|There's nothing like a Farms Tour to build a healthy appetite|
Seventeen farms participated in last weekend's Kaw Valley Farm Tour,
sponsored by the Kaw Valley Agri-Tourism Council, but I only made it to three. That's because I got hungry and tired of driving on Kansas back roads, so we decided to stop touring and venture over to Lawrence for lunch.
But before I voted to officially detour from the Tour, a friend and I made it to the Blossom Trail Bee Ranch
in Baldwin City, where owner Richard A. Bean
was selling jars of honey and foil-wrapped loaves of homemade zucchini bread. He showed us how a beehive worked -- it involves lots of little stinging bees, don't you know -- and pointed out his "nectar menu" sign, explaining how different flowers create different-tasting honey. He was only selling clover honey that day, however. I bought a jar, with a slab of honeycomb inside of it, to give as a gift, but it was such an attractive jar I later changed my mind and decided to keep it myself.
The next stop was the Ad Astra Alpaca Farm, also in Baldwin City, where Claudia and Bob Hey raise gentle alpacas. They're beautiful animals, to be sure, but I started sneezing before I could "feel the serenity" that supposedly comes from being around them. I don't know if that means I'm allergic to alpacas ... or serenity.
For our final stop, we swung over to Overbrook, Kansas, to see my friends Ken and Nancy Krause at the Fieldstone Orchards
. It's apple-picking season
and dozens of people were on the grounds of the historic property, picking apples, having picnics and sipping fresh apple slushies. Ken's daughter Deb McLaren handed me a bucket and asked if I wanted to go through the orchard. The idea was tempting, but then I discovered you could purchase bags of pre-picked
apples in the gift shop, so I did that instead. Getting apples without actually physically picking them is my idea of serenity.