Ag+Art Tour offers a look at local farming and art

Dave Cole shows 10 year old Hannah Cantrell of Rock Hill how to milk a goat at Fishing Creek Creamery of Chester County at last year’s Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour.
Dave Cole shows 10 year old Hannah Cantrell of Rock Hill how to milk a goat at Fishing Creek Creamery of Chester County at last year’s Catawba Regional Ag + Art Tour. Special to the Herald

Historic Brattonsville, York County’s antebellum plantation in McConnells, along with 17 York County farms and farm stands and 23 artisans will participate this weekend in the Catawba Region Ag+Art Tour, the largest farm and art tour in the nation. Farms in Chester, Lancaster, Fairfield and Union counties also will participate.

The self-guided tour, intended to generate interest in local farms, fresh foods and locally made traditional arts, will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

At Brattonsville, two visiting artisans, Sally Hagerty and Stephen Owen, will be on-site selling their handmade work. Hagerty from “Sally’s Handwovens” creates handwoven rag rugs, totes, pillows, fiber-art tapestries, scarves, shawls and wooden looms for kids. Owen from “Sixteenacrewood” crafts cutting/serving boards, bowls and tables from local fallen trees.

On Saturday, costumed interpreters will be on the living history plantation with ongoing hands-on demonstrations in 18th-century gardening, blacksmithing and hearth cooking.

The 800-acre site is home to a flock of Gulf Coast sheep, Dominique chickens and Ossabaw Island hogs. Historic interpreters are on-site to demonstrate why these animals were important to our ancestors. Admission fees to Brattonsville are waived for the tour weekend.

The Ag+Art Tour is free to the public and has drawn more than16,000 visitors since it began in 2012. The tour expanded into Lancaster County in 2013. Chester and Fairfield counties began participating in 2014. Union County joined this year. The tour is coordinated by a leadership team and county-level planning teams.

Sign in at the first stop you make and get a tour passport guide and tour information. Those signing in will be entered to win a Visa Gift Card.

Tour stops in York County include Black’s Peaches, Bush and Vine, Catawba Cultural Preservation Project, Downtown York Farmers Market, J and J Family Farm, Ketchen Place Horse Farm, Myersart and Farm, Old Town Farmers Market, The Peach Tree, Pennell Barn, PAR Garden, Rock Ridge Farm, Roger Ridge Ranch, Sanders Peaches, Springs Farm, Tega Hill Farm and Windy Hill Orchard.

In Chester County, visit Cotton Hills Farm, Chester Farmers and Artisans Market, Fishing Creek Creamery, Gaston Farm Road Equestrian Center, Oak Grove Plantation, Powell Farm, Thames Farm and Watson Farm. Chester will offer free bus service to tour sites from either the the upper lot at The Gateway, 3200 Commerce Drive, Richburg, or the Downtown Chester back lot. Service begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday and will run continuously during tour hours.

Lancaster County sites include Calvert Stables, Benford Brewery, Dixie Bee Supply, Elginwood Gram, Griff’s Greenhouse, The Ivy Place, The Garden at the Native American Studies Center, Lancaster County Farmers Market and Rich Hill Farm.

Fairfield County will feature Celtic Lane Farm, Ee-oh-lay Farm, Fairfield County Farmers Market, The She Garden at the Painted Picket and Royal Greens.

In Union County, visit Jackson Farm Garden, Olivia’s Way Gardening, Piedmont Physic Garden, Simple Times Farm, Three Horse Milling Co., Union County Farmers Market, Union Oil Mill Farm & Garden, Woodson Enterprises and Union County Fairground Aquaponic Farm.

For complete descriptions and maps to the locations go to agandarttour.com