If you were asked by someone not from South Jersey about what food-related events are unique to the area, what would you say? Blueberry festivals? Sure, but other states have blueberry festivals. Crab festivals? OK, but other states do that, too. Cranberry festivals? That’s a little more unique, but there are some other states that harvest cranberries and celebrate them.
So what are we left with? Well, the Lima Bean Festival in West Cape May is pretty unique (it’s not the only one in existence, but pretty close), and the two Muskrat Dinner events in January (very unique and very Down Jersey). But for me, a list of unique food events in South Jersey would have to include the South Jersey Tour des Farms that takes place every September in Burlington County. Now in its fifth year, the Tour des Farms gives the participating bike riders and opportunity to “Know Your Farmer and Know Your Food”. That description comes to us from the South Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council, and organization that tries to find better ways to balance the need for economic development with the need for healthy sustainable agricultural practices.
The tour is pretty simple: rides get to choose a course that allows them to visit local farms and orchards, meet with the farmers, pick and shop local produce and just enjoy the scenery that the farmland in Burlington County can offer. There are three different courses that will be available: one for 16 miles, one for 29 miles, and for those who want the whole enchilada – a 54-mile ride. But how am I going to carry all that wonderful locally-grown food and ride my bike? The organizers thought of that, and will arrange to have your farm treasures brought back to The Jack Allen Memorial Early Country Living Museum on Landing Road in Vincentown, which is the starting and finishing point of the tour.
The cost to enter the tour is $45 per person ($65 per couple) if you sign up now. If you wait until the day of the event, it’s $50 and $70, respectively. Riders need to be at least 12 years of age, but if you have a teenage child that’s interested, what a great family day event! There is a limit to the number of riders that can participate, so you many not want to wait until the day of the event to sign up.
If any of our regular readers participate in this year’s Tour des Farms, please leave us a comment here or on our Facebook page about the experience. Would love to hear about it.