5,238 pounds of potatoes!
We’ve also been busy giving farm tours. We hosted folks from the Emeritus at Pine Park living facility for a farm tour, picnic, and u-pick session.
It was a wonderful day at the farm. Thanks for coming, Pine Park residents!
Since the beginning of June, North River Farms has been working hard to complete our new molasses mill and cooking facility.
It isn’t quite ready yet, but we’ve made a lot of progress. We expect it to be completed in October, and we couldn’t be more excited. In the meantime, we’ve been busy growing a field full of sugar cane a few miles from the farm. Harvest time should come toward the end of September.
Once the facilities are completed and the sugar cane is harvested, the real fun will begin. We will host live molasses-making demonstrations at our farm in Mills River. Making molasses is an all day affair, and we will welcome all visitors and observers! People have been making molasses in the North Carolina mountains for generations, and we are excited to invite people to take part in this educational process.
If you’re interested in attending any of our molasses-making demonstrations this fall, be sure to like our page on Facebook and stay tuned for updates!
It’s one thing to come get a box of zucchini fresh from our farm, but it’s quite another to know what to do with your vegetables once you get them home. Zucchini is a summer staple, but it isn’t a vegetable that can be eaten straight out of the field. There are tons of ways to cook your U-Pick zucchini, though, and we thought we’d share a few of our favorites with you for inspiration.
First up, we’re going to share a recipe for a good old-fashioned zucchini bread. Whether you’re looking for a delicious breakfast or a snack to enjoy with your coffee, zucchini bread is great to have on-hand.
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
Optional: 1 cup chocolate chips and/or 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 325. Grease two loaf pans (8×4) and set aside. Grate 2 cups of zucchini, either by hand or in a food processor, and set aside. Don’t peel the zucchini first.
Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl. In a separate medium bowl, mix together eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, and vanilla. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Add zucchini and nuts/chocolate chips (if applicable) and continue mixing until well-combined.
Pour into pans and bake for 45-60 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan.
(Adapted from AllRecipes)
What’s your favorite way to prepare zucchini? We’ll be posting recipes throughout the season, and we just might share yours!
You never forget your first time tubing. The cold water, the exciting currents, the sunny patches that warm you up–tubing is about as much fun as you can have on a river. If you were lucky enough to grow up with a proper Southern upbringing, floating down the river on a giant tube was probably one of the best parts of your childhood summers. North River Farms knows how much Southerners love tubing, so for the past few summers we’ve offered guided tube rides down the Mills River.
If you’re looking to enjoy the river without actually having to get into it (We understand–the water can be cold!), maybe an afternoon spent on the banks is more your style. We have a fantastic picnic area, complete with tables, swings, and a campfire spot. While you’re picnicking, maybe you could get some fishing in, too. (You’ll have to bring your favorite fishing pole and your trout-stamped fishing license, of course, and catching the fish is up to you!)
For something truly unique, North River Farms also offers guided horseback rides around our property. If you’re an experienced rider or just want to spend a few hours on the back of a horse taking in some beautiful scenery, this is a great way to spend an afternoon.
And if you just can’t stand the thought of leaving the farm after the great day you’ve had, bring a tent and set up camp by the river. We have a primitive, all-natural campsite available! There is a fire ring, a great spot for a tent, and enough firewood to keep your marshmallows toasted all evening.
The best part about all these fun activities is that you don’t just have to pick one–call us up and we can work out a package that includes two, three, or more of these activities in one awesome day at the farm. All of our activities are by appointment only, so contact us today to schedule your full day of fun at the farm!
There’s just something about a farm that gets people interested. Children are fascinated by farms as soon they can push toy tractors across the floor. Some of the most beloved children’s songs are about farmers–Old MacDonald, The Farmer in the Dell, and B-I-N-G-O all teach kids from an early age that farms are important and fun to learn about.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about farms is that we all, every one of us, depend on them. We might supplement with backyard gardens and homegrown veggies, but the truth of the matter is that we’d all go hungry without farmers growing the bulk of our food. Farms intrigue us because we know they are vital to our survival.
And while most of us would admit to having at least a passing interest in farming, few people are able to say that they truly understand what happens on an everyday basis at a working farm. Sure, we enjoy the produce from farms and the scenery of a field just before the hay is cut, but most people don’t have all the knowledge they’d like to have about farming practices.
For those of you who are curious about farming, and would like to better understand what goes into a successful operation, North River Farms offers farm tours at our Mills River property. Consisting of an hour-long, informative, guided hay-ride, the farm tour is an authentic, entertaining way to educate yourself about farming.
The farm tour is ideal for large groups. If you’re a member or leader of a club or social group, or just part of a group of friends who wants to learn about farming, contact us to make an appointment.
We can’t promise that you’ll leave ready to start your own farm, but we can promise that you’ll leave with a lot more knowledge than you came in with. And the next time you overhear a conversation about farming, you’ll be able to join in with some insight from your authentic farm experience!
What parts of farming do you find especially interesting? Let us know in the comments!
On Sunday, North River Farms was pleased to host the first Mills River Day. Sponsored by the Mills River Partnership, Mills River Day was a fun, educational afternoon. We had hundreds of guests who enjoyed ice cream, music by the Lonesome Road Band, educational booths, farm tours, and more.
The weather was cloudy, but that didn’t stop Mills River residents from showing up to take part in the fun. Children played in the bouncy house while adults checked out the antique cars, and everyone learned about the importance of protecting our watershed.
We’d like to offer a sincere thanks to everyone who came out to Mills River Day. We couldn’t have done it without our sponsors, volunteers, and most importantly, our fantastic community members. We hope to see you again next year!