Bike tour showcases series of Sussex County farms
With beautiful weather predicted for the unofficial last weekend of summer, farms in Sussex County want you to come check out all they have to offer — the scenic way.
The Tour de Farm New Jersey has been run for the last seven years by retired IT professional Mitch Morrison and his daughter Sarah. The mission is to promote local farms and farmers by having New Jerseyans take a bike ride from farm to farm, participating in tastings and tours at each stop.
Mitch Morrison is also co-founder of the Sparta Farmers Market, and so has many connections within the farming industry in northwest New Jersey.
There are 10 farms on the Sussex County tour, happening this Sunday, Sept. 1. A Warren County tour will follow on Sept. 21. Morrison has also led explorations of Hunterdon County in the past.
He tells riders to bring money with them to buy any goods they find appealing; he then has volunteers bring those items back to the tour's starting point. In Sunday's case, that's the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta.
Morrison said that when he first started brainstorming the Tour de Farm, he did give consideration to doing it as a drive-by in a bus. But as a cycling enthusiast who has biked across the United States six times, he decided an open-air ride would be more appealing.
"We really want people to see the farms and meet the farmers, know who the farmers are, see how they produce what they produce," he said. "Our perspective is, the more they understand about our farmers, the more likely it is that they'll purchase product from our farmers."
For more on how to get involved with either the Sussex or Warren Tour de Farm, visit tourdefarmnj.com.
If you have an idea for a future installment of "Discovering New Jersey," contact Patrick Lavery, Senior Producer of Morning News and Special Programming, on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More from New Jersey 101.5: