28th annual Farm Tour set for Nov. 20

DELAND -- The 28th annual Farm Tour - set for Friday, Nov. 20 - will offer residents a behind-the-scenes look at agricultural operations in Volusia County.

The tour is sponsored by the University of Florida/Volusia County Extension and the Volusia County Farm Bureau to showcase the county’s agricultural industry, which has a $781 million annual impact on Volusia County and generates more than 8,300 jobs. The county’s 1,114 farms cover more than 229,000 acres and produce the area’s fruit, vegetables, honey, cattle, sod, fish, timber and plants.

Individuals and groups can take self-driving tours of the following farms, ranches and companies.

East Volusia tour:

# 9 - 10:30 a.m.: Watson Citrus Grove, 1456 County Line Road, Oak Hill. Orange and grapefruit flourish in this citrus grove, which dates back to the 1950s. See the historic red barn and stop by the Christmas tree farm. Directions: Take U.S. 1 south of Oak Hill, cross the train overpass and drive two miles. Turn left on County Line Road and drive three-quarters of a mile to the red barn on the right.

# 10:45 a.m. - noon: Lagoon Bait and Tackle/Oak Hill Seafood Co-op, 700 N. U.S. 1, Oak Hill. The co-op is a nonprofit organization that promotes the seafood industry in Volusia County and provides products from Oak Hill’s waters for retail and wholesale. Directions: The business is one block north of the Riverbreeze Boat Ramp.

# 1 - 2:30 p.m.: Tropical Blossom Honey Co., 106 N. Ridgewood Ave., Edgewater. Visit a beekeeper’s museum, sample the latest varieties of honey, and chew on some wildflower honeycomb. Learn about colony collapse disorder and the status of Africanized honeybees. Directions: Tropical Blossom Honey Co. is on the northwest corner of U.S. 1 and Park Avenue.

# 3 - 3:45 p.m.: W. Hay LLC Co., 1530 Corner Stone Blvd., Daytona Beach. Come see how hay is made at this authentic hay-making facility. Directions: The company is on the southwest corner of LPGA and Williamson boulevards.

West Volusia tour:

# 9 - 9:45 a.m.: Evans Fish Farm, 1195 E. Washington Ave., Pierson. This aquaculture facility features sturgeon and other varieties of fish. Directions: Take U.S. 17 north to Pierson, turn east on East Washington Avenue, drive about 3.3 miles and go straight into the gate.

# 9 - 9:45 a.m.: Wm. F. Puckett Fernery, 1860 Stone Road, Barberville. View a display of cut foliage grown in the “Fern Capital of the World.” Directions: Take U.S. 17 north to Pierson. Turn west on S.R. 40 and drive 3.5 miles. Turn right on Stone Road and drive one-quarter mile.

# 10:15 - 11 a.m.: The Magnolia Co., Chesser Hammock Road, Barberville. This family farming operation provides cut foliage, gifting, landscaping operations and a tree farm. Directions: From U.S. 17, turn east on S.R. 40. Drive 3.5 miles, turn left on Chesser Hammock Road and follow the road to the tree farm.

# 11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.: Deep Creek Ranch, 6710 Lake Winona Road, Barberville. This family-owned ranch has been providing beef and lamb to consumers and restaurants since 1883. Directions: From U.S. 17, turn east on S.R. 40 and drive 7.5 miles. Turn right onto Lake Winona Road.

# 1:45 - 2 p.m.: Vo-Lasalle Farms, 601 Johnson Lake Road, DeLeon Springs. Learn about the latest citrus varieties, hydroponic strawberries and cutting-edge irrigation techniques at this citrus farm. Fresh-picked fruit will be available for sale. Directions: From Deep Creek Ranch, drive 3.5 miles south on Lake Winona Road and turn left onto Johnson Lake Road.

# 2:30 - 3:15 p.m.: EFG Orchids, 4265 Marsh Road, DeLand. Established in Addison, Ill., in 1939, this fourth-generation nursery moved to DeLand 10 years ago and specializes in ground orchids. Orchids will be sold during the farm tour. Directions: From U.S. 92, turn north on Marsh Road and drive 4.5 miles.

For more information, please call (386) 822-5778 in west Volusia, (386) 257-6012 in east Volusia, or (386) 423-3368 in southeast Volusia.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com, launched in 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among Florida's most experienced reporters specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting and winner of multiple state, regional & national journalism awards in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut. The first of his three books, "Creepy Ass Cracker" (842 pages, Xlibris), hits bookstores this Fall. 
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