Sunday, July 25, 2010

PASA's Western Region Farm Tour

Yesterday was the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) Western Region Farm Tour.  There were a bunch of farms open to the public, with a $10 donation per car load of people to support the PASA.   Due to our late start, and long route map, we only made it to two of the farms on the list, but we also visited another farmer that we have become acquaintances with at the farmers market.

The first farm we went to was Wild Rose Farm, a wool farm about an hour west of the city.  It was fun to see the sheep, and I was hoping to learn more about the process of turning wool into yarn.  I got to see the wool at different steps in the process but I still don't know what they do to the wool in each step.

Next we went an hour north to Sonshine Farm in Mercer to visit our acquaintance from the farmers market.  It was really neat to see their farm because they have a lot of variety: chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, doves, bees, rabbits, cows, goats and sheep.  They started off just producing fiber from the special varieties of rabbits and goats, but they produce milk and meat now too.

The drive around this area was beautiful with lots of farms with rolling hills.  The area is also home to a large Amish population.  It was amazing to see the triangular piles of golden hay that were obviously cut and arranged entirely by hand.  We saw lots of horses and buggies and I also saw a man with a "ride on" lawn mower being pulled by a horse.

Our last stop was Burns Angus farm in New Wilmington.  They had free range chickens, sheep that shed, and of course black Angus cows.  They took us on a hay ride of their cow pastures, and it was incredible!  They have almost 400 acres fenced in and available to the cows.  They do rotate them between pastures so they always have plenty of grass but they were certainly never in cramped quarters!  There were no barns, just exceptionally happy cows.  It was really neat to see their property and all the land that the cows had access too, including wooded areas for shade, and streams for fresh water.  It was a really beautiful end to the day.  And I can't wait to taste the beef I bought from them!


  1. Were there any farms that had fresh barn cat? I have been craving that lately and the only cat you can get comes from China.

  2. No, but I'll be sure to keep an eye out for you.