This event is also a terrific deal. It only cost $65 per person for an all-day (9am-5pm) excursion, which included transportation, three locations, a delicious lunch, and stellar photo opportunities. I’ve seen similar trips offered for twice this price.
This was our luxurious transportation for the day…a yellow school bus!
So where did we go? (Warning: Lots of photos ahead. More can be seen at my Flickr photoset.)
First stop: Singer Farm Naturals
This is Tom and Viv Szulist’s Legacy Barn. The Szulists produce high-quality dried fruit and over 60 (!!) varieties of garlic. This is the barn:
They had garlic for sale. Lots of lots of garlic!
I loved the rustic beams and the casual seating area.
This is Tom telling us about their tart cherry juice concentrate (I purchased a bottle to take home).
They gave us a sample of their garlic butter on bread (garnished with slivered garlic). The flavor was very strong but also delicious! I heard some people joking that we’d need to cover our mouths when we talked on the bus.
Second stop: T-Meadow Farm
Rich Tilyou and his family raise Tamworth and Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs on their farm in Lockport, NY. The pigs are raised on pasture. Just look at this cozy setting!
This is Rich telling us about his farm:
The pigs live in houses like these:
Young pigs feeding:
And of course there were chickens:
We walked down a dirt road at one point and everyone did their best to avoid the mud.
We fed pears to pigs! They were devoured within seconds.
This is Christa (pink shirt). She did a great job of filling in information our various hosts may have forgotten to tell us. Her knowledge of the Western New York food scene is vast and impressive.
Our farewell snack at T-Meadow Farm was a ham and cheese sandwich (the ham was from their pigs, of course) and some kind of maple-flavored sauce. (Thanks to Bryana for being my hand model! I was juggling a handful of items already.)
The pig we consumed came from T-Meadow (the farm we’d just visited).
My lunch plate: roasted pig with corn salad (more delicious than I expected) and a sample of Steampunk cider.
While we ate lunch, Jonathan Oakes (he’s a fourth generation owner) told us about the property and described the wines we were sampling.
Our dessert was baked apple crisp (with apples straight from their vineyard).
When they ran out of one type of wine, they pulled samples directly from the barrel.
We toured the property next. This is one row of apple trees (they grow 360 varieties of apples!). I was surprised by their height (or more specifically, lack thereof). There is more emphasis now on making fruit accessible to those picking it, rather than having to climb ladders to reach it.
They also grow peaches, which surprised me. I ate one directly from the tree and picked a few to take home (with their blessing). Apparently the price of peaches is so low right now, they can’t afford to pay workers to pick them from the trees — grocery stores wouldn’t pay enough to make the effort worthwhile.
This is my tour-buddy Bryana tasting grapes from the vine.
I tasted grapes from the vine as well. Here I am with my “I’m about to spit out a seed” look.
Verdict: Absolutely loved this tour. Fabulous day, very informative. I want to participate again next year!