Fun In The Piedmont
Charlotte’s Green Pastures
Farms are making a comeback in the Charlotte area. With surging interest in farm-to-table dining, local eating and community supported agriculture (CSA), farms are more popular than ever. There are nearly three dozen farms around Charlotte and they cater to almost every need and whim imaginable – from grass-fed beef and hydroponic growing to traditional pick-your-owns and pumpkin patches. Explore Charlotte’s farms below and then make plans to visit one, they’ll love to have you!
Proffitt Family Farms, Kings Mountain
This farm likes to say that their cattle are raised on sunshine, rain and grass. As a result they produce 100% grass-fed beef, which means they are hormone and antibiotic free. The Proffitt family invites the public to visit, walk through organic pastures and see where their animals graze.
Lewis Farm/Carolina Cattle Co., Gastonia
Vegetables and meat are available to order year-round at this fourth generation family farm. In October, families can enjoy the Fall Festival which features activities such as a millet maze, Hay Bale Mountains and Slide, horse drawn hay rides and a pumpkin patch.
Grateful Growers, Maiden
This diversified farm in Lincoln County is bringing the fruits of their labors straight to consumers in a very tasty way. Harvest Moon Grille, a roving food cart that pops up at various venues across Charlotte, is also a full-fledged restaurant in the Dunhill Hotel uptown. Their menu is seasonal and constantly changing. All of their food is made from scratch daily with products from Grateful Growers and other local farms.
Birdbrain Ostrich Ranch, Sherrills Ford
If you’ve ever wanted to know more about ostriches, Birdbrain is the place to visit. The farm provides a unique look at the large, flightless bird that is also a source of healthy red meat. Kids can feed the ostriches “dinosaur food” while adults can find a tasty sample. If that piqued your palate, Landing Restaurant, located in Lake Norman Motel just a couple miles from the farm on Lake Norman, serves an ostrich burger that you’ve got to try.
Hartsell Farms, Salisbury
Located in historic Rowan County, this farm sprawls over 200 acres. Their goal is to help raise endangered heritage breeds in a natural, humane setting. Currently, they raise Tennessee Fainting goats, Belted Galloway cattle and Gulf Coast sheep. They believe that in order for these breeds to flourish again, they need to be integrated back into our economy.
Patterson Farm, Mt Ulla
This farm has something happening all year long and plenty of ways for you to get really hands-on. Strawberries draw crowds in the spring while tomatoes steal the show in the summer. Their fresh market is stocked seasonally with homegrown sweet corn, bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers and muscadines. With 40 acres of pumpkins, you’re bound to find the perfect jack-o-lantern in the fall and their Poinsettias brighten the winter. Keep up with their events calendar and take advantage of classes on canning, pickling, soups and more.
Landis Gourmet Mushrooms, Landis
It might not cross your mind to buy your mushrooms locally, but in Charlotte, it’s an option. Landis Gourmet Mushroom owner, John Herron, grows his oyster mushrooms on what was once the floor of a cotton mill. He uses scrap cotton to help grow the mushrooms and offers three varieties: Golden, Tree and Phoenix.
Happy Hills Alpaca Farms, Monroe
If you don’t know much about Alpacas, this farm is a great place to find out about this super cute animal and its versatile fleece. The farm has 12 alpacas of all ages, sizes and colors. Alpacas are raised for their fleece, which is very soft, hypoallergenic and also a natural flame retardant. The farm sells hand made baby clothing, yarn and unprocessed fleece. They also offer felting, spinning, knitting and weaving classes.
Aw Shucks Farms, Monroe
Kids will beg to come back to this activity-filled farm. Fall on the farm bustles with a 6-acre corn maze, hayrides, pumpkin patch and, if you’re feeling brave, a haunted trail. The rest of the year is pretty fun, too. A fishing pond, old fashioned general store, animal barn, nature trail, tree house, straw mountain, forts and cabins, giant slides and large kid’s play area will keep little ones busy for hours.
added: May 31, 2011
updated: June 7, 2011