TAVARES – In an effort to introduce residents to Lake County’s vast array of agricultural attractions, The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension in Lake County will host the 5th Annual Lake County Farm Tour from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 19.
Participants will meet at the Lake County Agricultural Center, located at 1951 Woodlea Road in Tavares, where the tour will begin at Discovery Gardens, a 3.5-acre habitat with 20 themed gardens, including children’s gardens.
The bus’s first stop will be at Lake Catherine Blueberry Farm, a U-pick farm in Groveland. While blueberry season ended in May, the farm’s cottage store will be open for touring.
Next, participants will visit with the Al-Marah Arabian Horses in Clermont. This is a unique opportunity to once again see the famed Arabian Nights horses from the now shuttered Orlando dinner show. The ranch offers riding lessons, summer camp, training, breeding and more.
During the afternoon, the bus will stop for lunch and a tour of Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards in Clermont. Ranking as Florida's largest premium winery, Lakeridge opened in 1989 on a 127-acre estate and is a pioneer in the development of wines made from Muscadine and hybrid grapes.
After lunch, the bus will pull into Long & Scott’s Farm in Mount Dora. A family establishment dating back to the 1960s, this 1,200-acre “muck farm” produces Zellwood sweet corn, cucumbers for pickles and red and green cabbage. The farm is famous for its seasonal fall corn maze. Tour participants will be treated to hayride, a trip to the packing facility and will get to browse the country market before boarding the bus back to the Agriculture Center.
The Farm Tour costs $30 and includes lunch, which will be catered by Jack’s Barbeque. Pre-registration is required at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2014-lake-county-farm-tour-tickets-13537333529. Participants are asked to wear comfortable shoes for walking.
For more information, contact Juanita Popenoe, Ph.D., UF/IFAS Lake County Extension Director of Commercial Environmental Horticulture Agent III, at 352-343-4101.