The second part of the Solar Farm Tour, co-sponsored by the Friends of the Franklin County Farmers Market and FrankfortCAN, was held Sept. 28.
The tour began at the Farmers Market, where visitors boarded a bus provided by Frankfort Transit. The first stop included a brief visit to the Franklin County Extension Service, where Andy McDonald, a certified organic market vendor from Cedar Ring Greens in Peaks Mill, discussed the solar water heater atop the Extension Service roof.
I was also able to introduce myself and share the services provided from our county office. Afterward, we visited Lakeview Golf Course to discuss the successful solar panel installation there.
The next stop was the Bluegrass Meadows/Mefford Family Farms where we observed first-hand how Bettie Mefford and Diana Hogan manage their fifth generation family farming operation raising Belgian Blue cattle in Peaks Mill. We learned that their herd of about 70 animals grazes on primarily native bluegrass and fescue.
We then continued on to Hutcherson Family Farm where Robert, Susan and Lincoln Hutcherson grow 20 acres of vegetables and fruits on the farm on Steadmantown Lane bordering Elkhorn Creek. We observed the greenhouse operations and various pieces of equipment used to manage the expansive property, which includes plasticulture for their strawberries. They grow a wide variety of beautiful fruits and vegetables and had tomato varieties as far as the eye could see.
The last stop was at Happy Jack’s Pumpkin Farm, where Richard and Lee Ann Jones and their sons, David and Adam, grow vegetables and raise goats, cows and a few exotic animals on their Frankfort farm along the Elkhorn Creek. We took a hayride to view the property and learn about how they produce their vegetables.
We also learned about their successful agritourism business as young ones celebrated their birthdays in the midst of hayrides, pumpkin picking, animal petting and more.