Come on back to the farm!
Written by Kathy Witt
Summer is here and that means excursions to farms and farmers markets to load up on flowers and veggies for planting and growing and fresh produce for buying and building dinner menus around. Georgetown and Scott County farms and farmers are ready to welcome you back, on their porch, curbside or at a booth at the Georgetown/Scott County Farmers Market.
Here is what you can expect on your visit to some of Scott County’s farms this season.
Gray Arbor Farm
While family-owned Gray Arbor Farm is not open to the public, the owners host several U-pick events and workshops that give visitors the opportunity to tour this Kentucky Proud farm and collect blooms. The farm is known for its honey and seasonal cut flowers, with a lineup of blooms that are constantly changing.
“In the spring to early summer we have tulips, daffodils, ranunculus, foxglove, larkspur, nigella and more,” said owner Kelly Riley Stanley. “Summer through fall we have phlox, dahlias, asters, scabiosias and snap dragons, to name just a few.”
The farm has implemented a service the Stanleys call Farmhouse Porch Pickup.
“Customers can reach out via social media message, phone call or text message,” said Kelly. “If we can have 24 hours advance notice, we can get their order together and have it waiting for them on our front porch. We also have a preorder shop site for the Georgetown/Scott County Farmers Market, so customers order their bouquet at gray-arbor-farm.square.site and then pick it up at the market.”
This summer, Gray Arbor Farm is offering three scheduled U-picks events – and the first one has already sold out. The Stanleys will also have workshops on the farm. Information for these will be on the farm’s Facebook page and tickets will be sold through Eventbrite. Farm tours are part of each event.
The Farm Market at the 185-acre family farm, Bi-Water Farm and Greenhouse, is open now and will remain so through November 1. Although there is no curbside pickup, customers can call this Kentucky Proud member at 502-863-3676 with their order; the farm will prepare it and have it ready for pick up. The farm also participates in the Georgetown/Scott County Farmers Market
Bi-Water is well-known for its acres of flowers, including a large selection of perennials and roses, thousands and thousands of hanging baskets, dozens of varieties of tomatoes and peppers and at least 30 types of herbs, among other farm goodies.
The Farm Market carries an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies: strawberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, apples, cabbage, kale, peppers, chilies, pumpkins, cantaloupes, watermelons, summer squash, winter squash and more. And then there’s the sweet stuff – jams and jellies and homemade fudge.
“We have farm tours and U-pick in the fall,” said farm owner Stephen Fister. “This year, pumpkins will be the only U-pick available.”
Find gardening tips and planting guides, including growing local, how to grow better tomatoes and choosing the best hydrangeas for your landscape, on Bi-Water’s website. Find updates on the farm’s Facebook page.
Elmwood Stock Farm
Elmwood Stock Farm, a sixth-generation family farm, started out as many in the area did by producing cattle and tobacco before transitioning to selling vegetables and meats directly to the public. That was 26 years ago and this year, the farm celebrates 20 years of USDA organic certification and 17 years of offering CSA Farm Shares
What can you expect to find? More than 40 types of produce, plus pasture-raised eggs, chicken, turkey and pork and grass-fed beef and lamb.
The Elmwood Stock Farm store is open online, and customers can choose to pick up their food orders from the farm.
“We encourage everyone to place their orders in our online store and pay securely with a credit card before coming to the farm to pick up their order,” said Ann Stone of Elmwood Stock Farm. “We can even bring your order to your car and we also offer home delivery.”
Like other farms deemed an essential business, this Kentucky Proud member has remained open during the current crisis. In addition to the food-safety and handling policies the farm has always followed for its USDA Good Agricultural Practices food-safety certification, Elmwood has also adopted new policies recommended by the CDC and USDA.
“All of our staff are trained in food safety, and everyone is routinely monitored for COVID-19,” said Ann.
Elmwood Stock Farm also offers their products for pick up at the Georgetown/Scott County Farmers Market by preorder only for the time being. Also at this time there will not be in-person tours offered; however, plans are underway to roll out virtual tours this summer.
Fifth-generation family farm Evans Orchard and Cider Mill is open for the season and that includes in-store shopping along with curbside pickup. Additionally, the outdoor seating at the café is now open. (Evans is currently waiting on approval from Gov. Beshear regarding the possible opening of its Play Area.)
“We are asking customers to maintain the six feet social distancing guidelines and are sanitizing all surfaces every hour, checking employees temperatures as they arrive and practicing frequent hand washing,” said Jenny Evans.
Wildly popular for its fall items, including cider, apples, pumpkins, cider donuts and fried pies, this Kentucky Proud member also has U-cut zinnias and cosmos. The farm also has a presence at the Georgetown/Scott County Farmers Market, selling homegrown fruits and vegetables and home-baked goods.
A Sunflower Festival begins in August and is expected to last for three weeks this year. (Anticipated dates are Aug. 1-16, but bloom times vary so you should call ahead at 502-863-2255 to confirm dates.)
“It is seven acres of sunflowers and absolutely beautiful,” said Jenny. “It’s also very popular for pictures and you can cut the sunflowers as well.”
Although berries haven’t ripened yet due to unseasonably cold temperatures this spring, Evans Orchard plans to offer U-pick, following increased guidelines mentioned above. The hope is to also offer tours as guidelines and restrictions loosen. Find updated information on the farm’s Facebook page.
Georgetown is fortunate to have many family-owned farms, including flower, produce, cattle and horse farms. Learn about these farms and others at www.georgetownky.com.
A word about CSA
Several farms in Georgetown/Scott County participate in CSA or Community Supported Agriculture. CSA is a system that connects producers and consumers within the food system more closely by allowing the consumer to subscribe to the harvest of a certain farm or group of farms . . . meaning members receive fresh and delicious seasonal produce on a regular basis. Benefits include getting the best of the harvest for each delivery, supporting local farms and knowing where your food comes from.
Contact these Georgetown farms to learn more about the CSA program: