The Agritourism tour at Cherry Rock Farms highlighted fall entertainment that can be offered at a farm destination. Approximately 30 people, including families and children, attended the tou.
Cherry Rock Farms has been family owned and operated since 1925. Laura and Marco Patzer are now the 4th generation running the business. The farm strives to provide natural and organically grown produce that is harvested daily and sold through their farm store. They also offer consumers pick-your-own pumpkins, herbs and cut flowers.
Laura provided a tour of their on farm store located just south of Brandon, SD. The retail store contained a variety of vegetables grown on the farm, a living bee display case and honey, and products gathered from other producers, including meats and eggs.
She shared the story of their business and walked the guests through the warm greenhouses, which are currently producing lettuce, salad greens, carrot, onions and the last of the tomatoes. On the way out to the pumpkin patch and corn maze she noted that many schools hold field trips at the farm. Several families harvested pumpkins for home from the large patch featuring 14 varieties and nibbled on raspberries on the edge of the field.
Marco provided a hayride around the property. The farm is split by the beautiful Split Rock River. The east side of the farm housed larger beds of potatoes, onions, watermelon, peppers and other vegetables as well as some row crop production.
Jacey Jessop of the S.D. Dept. of Tourism said a few words about the continued desire to promote farm destinations and agritourism in the state. Additionally, she highlighted theSD Agritourism Work Group. This is a group of individuals representing a number of different entities and state agencies who are working on the promoting existing agritourism opportunities, as well as assisting those who are looking to start new businesses or expand existing operations to include an experience for visitors.