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If Chattanoogans have anything to say about Neil Young’s claim that “the farmer was the last of a dying breed,” it’s that he was dead wrong. While the rest of the world buys tasteless, genetically-enhanced, hormone-infused food from farming giants, Chattanoogans push thoughtful food purchases from small area farms. Crabtree Farms, with funding from Gaining Ground, created the local food guide TasteBuds in 2009, which has flourished and now includes over 217 local food partners in 52 pages.
To further support TasteBuds, in addition to teaching local consumers about where their food comes from and how it is grown, Chattanooga-area farmers are welcoming everyone in the First Annual TasteBuds Farm Tour on September 21-22 from noon - 5 p.m. After purchasing a $20 pass, you can take as many people as can somewhat-safely fit in one car to explore as many participating farms, ranches, and vineyards as you can. Each farm will be ready with tours lasting 30 minutes to an hour. Crabtree Farms has a few tips to help us make the most of our food adventures:
Make a Plan! You’ll need about 1.5 to 2 hours at each farm. Since there are many more farms available to visit than you can see in one day, try to pick, choose, and plan ahead of time. Thankfully, they have a handy-dandy list of every participating farm and what they’ll be sharing with their visitors!
Bring a cooler—and small bills! At each farm, you’ll get to buy fresh products, and most farmers can’t accept credit card transactions.
Make bathroom stops beforehand. Not all farms will have restrooms.
Dress for the weather. Perhaps surprisingly, these tours will take place outdoors, so dress appropriately.
Leave the pets home.
Tickets are available online. For more information, call (423) 493-9155 or visit crabtreefarms.org/events/tastebuds-farm-tour