Saturday, July 26, 2014

Slow Food Katy Trail's Farm Tour Series, Part 3: Honey Creek Farm, Terra Bella Farm & Bluebird Composting

Slow Food Katy Trail’s
2014 Farm Tour Series

Part 3: Honey Creek Farm, Terra Bella Farm & Bluebird Composting

The third tour is on SUNDAY, AUGUST 3 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. and features:
HONEY CREEK FARM in Hallsville
(guided tour begins at 12:30 p.m.)
(guided tour begins at 2 p.m.)
(guided tour begins at 3:30 p.m.)

Note: There will be no bring-your-own picnic lunch period this time. 
This is a family-friendly event, so please bring the kids and enjoy a day in the country.

First stop: HONEY CREEK FARM (Hallsville)
Honey Creek Farm is a small diversified farm northeast of Columbia, nestled among pastures divided by a winding creek. Farmers Dan and Laura Pugh grow vegetables and fruit, graze sheep on grass, raise chickens for eggs, and keep honeybees. Their goal is to be sustainable and produce the healthiest food possible by the practices they use. This is their third year farming, and they say they are still learning constantly. Honey Creek Farm sells free-range eggs and produce at the Columbia Farmers Market.

Directions to the Honey Creek Farm (7541 N. Ballew Road, Hallsville) from ColumbiaGo east on I-70 to Exit 133 (Missouri Z). At the end of the ramp, turn left (north) onto State Hwy. Z North/North Rangeline Rd. Drive 1 mile; at the traffic circle, continue straight onto N. Rte. Z. Continue on Z for 5.7 miles, then turn left onto State Rd. HH. Continue for 1/2 mile, then take the first left onto N. Ballew Road. Take Ballew about 1/2 mile to 7541 N. Ballew Road, on the right. The house sits back from the road, but look for the mailbox and the Slow Food Katy Trail Farm Tour sign.

Second stop: TERRA BELLA FARM (Auxvasse)

Next stop on the tour is Terra Bella Farm, near Hatton on State Highway M. Terra Bella is a diverse 160-acre farm with several projects aimed at increasing the public’s access to locally raised foods and increasing interest in the rural community. Owner Margot McMillen, who will lead the tour, is the long-time co-host of KOPN's Farm and Fiddle radio show, a weekly program that "celebrates and explores rural life for today and tomorrow" with guests from our rural area and all over the world.

Terra Bella has been an organic farm since 1999, and though they still follow strictly no-chemical practices, they dropped their certification a few years ago. According to their mission, they are “dedicated to food for the local community, arts for all and the health of the rural ecosystem, including our farmers.” They have vegetable gardens, bee hives, a timber-stand-improvement project, and pasture for cattle and sheep. This year, they're also raising a few red-wattle hogs. The Missouri Grain Project has been buying and selling local grains to local consumers since 2007 and also sponsors a heritage wheat project,now in its fourth year. Terra Bella is also home to the mid-Missouri Barn Quilt Project. Two of their buildings are solar, and their irrigation system is partially solar. Their products, including their local wheat flour and produce, are sold at Shlafly and Clayton Markets in St. Louis and at the Brick District Farmers Market in Fulton.

Directions from Honey Creek Farm to Terra Bella Farm: Turn left onto N. Ballew Rd. and head north for one-half mile. Turn right (east) onto State Rd. HH, and after another half-mile turn left (heading north) onto N. Rte. Z. Go 5.2 miles, then turn right (heading east) onto State Hwy. D/E Rte. D, and continue to follow D for 6 miles. Turn right on State Hwy. M, heading south for 4 miles, then turn left (east) onto State Hwy. E/State Hwy. M. Follow E/M for 1.3 miles, then turn right (south) onto State Hwy. M. The destination, 1303 Rte. M, will be .8 mile down the road on the right. Look for the Slow Food Katy Trail Farm Tour sign. (The trip from Honey Creek to Terra Bella takes about 25 minutes.)
Warning: Their address is 1303 State Hwy. M, Auxvasse, but unless you key in that exact wording, Google will take you to the wrong place. Follow the directions above to get from Honey Creek to Terra Bella. Or you can use these map coordinates to get to Terra Bella from anywhere using your GPS or Google map: 39.014599,-92.011067

Photo by Matt Jernigan

Final stop: BLUEBIRD COMPOSTING (Fulton)

Bluebird Composting helps local farmers, food vendors and families manage their waste, preventing tons of material from ending up wasted in landfills. By combining the various types of waste products (food scraps, wood chips, manure, etc.) in specific amounts, under special conditions, something magical occurs, transforming ordinary waste into premium compost. Bluebird Composting sells their compost, free range eggs, and produce at both the Columbia Farmers Market and the Brick District Farmers Market in Fulton, and you can learn more about them in this profile on the CFM web site.  Bluebird compost is available by the bag or in bulk, and bags will be available for sale on tour day. 

On tour day they’ll demonstrate how their compost is made, and participants will also find free range chickens, pygmy goats, vegetable and herb beds grown following sustainable agricultural practices, and a high tunnel.

Photo by Matt Jernigan

☛ Directions from Terra Bella Farm to Bluebird Composting (4657 State Highway HH, Fulton): From Terra Bella Farm, turn right (heading south) onto State Hwy. M and continue for 4.4 miles, crossing over the I-70 overpass at exit 144 (M/HH). Immediately after crossing the overpass, turn right onto Jade Rd. (I-70 access road) and head west for 1.3 miles. Turn left onto State Hwy. HH and drive for 6.5 miles. Your destination will be on the right, marked by the Slow Food Katy Trail Farm Tour sign.

**** Please leave your dogs at home! • Smoking is prohibited on all farms. ****

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. 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. Come talk to us on the tour and learn more!

See the Slow Food Katy Trail Facebook page for more info and updates. 
There is no rain date, so check Facebook or the web site for tour cancellation info
in the event of heavy rain or storms. You can also email for more info,
or call 573-220-5354 on the day of the tour.

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