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Agriculture is so important to our North Alabama region, and we want to celebrate our rich agricultural heritage that has sustained and will sustain us for generations. Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association has put together a new Agriculture Adventures Trail that highlights the businesses, farms, and organizations that have an agriculturally related product for sale or is an educational, entertainment, historical, cultural, or recreational activity conducted on a farm that invites members of the public to participate or enjoy!
But let’s start from the beginning. What is agriculture, and why is it important? North Alabama resident and Agriscience teacher, Erin Fields shared her insights expertise with SoulGrown:
The standard definition of agriculture is the science of cultivating plants and the raising of animals to provide food, fiber, and shelter. However, the scope of agriculture reaches far beyond that of the standard term.
Agriculture is a vital industry to our country. Our farmers and producers lay a perfect foundation for hard work and labor to make sure our growing population is provided with what we need to survive. In addition, the agriculture industry provides many jobs that stem from the main branch of agriculture.
Specifically in Alabama, our industry ranges from cattle operations, fruit and vegetable producers, pecan orchards, peanut farms, catfish producers, and poultry operations. Each producer puts in the time and effort to grow and raise these products in a safe and sustainable way to provide Alabamians with the best local, farm fresh goods. Alabama has many producers and farmers who go above and beyond contributing to their local communities by providing fresh food options and jobs in their local areas.
The Agriculture Adventure Trail encourages the public to engage with local agricultural businesses in a fun and educational way. You’ll find all kinds of cool things to do on the Agriculture Adventures Trail: hands-on farms, orchards, farmer’s markets, made-on-the-farm products, farms with animals, U-pick farms, vineyards & wineries, farm-to-table dining, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, living history farms, farm festivals, and so much more!
Here are four highlights from the 35 stops along the Agriculture Adventures Trail:
Reeves Peach Farm: Reeves Farm is part of land settled near Hartselle, Alabama by Thomas “Jack” Reeves in 1835. Four generations of the Reeves family have been growing peaches, along with other fruits and vegetables for over six decades. They also have berries available for customers to pick on their own! Stop by Reeves Farm to pick up in-season produce or visit their website for 62 Summer Peach Recipes!
Red Land Cotton: Founded on the value of family and the importance of hard work, the Yeagers have been farming their renowned red soil since 1983. It tints everything it touches and turns to thick clay after a good rain. Owned and operated by Mark Yeager since 1983, it was his vision and ambition that shaped it into a premier source of North Alabama cotton, and in 1994 built his own cotton gin. Through every step in the process, linens receive an unsurpassed level of quality control. Shop for bedding, bath linens, baby products and more on their website, but be sure to stop by their storefront in Moulton.
Sullivan Creek Ranch: Sullivan Creek Ranch is a 300-acre cattle ranch located here in the rolling hills of North Alabama. While our priority is raising Akaushi beef, we have opened our ranch up to RVs, campers, and others who would like to come and see this beautiful property. As a guest, you can enjoy five different hiking trails, walk the pastures through one of their two herds, and enjoy beautiful sunsets. Spend a day in the country, fill up your bellies, relax, and recharge your batteries.
Maraella Winery: Located in the picturesque foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Hokes Bluff, AL. Established in 2005, their vineyards include estate-grown and bottled Cabernet Sauvignon. Maraella offers visitors a choice between classic viniferous varietals and traditional Alabama fruit wines. The gift shop has a great selection of cheeses and wine novelties. Stop in for a complimentary wine tasting and tour. Tasting room open M-W 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Th-Sa 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday by appointment only.
To plan for every stop along the Agriculture Adventure Trail, visit the North Alabama website.