UNION COUNTY — The Ag + Art Tour celebrates both agriculture and art and it’s coming to Union County this weekend.
According to its website (www.agandarttour.com), “the South Carolina Ag + Art Tour is a free, self-guided tour of farms and artisans.
During the tour visitors have the opportunity to see first-hand where their food comes from, watch artists in action and purchase their works, dance to the melodies of bluegrass and folk songs, and learn more about rural life. The tour is the largest free farm and art tour in the nation with over 20,000 visitors participating since 2012.”
Eleven counties including Union County are participating in this year’s Ag + Art Tour. In Union County, the tour will be this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The stops on this year’s tour in Union County are:
1. Fowken Farms, 328 Fowken Farm Road, Jonesville
*Only open Saturday, June 24 from noon to 5 p.m.
Over the last 70 years, Fowken Farm has grown into a touch of seed stock for much of the states, producing high quality, pure-bred Polled Hereford Cattle. The Herford Breeders recognized Norris Fowler by electing him to the Hereford Breeders Hall of Fame.
Fowken Farms is a leading expert with 72 years of experience breeding grass type cattle. Learn the importance of breeding value on a pen of 20 bulls. Before the development of live animal carcass ultrasound, the only way to determine the carcass merit of a sire was to evaluate its slaughter progeny through the feedlot and packing plant.
Carcass traits were measured in the progeny and the data were analyzed through a genetic evaluation program to produce carcass trait EPDs (Expected Progeny Differences). Expected progeny differences are still useful in comparing or ranking individuals within a breed for traits of interest.
Today, Norris Fowler Jr., and his family continue the tradition of raising exemplary cattle.
Artisan on Site:
• Lauren Gibson, Sweet Sugar Britches
2. Jackson Farm Garden, 400 Foster St., Union
The Jackson Farm is located on the Nicholas Estate, which was built in the early 1900s, and is a family-run operation. They collect honey from several beehives located on the property. They also grow a huge variety of vegetables, including bok choy and broccoli to several different types of tomatoes (cherry, better boy and magic mountain), beans, zucchini, squash, beets and okra. In addition, we have fresh herbs and blueberry patches. They sell items throughout the year at the Union County Farmer’s Market
Open Air Celebrations
SC Beer Garden
1-5 p.m. Both Days
Open Air Celebrations will be on site providing limited samples of select South Carolina beers and will provide information and demonstrations on beer brewing. These activities are limited to individuals 21 years of age or older in possession of his/her valid state-issued identification card at the time of participation.
Artisans on Site:
• Za’Kyah Jeter, Musician
• Cedric Jackson, Musician
• Teresa Means, Musician
• TheMadddArtist, Performing Visual Artist (Sunday only)
• Patty Laux and Reilly Laux, Old Pump Soaps
• Scott Laux, Mixed media artist
3. Jonesville Veggie Patch, 384 Poplar Road, Jonesville
*Only open Saturday, June 24
The Jonesville Veggie Patch is family run and operated and has over 40 (rotated) acres where they grow seasonal vegetables. Their farm-stand is the largest in the county.
Artisan on Site:
• Enjoy local Bluegrass/Country music performers.
4. Piedmont Physic Garden, 301 E. South St., Union
A botanical garden featuring plants with historical medicinal uses that was inspired by the Chelsea Physic Garden in London, this nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing horticultural and environmental-based learning programs to multi-generations.
The mission is to exhibit and promote the medicinal, economic, cultural and environmental importance to plants to the people of Union County and the surrounding Piedmont region of South Carolina. Piedmont Physic Garden offers classes and opportunities for individuals and groups to learn and explore the Garden.
Artisans on Site:
• Vickie Shields of Vickie Shields Pottery. Pottery demonstrations throughout each day of the tour, usually at the top of the hour.
• Shannon Farr, Painter
• Brandi Ketterman, Painter. Painting demonstrations throughout the day
• Hannah Shields, Hannah’s Lotions and Oils
• Union County Community Art Project
Come and add to our community art project which will be a large mosaic of our Union County Ag + Art quilt square symbol.
5. Three Horse Milling Company, 3257 River Road, Union
The Three Horse Milling Company makes steel-cut grits and cornmeal by using actual horsepower. The apparatus is a homemade creation using an old school bus rear-axle, and various belts, pulleys, and gears. This horse-powered mill is one of only two (known) in the country. Three Horse Milling Company’s products are SC Certified and will be available for purchase. There will also be a variety of other artisans on site, as well as musicians.
• Scheduled grits and cornmeal grinding demonstrations with the horses: Saturday, June 24: 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 25: 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Artisans on Site
• Catherine Casey, Sedalia Soap Company
• Ariana Coleman, Saving Grace Jewelry
• Leigh Anne Arthur, Rusty Nail Works. Learn techniques for aging and distressing reclaimed wood and antique furniture as well as techniques for hand-painting signs
• Harold Senn, Touch of Gray, “Music for Mature Folks” including acoustic versions of songs leaning towards the Americana, Folk, and Country genres.
• Union Woodcarvers Club
6. Union County Farmers Market, 106 Lakeside Drive, Union
*Only open Saturday, June 24
The Farmers Market will have several booths with fresh local vegetables and food items available for purchase. There will be artists and craft persons demonstrating and selling their items. There will also be food and drink for purchase and wild game and vegetable cooking demonstrations throughout Saturday. There will be children’s games and activities as well as music for the entire families enjoyment.
• TheMadddArtist. Performing visual artist expressed through music, dance & paint (Saturday only)
• Christen Williford, Christen’s Creations, Up-cycled items
• Cross Keys Farm, LLC, Eggs, Baked Goods, Crafts
• Chastain Farms, Eggs, Vegetables
• Hereford Hills Ranch
• Elle Bell Cafe, 111 West Main Street, Union
• Union County Carnegie Library, 300 E. South St., Union
Open: Saturday, June 24 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Union County Carnegie Library provides training to farmers and opportunities for the community to create art together.