Farm Tour: Farms, Ranches and Communities

About the tour

The oft-quoted saying that “it takes a village” to accomplish something worthwhile is definitely true in sustainable agriculture. On this tour, you will see how farmers, ranchers and restaurateurs contribute to the collective picture of sustainable agriculture in Southern St. Louis.

First, you will visit Henry Family Farms, a third-generation farm in DeSoto. Henry Family Farms produces beef, pork and lamb and sells these products through their farm store and at the local farmers market. The Henry family comprises Amber, Jamie and their two children. In addition to farming, Amber and Jamie are active citizens in their local community and Amber has created a highly praised social media presence for their business.

Next, you’ll travel to the Franciscan Farm, a small farm and community engagement center located just minutes from Henry Family Farm. The Franciscan Farm was started by the Franciscan Sisters, whose mission is to care for the Earth. Farmer Maurice Lange cultivates over 100 varieties of heirloom tomatoes and other produce items throughout the year. The farm offers several activities throughout the year to connect the dots between people and agriculture, including a potato dig event for families and a Planetary film series.

At this point, you’ll likely be ready for lunch! Lucky for you, LaChance Vineyard is right down the road from the Franciscan Farm. At LaChance, they produce their own wines from the grapes grown on their property. They strive to source as much of the food served in their restaurant locally as possible. Here, you’ll have the chance to sit down and enjoy a delicious meal, sample some wines if you’d like and hear from LaChance about local sourcing.

The last stop on this tour is well-known to many in St. Louis for dry beans and winter squash. Bellews Creek is owned and operated by Paul and Nancy Krautmann. This pair has experienced many changes over their 25-years of farming, including several shifts in marketing. They’ve tried it all: direct marketing to chefs, dabbling in wholesale, operating a CSA program and selling at farmer’s markets. You’ll be captivated by Paul’s holistic perspective and thankful for their ardent use of cover crops on their fields.

Tour highlights: livestock, farm store, community engagement, local food, winery, cover crops, scenery

8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Cost: $75.00

Lunch will be provided.

More about the sites

Henry Family Farms: https://henryfamilyfarms.com/about/

Situated on 160 acres, Henry Family Farms raises 100 hogs, 250 head of cattle and some sheep on about 160 acres of land. They also operate Henry Family Meat Co., which is the on-farm business outlet for their meat products.

 

 

Franciscan Farm: https://franciscansisters-olph.org/franciscan-earth/franciscan-farm.html

The Franciscan Farm is located on a beautiful property of 40 acres with ½-acre in production. They have a small greenhouse on site, a pond and walking trails.

 

 

LaChance Vineyards: http://lachancevineyards.com/

LaChance rests on 80 acres with about 5,000 grapevines. They have indoor and outdoor seating, with views of their grapevines from the restaurant and parking area.

 

Bellew’s Creek: https://www.localharvest.org/bellews-creek-farm-M228

Bellew’s Creek comprises 12 acres. They produce winter squash, dry beans, chipotle peppers, garlic and popcorn, and have some innovative farm equipment on site.