Durham writer Diane Daniel is the author of "Farm Fresh North Carolina, a 304-page effort subtitled The Go-To Guide to Great Farmers Markets, Farm Stands, Farms, Apple Orchards, U-Picks, Kids Activities, Lodging, Dining, Choose-and-Cut Christmas Trees, Vineyards and Wineries, and More.
It includes 427 listings, mini-essays and recipes. The places she covers are noncorporate businesses; many follow organic or natural growing methods.
We asked Daniel for suggestions on where to go for a fine, farm-fresh experience in the Piedmont on a weekend jaunt. Check before you go any for hours/fees.
One of the places youd really want to see would be Fickle Creek Farm, in Efland, which has regular farm tours the first and third Sunday of the month. Its one of the few full-time working farms you can stay on. There are chickens hundreds of them pigs, usually cows, and produce. Its a lovely 70-acre farm.
You can do an overnight stay at their B&B, which is nice and basic. Its not their main business, but you can get an all-local farm breakfast with their own sausage and eggs. Fickle Creek is completely sustainable and chemical-free. (www.ficklecreekfarm.com)
Youd need to make appointments, but there are two bison ranches - Sunset Ridge Buffalo Farm (www.sunsetridgebuffalo.com) in Roxboro, and Vista Wood Bison Ranch (www.vistawoodbisonranch.com) in Hillsborough, that both give tours.
Guilford and Yadkin counties
The Greensboro Farmers Curb Market is the oldest of its type in the state. It began in 1874. Its liveliest on Saturday morning.
Theres also The Edible Schoolyard at the Greensboro Childrens Museum a food garden with wonderful exhibits for the family, and programs as well. Even if you dont have kids, its a great place to go. (www.gcmuseum.com)