Tour a variety of farms, including historic sites to see the homesteads of yesteryear and working farms of today.
Biltmore Estate: Explore farm life in the early 1900s with interpreters and exhibits at Biltmore's historic Barn. Meet friendly animals in the Farmyard and stroll the Kitchen Garden. Step into Barn to learn about the everyday life of families who lived on the estate raising livestock, tending crops, and working at Biltmore Dairy in the 1890s. The Barn in Antler Hill Village is alive again with blacksmiths, woodworkers, and other craft demonstrations. In the Farmyard, get introduced to a variety of family-friendly animals. Read more about the Farm at Antler Hill Village.
Mountain Farm Museum: This historic farm is located at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on U.S. Highway 441 near Cherokee. It includes farm buildings, most dating around 1900, that were moved from their original locations throughout the Smokies to create an open-air museum. Explore a log farmhouse, barn, apple house, springhouse, and a working blacksmith shop to get a sense of how families may have lived 100 years ago. Read more about the Mountain Farm Museum.
Historic Johnson Farm, Hendersonville: Tour a 1870s brick farmhouse and 10 farm buildings now owned by Henderson Co. Public Schools as a museum of mountain heritage. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The farm is operated year-round as a education center and farm museum. Over 15 acres with nature trails, forests and streams. Farm is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from September through May, following the traditional school year calendar. The farm is open Monday through Thursday June through August, during the school system’s summer break. Tours for the public are at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM on operating days. Tour fees are $5 for adults. The grounds are free and open to the public for walking on operating days. See our Historic Johnson Farm Guide.
NC Mountain Working Farms
Apple Farms: Henderson County just south of Asheville is the largest apple-producing county in North Carolina, growing 65% of them. You can visit many orchards along US Highway 64, just a few miles east of I-26 (between Hendersonville and Bat Cave). The apple harvest season runs from late August to late October, and many of the orchards are open daily. See our NC Apple Orchard Guide. Also see Orchard at Altapass.
Christmas Tree Farms: Pick the perfect holiday tree at "choose and cut" Christmas Tree Farms near Asheville. See our Christmas Tree Farm Guide.
Hickory Nut Gap Farm: This farm is open the most of any and it's right along the highway between Asheville and Chimney Rock. See animals raised in their natural outdoor environment: pigs in the woods, cows in pastures eating grass and clover, and multiple species grazing together. Stop by their Farm Store (open year round - everyday in summer and fall) to buy grassfed beef and lamb, along with pork, chicken, eggs and apples. The Farm Store also has an array of locally made products, including Haw Creek Honey in flavors such as sourwood, locust, and wildflower, and jams and jellies. During September and October their activities include a corn maze, pumpkin patch, apples, and freshly pressed apple cider. Directions from Asheville: I-240 East, exit towards 74-A East, Bat Cave and Chimney Rock. Follow 74-A approximately 9 miles. Turn left on Sugar Hollow Rd.
Imladris Farm: Just 14 miles from downtown Asheville near the community of Fairview is a small farm that is open for guided tours (with advance reservations). Imladris Farm (pronounced em-la-dris) isn't fancy - but it's the perfect spot to learn about authentic North Carolina mountain sustainable agriculture. Owners Walt and Wendy will show you around their a small, family owned farm focusing on the environment and early, simple natural methods. For seven generations the Marlowe family has been present on the farm. Walk through fields of raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries (harvested in July-September), see the rabbits, chickens and goats, and learn how all works together to nurture each other. Take home their gourmet jams (Blueberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Berry Best, and Apple Butter), naturally raised rabbit meat, and free range eggs. The farm tours are available year-round for $6/person (unless you buy something from the store in the old spring house!). Tours at Imladris Farm are available year-round, except on Saturdays (they are selling at the farmer's market). Just 7 miles away from Hickory Nut Gap Farm. For more, go to their Web site.
More Farms to Visit!
East Fork Farm
Located in the mountains of Madison County, East Fork Farm is about 25 miles north of Asheville. Family owned and operated, their farm raises pasture-raised lamb, free-range poultry and pond-raised trout; all without added hormones or antibiotics. You'll see hens with bright, healthy combs; animals on full display -- sheep munching lush orchard grass on sustainable, rotation-based pastures that ensure both the health and vigor of the animals and of the earth itself. Contact them to arrange a visit.
Deep Woods Mushrooms
Take a tour of this fungiculture and education center in the Pisgah National Forest. They are dedicated to the sustainable cultivation of edible and medicinal mushrooms, along with foraging and identifying wild edible mushrooms. Saturday farm tours in March-October. Wild mushroom hunts, classes and workshops also available for individuals or groups. Go to their website for info.
Hop’n Blueberry Farm
This 7th generation family sustainable farm specializes in hops, butterflies, blueberries, medicinal herbs and pollination. Located in Black Mountain, the farm is open for tours on Saturdays at 1 PM for tours from May through early October. Special tours can be arranged at other times. Learn about the history of the 165-year old farm and how sustainable farming practices make the farm a success. They also do special hop tours for those that wish to grow them. The butterfly house is really kicking up by late June, and they do a tag and release of the monarchs and send them off to Mexico. Click here to visit their Web site.
Cycle to Farm Bike Ride
Bike to farms and sample their products on this challenging but fun ride tour. See our Cycle to Farm Tour guide.