The 2013 Lehigh County Open Gate Farm Tour is this Sunday, October 20th! Take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity to learn about local agriculture sponsored by Penn State Extension in Lehigh County. This annual event has been conducted in Lehigh County for over 40 years. There is no charge to visit any of the participating farms. Bring your family to any of these locations on Sunday between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. It’s rain or shine! Dress casually and enjoy the day talking with local farmers and learning how your food is produced. Look for the number on the sign that coincides with the number listed below.
1. BEAR ROCK JUNCTION, 7990 Route 309, New Tripoli, PA 18066 - Here you'll see an 8-1/2 acre, 4-1/2 mile corn maze (admission charged for the corn maze). There will be fall farm produce (pumpkins, corn), hayrides, campfires, pumpkin bowling, a pumpkin patch, an apple slingshot and an educational display featuring "It's a Corny World," highlighting the importance of corn in everyday life. From Route 309 north, drive past Route 143 to Mountain Road that is at the base of the Blue Mountain. Turn left. Bear Rock Junction is the first driveway on the left.
2. BLUE MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS, 7627 Grape Vine Drive, New Tripoli, PA 18066 - Experience their 50-acre vineyard and winery, producing award-winning wines for over 20 years. Savor the fall foliage from their outdoor deck, sample their wines and grab a snack. There will be crafts available for the children and guided tours with the winemaker throughout the day. Take Route 309 north three miles past the intersection of Route 100. Turn left on Route 143; go 1/2 mile to stop sign. At stop sign, turn left on Madison Street and go one mile. Turn right onto Grape Vine Drive. If coming from the intersection of Route 100 and I-78, take Route 100 north for five miles. Turn left on Holbens Valley Road. Go four miles, and turn right on Schochary Road. Follow Schochary Road for 1-1/2 miles and then turn left on Grape Vine Drive.
3. BOOTS AND SADDLE RIDING CLUB, 2850 Fish Hatchery Road, Allentown, PA 18103 - Boots and Saddle Riding Club was purchased from the General Trexler Estate and organized in 1938 as a non-profit equine facility for the sole purpose of promoting a closer relationship among horse lovers. The equine facility on 60 acres consists of a 40-stall stable, indoor arena, two outdoor show rings, horse shows, social events and direct access to 14 miles of trail riding on the Lehigh Parkway Bridle Path. The Riding Club has an historic bank barn, tile silo and limestone kiln. As a private club, they take pride in preserving its history, grounds, family atmosphere and promotion of the love of horsemanship. Several horse-related demonstrations will be conducted. Arts and crafts and food available. Take exit 55 off I-78, go south on Cedar Crest Boulevard past the Lehigh Valley Hospital. Make a left at the traffic light on Fish Hatchery Road and go 1/4 mile. Boots and Saddle is on the right, across from the Museum of Indian Culture.
4. BURNSIDE PLANTATION, 1461 Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem, PA 18018 - This restored historic farm was established in 1748 by James and Mary Burnside, both Moravians. Enjoy Showing Off!, a special exhibit just for Open Gate visitors. Do you have fancy towels that are used only for special occasions? So did people living 200 years ago! Women personalized household linens showing off their needlework skills honed by stitching samplers. The fanciest of all household linens in the colonial house, a show towel, was hung as decoration on doors and walls of the home to signify cleanliness. See some of these fancy linens on display at the James Burnside House. Additionally, visitors can enjoy guided tours of the barn, colonial cooking and cider press demonstrations, pumpkin decorating, colonial games and a stitching activity just for kids. From Route 22, take Route 378 south to 8th Avenue north. At the stop light at 8th Avenue and Eaton Avenue, turn right. Proceed through the next stop light (Schoenersville Road); Burnside is at the bottom of the hill. Look for the blue sign marking the driveway.
5. BYLER'S FARM, 8737 Ashfield Road, Slatington, PA 18080 - Byler's is a 20-acre fruit and vegetable farm. The farm is geared to provide children with a lot of "hands-on" activities like milking a cow, gathering eggs, feeding the farm animals, sliding down a hay stack, hayrides to pick your own pumpkins, wagon rides, apple orchard and making apple cider. From Allentown, take Route 145 north to Route 248. Take Route 248 north 1,000 feet to the traffic light. Turn left. Cross the river. Go up the hill (Mountain Road) four miles to the sign. Byler's is located one mile north of Slatedale.
6. FLINT HILL FARM, 1922 Flint Hill Road, Coopersburg, PA 18036 - This is a 28-acre dairy and educational center. There will be a food table, a pumpkin patch, horse-drawn hayrides and pony rides -- these are items with a fee. You can visit with their goats, cows, pigs, sheep, horses, ducks and chickens. A self-guided woods walking tour through their six acres is open for your enjoyment. There is a food and farm store (all farm-made dairy products and eggs). Farrier Peter Sanchez will also be on site for a demonstration in the blacksmith shop. Travel south on Route 309 to Passer Road. Make a left on Passer Road. Make first left on Flint Hill Road. Follow signs to the top of the hill. From I-78, take the Hellertown exit. Turn left on Route 412. Turn right at Leithsville Inn (Flint Hill Road). At the top of the hill make a right turn and then turn left on Forest Drive.
7. THE GRESS MOUNTAIN RANCH, 3264 Highland Road, Orefield, PA 18069 - The Gress Mountain Ranch is a sanctuary where abused and neglected animals are given life-long care to recover and thrive. In turn, the animals become therapy animals and have a big job to help people learn to improve their self-worth, communication skills, and learn respect for all livings beings. A therapeutic ranch, the rescued animals are therapists providing emotional and supportive therapy to children, teenagers, and adults. Animal-assisted therapy helps people of all ages learn trust, empathy and kindness. There will be live music by "The Rotten Apples," Polish ice, baked goods, handmade alpaca and llama fleece items, food stands, pony and donkey cart rides, petting zoo, barn sale and raffle. "Leading Edge Martial Arts" with LEMA Cage Carrie will be doing a presentation. All contributions benefit the animals for their food, medical and veterinary visits. From Route 22, take Route 309 north for almost three miles. Turn left at the traffic light in Orefield on Kernsville Road. Go three miles to the Leather Corner Post Hotel. Take Weidasville Road that forks off to the right along the hotel about 1/2 mile. At the Morganland Church, turn right for 3/10ths of a mile on Highland Road. The road curves to the left and drops slightly. As soon as it starts to drop, there is a long stone driveway on the left. The mailbox is directly across the street from the driveway. Turn in at house number 3264. There is a small sign on the edge of the driveway, "Gress Mountain Ranch."
8. GRIM'S GREENHOUSE AND FARM MARKET, 9941 Schantz Road, Breinigsville, PA 18031 - Grim's Greenhouse operates ten greenhouses on 45 acres which includes a six-acre Corn Maze, five-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch, and 10,800 pick-your-own dwarf apple tree orchard, 2000 pick-your-own dwarf sweet and tart cherry trees, and over three acres of pick-your-own strawberries. Sweet corn, pumpkins, gourds, Jack-be-Littles and over ten different types of squash and over 25,000 fall mums are grown on the remaining acreage. They will be having their Fall Festival -- barnyard animals, roasted home-grown sweet corn, apple dumplings, apple cider donuts, apple and pumpkin pie. From I-78, take Route 100 south (exit 49A). Go to the second traffic light and proceed west on Schantz Road. Travel approximately three miles; the farm will be on the right.
9. HAINES MILL MUSEUM, 3600 Haines Mill Road, Allentown, PA 18104 - A mill has stood here on the Cedar Creek since Colonial times. Haines Mill (circa 1850) operates for demonstrations today, offering a trip into the world of technology that supported early farm life. They will be giving guided tours. From I-78, take Cedar Crest Boulevard exit north to Broadway. Go west on Broadway to Haines Mill Road. Turn left; the mill will be on the left.
10. HEIDEL HOLLOW FARM, 7419 Saegersville Road, Slatington, PA 18080 - The fourth and fifth generations of the Fink family invite you to their farm in Heidelberg Township. Energy to run the farm is from the 200kw solar array. Farm products grown here could end up on your dinner table or be loaded on ocean vessels to feed horses and cows. Computerized big bale hay processing system will be demonstrated; 1,200 pound bales are reprocessed down into 40 or 80 pound bales. Mike Fink grows over 300 acres of vegetables -- sweet corn, cabbage, zucchini and pumpkins for local stores. Mike will have vegetables, fruits and cider available for purchase. Take a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch to make your selection for Halloween. Folk singer Ms. KJ Smile will be on hand from 2 to 3 p.m. to entertain with music about agriculture. The children can do the hay maze, make a scarecrow, and test their knowledge with the Wheel of Ag. Lee Schleicher will have his observation bee hive and honey products available for tasting. The Rural Preservation Association will have a food court featuring locally-grown food and a bake sale. Take Route 309 north to Pleasant Corners. Turn right on Bake Oven Road. Travel 1/2 mile to a "Y" and bear right on Saegersville Road. Follow Saegersville Road two miles through two stop signs. The farm is on the right.
11. LYON CREEK FARM, 3502 Blacksmith Road, New Tripoli, PA 18066 - Together, three generations farm hay, corn, wheat, soybeans, sweet corn, produce, pumpkins, winter squash and unique fall ornamentals on the Seidel Family Farm. There will be a guided walking tour, farm equipment, farm market, antique tractors, livestock, pumpkin painting, refreshments and a pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Step inside a peg and post style bank barn, see a demonstration of their drip irrigation system, observe beef cattle and learn about the crops they grow to feed them. Children's activities will also be available. From I-78, take Route 100 north, approximately five miles. Turn left on Lyon Valley Road. Bear right on Blacksmith Road and follow the signs to the farm.
12. MANITO EQUESTRIAN CENTER, 2160 North Cedar Crest Boulevard, Allentown, PA 18104 - Manito is a 60-acre horse farm and riding school, also the site of Manito Life Center, a non-profit corporation offering equine-assisted activities to individuals experiencing trauma and children diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. There will be walking tours, refreshments and grooming demonstrations. Pony rides will be offered for a small fee and will benefit rescued horses. Heading north on Cedar Crest Boulevard, Manito's driveway is 1.2 miles north of Route 22. Landmarks: left turn immediately after second house on left, as you are traveling down the hill after passing Huckleberry Road. Heading south, first right after former Troxell Junior High School.
13. MARWELL DAIRY FARM, 2072 Cassel Road, Coopersburg, PA 18036 - Marwell is a dairy, crop and hog operation with 187 owned acres; they farm 1,000 more acres. This is a partnership between Robert Gehman and his two sons Barry and Bob, Jr. Also, Barry's two sons, Wendell and Brent, work full-time on the farm. They raise corn, soybeans, wheat, rye, hay and pumpkins. They also have a peach orchard with at least five varieties. They will offer tours that highlight the cycle of a cow's life and how crops are planted and harvested. They will also offer milk samplings, hayrides and Leidy products to sample. Take I-78 east to Route 309 south exit 60 toward Quakertown. Take the ramp toward Center Valley Parkway/West Saucon Valley Road. Turn right onto West Saucon Valley Road and go to Limeport Pike. Turn left (south) on Limeport Pike. Go to Spinnerstown Road and make a left. Take Spinnerstown Road to Cassel Road and turn left. Continue on Cassel Road until you see the farm on your left. You'll see a Land O' Lakes sign at the end of the lane.
14. PAPPY'S ORCHARD, 2576 Cassel Road, Coopersburg, PA 18036 - Pappy's Orchard is a five generation family owned and operated orchard and bakery. They offer a wide variety of stone fruit and an extensive selection of eating and baking apples. Their bakery is a recent addition and utilizes the products of the orchard to make seasonal fruit pies and cakes, along with traditional Pennsylvania Dutch staples, various cookies, and jellies. Activities include a walking tour through the orchard, apple cider samples, live animals and much more. Take I-78 east to Route 309 south exit 60 toward Quakertown. Take the ramp toward Center Valley Parkway/West Saucon Valley Road. Turn right onto West Saucon Valley Road and go to Limeport Pike. Turn left (south) on Limeport Pike. Go to Spinnerstown Road and make a left. Take Spinnerstown Road to Cassel Road and turn left on Cassel Road. Travel approximately one mile on Cassel Road from Spinnerstown Road. Pappy's Orchard is on the right, 6/10ths mile from their neighbors at Marwell Dairy.
15. RAINBOW FARM, 6707 Scholler Road, New Tripoli, PA 18066 - The Schoeniger's operate a 29-acre farm that raises beef, pork, chickens and turkeys on rotational grazed pastures. They will offer walking tours, petting zoo, animal feeding and their own meat products which are available by the pound at their farm store. They will also have refreshments available. From I-78, take Route 100 north to the end (eight miles). Turn left on Route 309 north for 2.5 miles. Turn left on Route 143 west for 3.6 miles; then left on Route 863 south for 3/10th of a mile. Then turn left on Allemaengel Road for 6/10th of a mile; then right on Scholler Road for 3/10th of a mile.
16. THE SEED FARM, 5854 Vera Cruz Road, Emmaus, PA 18049 - The Seed Farm is a new farmer training program and farm business incubator initiated by Lehigh County in 2009 and situated among hundreds of acres of rolling hills and preserved farmland. Their Apprenticeship and Stewardship Programs provide experience with equipment use, managing crops and marketing produce; as well as classroom instruction, mentoring and access to land and equipment. Tours of the farm, highlighting its mission and its successes, will be available. From I-78, take Cedar Crest Boulevard (Route 29) south to Emmaus. Turn left onto Chestnut Street. Turn right onto 10th Street at the Pizza Hut and then take another quick right at the four-way stop sign intersection onto Pennsylvania Avenue. Follow Pennsylvania Avenue and it will turn into Vera Cruz Road north. Follow Vera Cruz Road north to the Village of Vera Cruz. Proceed straight, through the four-way stop sign intersection at Vera Cruz. The Seed Farm will be on your right just after you pass over the Turnpike. If you pass the Seedway sign on your left, you have gone too far.
17. UPPER LEHIGH HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 5081 PA Route 873, Schnecksville, PA 18078 - Tour an authentic log house such as our ancestors would have built upon arrival in the 1700's. Costumed volunteers will explain the features of the log house and its contents, most of which are authentic period pieces. There will be four interior "stations" and one covering the exterior. Get a feel for the living conditions experienced by early Germanic farmers in this area. The butchering/laundry pavilion will sell black kettle soup, and the animal shed will host a bake sale...sans the animals. Travel north on Route 309 through Schnecksville. At stop light bear right onto Route 873 north. At next light, turn right and drive behind STS Tire Store. You will see the log house ahead.
18. VENTURE FARMS, 5728 Fritzinger Road, Germansville, PA 18053 - Visit a fully self-sustained horse breeding, boarding and riding farm. They have 112 acres, their own trails, make their own hay, lease and rent ponies and horses. They will have horse and pony rides, petting animals, and hayrides. Rural Preservation Association will also have a food stand. Traveling north on Route 309 from Schnecksville, travel 4-1/2 miles past the Wells Fargo Bank. Turn right (north) in the village of Pleasant Corners on Bake Oven Road. Travel three miles; pass Curious Goods at Bake Oven Inn and turn right on Fritzinger Road. Venture Farms is the first farm on the right. Park on left in the field.
19. WEHR'S FRUIT STAND AND FARM, 3245 Route 309, Orefield, PA 18069 - Wehr's is a family-owned and operated farm for over 35 years. See cider being pressed at one of the few inspected cider presses in the Lehigh Valley. Lots of pumpkin and apple desserts will be available. Simple things will be available for the kids to enjoy, including face painting. They also have a few new additions to their longhorn family. Wehr's is located on the east side of Route 309 just north of Orefield.
20. WILLOW HAVEN FARM, 7686 Herber Road, New Tripoli, PA 18066 - Willow Haven Farm grows organic vegetables for their CSA (community supported agriculture). The farm also raises chickens, sheep and cows. Their outdoor brick oven will be producing hot pizzas. Farm tours and hayrides will also be available. From Route 100 north from Fogelsville, turn left onto Herber Road and continue for two miles.
The Open Gate Farm Tour is part of Penn State Extension’s program in Lehigh County. For more information on this and other programs, contact us at 610-391-9840 or visit extension.psu.edu/Lehigh