Saturday, May 17, 2014

Slow Food Katy Trail's 2014 Farm Tour Series

Photo by Matt Jernigan.
Slow Food Katy Trail's


This year you have four chances to visit some of your favorite local farms! Join Slow Food Katy Trail one Sunday per month, June through September, as we spend the afternoon exploring some of the farms that supply fresh, sustainably grown food to the Central Missouri region. We’ll be focusing on just two or three farms per afternoon, so you’ll have plenty of time to see every farm on the tour. And this year’s tours are also farmer-guided rather than self-guided, so come at the dates and times listed below for the chance to see exactly where your food is coming from! 

This tour is designed to acquaint you with local farmers and give you an up-close look at their production methods and farming styles. Please feel free to ask them questions about how they grow their food.

The first tour is on Sunday, June 1 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. and features:
ALTAI MEADOWS in Higbee (guided tour begins at 1:30 p.m.)
and GOATSBEARD FARM in Harrisburg (guided tour begins at 3 p.m.)
Please feel free to come to Altai Meadows at 12:30 p.m. for a bring-your-own picnic lunch in the country! 

Altai Meadows, under the rainbow.
Here’s how it works:
1. Drive up to Altai Meadows in Higbee following the directions below (or follow Google map directions to 1296 County Road 2535, Higbee). It takes 5o or so minutes to get there from the Columbia Farmers’ Market, so pack your lunch early and enjoy the drive! Come at 12:30 if you’re lunching there, or show up by 1:15 if you simply want to take the guided tour at 1:30 p.m. At Altai Meadows you’ll get an up-close look at a family farm that specializes in high-quality grass-fed, grass-finished beef, raised humanely without added hormones or antibiotics. You can purchase Altai Meadows beef, as well as eggs from their pastured chickens at the Columbia Farmers’ Market and on the day of the tour.

South Poll cattle graze at Altai Meadows.
☛ Directions to Altai Meadows from Columbia: Travel north on 63 about 23 miles to Rt. B and take a left. Take B about 9 miles to the T intersection at Rt. A. Take a right and follow what is now Rt. AB through Higbee. Just north of Higbee, Rt. B takes off to the left. Stay on Rt. A for about a mile past B and take a right on CR 2540. A sign on this corner says Higbee City Cemetery. Follow a short distance to a T intersection and take a left on CR 2530. Follow to first road on right—CR 2535. Turn right and follow to end of this dead-end road. They’re the last (third) house on the road. 
Google map directions are here—just fill in your starting location.

Is there anything cuter than baby goats? There will be plenty of them to see June 1 at Goatsbeard Farm. Photo by Matt Jernigan.
2. Next it’s time to see how they create the premium goat cheeses produced at Goatsbeard Farm. Follow the convoy as we drive on to Goatsbeard Farm (11351 Callahan Creek, Harrisburg), leaving at 2 p.m. Once we arrive you can peek at the herd of dairy goats, including the adorable 2-month-old kids, until the guided tour begins at 3 p.m. You’ll see the dairy, including the milking parlor, cheesemaking, packaging and aging rooms. And check out their new barn quilt square! Cheese will be available for tasting and purchase. The tour will end at 4 p.m.

For more info about Goatsbeard Farm, see this Columbia Farmers' Market vendor spotlight by Matt Jernigan.

The new barn quilt on the goat barn at Goatsbeard Farm in Harrisburg. Photo by Matt Jernigan.

☛ Directions to Goatsbeard Farm from Altai Meadows: You can follow our lead car, or follow these Google map directionsDirections to Goatsbeard Farm from Altai Meadows: You can follow our lead car, or follow these Google map directions. Head north on Co. Rd. 2535 and take a left on Co. Rd. 2530; go for 0.4 mile. Take the first right onto Co. Rd.  2540 (shown on Google map as CR D273) and go 0.2 mile. Take the first left onto State Hwy. A and follow A/B for the next 15 miles or so. Turn LEFT onto MO-124 (do not turn right towards Fayette, as previously specified in these directions!) and go 4.5 miles. Turn right on State Hwy. J and go 3.3 miles. Turn right onto Callahan Creek Rd. and go 1.1 miles. Your destination will be on the right, just after the concrete bridge. (Total 24.4 miles, about 45 min.)

Please leave your dogs at home!
Smoking is prohibited on all farms.
Most farms do not have public restrooms, so take that into account on your travels.
Dress appropriately with hat, sunscreen, comfortable shoes and clothing. 

SAVE THE DATE! Here are the upcoming tours:
  • July 13: Visit Mighty Acorn and the Wine Cellar Garden Project (Columbia)
  • August 3: Visit Blue Bell Farm (Fayette), Sullivan Farms (Fayette) and With the Wild Farm (Higbee)
  • September 7: Visit Terra Bella Farm (Hatton), Honey Creek Farm (Hallsville) and Bluebird Composting (Fulton)

Slow Food Katy Trail
is the mid-Missouri chapter of Slow Food USA, and part of a global movement.

Slow Food advocates for food and farming policy that is good for the public, good for the planet, and good for farmers and workers. Food that is good, clean and fair.
Good—The word good can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For Slow Food, the idea of good means enjoying delicious food created with care from healthy plants and animals. The pleasures of good food also can help build community and celebrate culture and regional diversity.
Clean—When we talk about clean food, we are talking about nutritious food that is as good for the planet as it is for our bodies. It is grown and harvested with methods that have a positive impact on our local ecosystems and promote biodiversity.
Fair—We believe that food is a universal right. Food that is fair should be accessible to all, regardless of income, and produced by people who are treated with dignity and justly compensated for their labor.

Slow Food Katy Trail heartily welcomes new members and new energy for the cause. To join our chapter, please go to and click on Donate. Send us an email at: Follow us on Facebook.

There is no rain date. You can also email for more info.

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