LAURINBURG —The first stop on Saturday’s 2018 Scotland County Farm Tour is the E. Morris and Son Plant Farm.
Eric Morris said if people want to visit his family’s farm off Old Maxton Road, he is more than glad to have them. The local nursery sells seeds, flowers and plants.
“We’re happy to show off a little bit of what we do,” Morris said. “We have been here for 99 years and are trying to make it to 100.”
Morris added that there are five generations of his family working at the farm.
“Both my kids work out here,” he said. “It is just something that we love … being outside and growing things.”
The Morris Farm is one of four stops on the sold-out tour organized by Scotland Grows, a newly created local food council working to help Scotland County residents improve access to food grown and produced in the area.
The council’s sustainable food project is being led by Noran Sanford of Growing Change and Shannon Newton, an agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.
“The goal of the initiative is to get people to buy local and eat healthy while at the same time supporting our local growers,” Newton said. “The idea is simple but mighty.”
At each stop of the tour, a local farmer/producer will provide a background on their business. Products will also be available for purchase along the way.
Newton said she was surprised at how quickly the tour reached capacity — 50 participants.
“We thought we might get 10 or so, but there is has been a great response” Newton said. We are happy to be able to feature some our our small farmers and producers.”
The project was funded in part by a $5,000 grant from NC State University and NC A&T State University with a matching grant from the Scotland Tourism Authority.
The tour will take place Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the St. Andrews University Community Garden (behind the Belk Building). Coffee and pastries available.
There will be a discussion of the community garden at SAU. Information will also be provided on the Laurinburg Presbyterian Church Community Garden and the Partners In Ministry Community Garden.
Newton said participants will also need to pick-up their lunch vouchers at St. Andrews University the morning of the tour. A complimentary lunch is planned for Cypress Bend Vineyards.
The group will tour the Morris Plant Farm first at 9:30 a.m. The farm is at 19441 Old Maxton Road.
The next stop is at 10:30 a.m at Quality Produce at 501 Johns Road in Laurinburg. The stop will provide a shift from plants to produce with various greens and vegetables discussed and available for purchase.
The group will head at 11:30 a.m. to Wagram Apiary Beekeepers at 1220 N Main St. Laurinburg. Participants will hear from includes local bee and honey cultivators.
The tour will end at 12:30 p.m. with a visit to Cypress Bends to learn about local grapes and wine. The winery is at at 21904 Riverton Road in Wagram.
“Because of so much urbanization, people have forgotten where their foods come from,” Newton said. “We are excited to be able to show some of the great things our local producers grow right here in our backyard.”
Reach Scott Witten at 910-506-3023