Champlain and Shoreham Islands Bike Tours Support Vermont Farms | Food & Beverage Events | Seven days

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  • Champlain Islands Farm to Fork Fondo 2019

After retiring from professional cycling and moving to Vermont, Tyler Wren realized how much local cyclists and farmers intersected. Because they spend so much time riding along rural roads, often surrounded by farmland, Wren said, cyclists have a responsibility to support the farming community.

Eight years ago, Wren, 41, started Farm to Fork Fitness Adventures to help cyclists meet farmers and learn about their challenges.

The company is offering its flagship event, Champlain Islands Farm to Fork Fondo, from Friday July 15th to Sunday July 17th. Up to 1,000 attendees will gather at the Snow Farm Vineyard in Crescent Bay in South Hero for a variety of events, including a gourmet farm dinner on Saturday, guided bike tours with a post-ride BBQ on Sunday, and a package weekend which includes a warm-up ride on Friday.

The Farm to Fork Fondo offers four guided routes of varying mileage – 67, 41, 28 and 12 – for riders of varying experience levels. Cyclists can also take a self-guided tour any time before October 30.

“[We are] looking for beautiful, iconic farmland to tell this story and educate attendees about the pressures farmers face,” said Wren Seven days.

All four tours stop at Dreamwalker Farm, an egg and meat producer on Grand Isle. Longer tours feature additional local farms including Sunset Lake Craft CBD, a hemp and dairy farm in South Hero; the Kraemer & Kin brewery in Alburgh; and the Isle La Motte vineyard.

At each stop, riders will receive a “small bite,” showcasing ingredients grown on that farm, Wren said. Dreamwalker Farm will, for example, serve a freshly prepared quiche. Sunset Lake CBD will carry CBD products and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream as it is part of the Ben & Jerry’s Caring Dairy network.

While the tour doesn’t pay farms for their participation, it connects them with the generally affluent cycling population, said Cy Kupersmith, director of sales and sustainability at Sunset Lake CBD.

“They help us try to drive business to the farm and to our website,” Kupersmith said.

This fall, 60 miles south on Lake Champlain in Shoreham, the Addison County Relocation Network (ACORN), an organization dedicated to revitalizing local lands and food systems, will host its 14th annual bike tour. to support local farms.

Held on Sunday, September 18, the Tour de Farms features 10.2, 12.2 and 29.6 mile loops that stop between two and seven farms in the Shoreham area. The tour ends at the annual Shoreham Apple Fest with apple pie, apple cider and pulled pork on the town green.

“It’s truly a way to celebrate the harvest and connect our community with growers in a fun and joyful way that people don’t often get to experience,” said Lindsey Berk, CEO of ACORN. .

Stops include Golden Russet Farm & Greenhouses, an organic vegetable and flower farm; Rolling Bale Farm, which produces pastured meat, blueberries and butter; and Champlain Orchards, which grows apples, pears, peaches and other fruits.

Riders will receive featured foods at each stop, and they can purchase additional items from guest farms and vendors, Berk said.

The tour is ACORN’s biggest fundraiser of the year, based on ticket sales to attendees. The organization pays a stipend to each farm, and through the tour farmers have the opportunity to market their produce to cyclists.

Capped at 400 people, the event usually attracts families and experienced cyclists. “It’s a full day of local food,” Berk said.

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