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Residents can get a behind-the-scenes look at agricultural operations in Volusia County during the 31st annual Farm Tour Friday, Nov. 16.
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 represents 3 percent of the county's economic activity.
The county's 1,114 farms cover 229,000 acres and produce fruits, vegetables, honey, cattle, sod, fish, timber and plants.
Individuals and groups can take self-driving tours of participating farms, ranches and companies.
East Volusia tour
.9 to 10 a.m.: Deep Creek Preserve, 9645 State Road 415, New Smyrna Beach. This 4,800-acre preserve, acquired by Volusia Forever in 2010, is a strategic part of the Volusia Conservation Corridor. See a working cow/calf operation on pastures surrounded by pine plantation and wildlife. Directions: Deep Creek Preserve is four miles south of State Road 44 on State Road 415.
.10:30 to 11:15 a.m.: Chantilly Ridge Alpacas, 1975 H.L. Ainsley Road, Port Orange. This 12-acre family-owned and operated farm breeds and raises alpacas. The owners sell the animals and alpaca fiber products. Directions: From State Road 44, drive 3.3 miles north on Tomoka Farms Road. Turn right on Aisley Road.
.12:45 to 2 p.m.: Tropical Blossom Honey Co., 106 N. Ridgewood Ave., Edgewater. This company has been shipping fine Florida honey varieties throughout the United States and to more than 20 countries since 1940. Directions: Tropical Blossom is at U.S. 1 and Park Avenue.
.2:30 to 3:15 p.m.: CSI Natural, 3096 Eels Grove Road, Edgewater. Cloer and Sons Inc., founded in 1977, collects green waste from the city and processes it to create compost, mulch and topsoil for landscapes and gardens. Directions: From I-95, turn east on State Road 442. Drive 0.4 miles and turn right on Cow Creek Road, then drive 0.3 miles and turn left on Eels Grove Road.
West Volusia tour
.9 to 9:45 a.m.: Fern Trust, 2184 U.S. 17 N., Seville. This cooperative was founded in 1986 by fern growers in northwest Volusia County. Working together, members grow high-quality foliage. Directions: The Fern Trust is on U.S. 17, 11.7 miles north of State Road 40.
.10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m.: J&J Whitetails, 5931 Lake Winona Road, DeLeon Springs. This deer farm produces and sells superior whitetail breeding stock, deer products and services. Directions: From U.S. 17, turn east on Lake Winona Road.
.11:15 a.m. to noon: Vo-Lasalle Farms, 601 Johnson Lake Road, DeLeon Springs. Learn about the latest citrus varieties, hydroponic strawberries and cutting-edge irrigation techniques at this active citrus farm. Directions: From U.S. 17, drive east on Lake Winona Road and turn east on Johnson Lake Road.
.12:15 to 1 p.m.: Florida Olive Systems, 1599 Spring Garden Ranch Road, DeLeon Springs. This 20-acre experimental grove was planted by the Ford/Veech family to see if mechanized olive farming is possible in Central Florida. Directions: Take Lake Johnson Road to Spring Garden Ranch Road. The entrance is 300 feet west of Reynolds Road.
.1:15 to 2 p.m.: Select Growers, 4391 State Road 11, DeLeon Springs. Select Growers has grown and shipped specialty greens to florists throughout the United States and Canada since 1987. This farm also grows landscape plant material for local use. Directions: From Reynolds Road, drive east to State Road 11 and turn right.
.2:15 to 3 p.m.: EFG Orchids, 4265 Marsh Road, DeLand. This fourth-generation nursery was established in Illinois in 1939 and moved to DeLand in 1999. Take advantage of this opportunity to buy orchids directly from the wholesaler. Directions: From Select Growers, turn left on U.S. 11. Take the second right onto Marsh Road. From U.S. 92, drive 4.5 miles north on Marsh Road.
For more information and a map, visit www.volusia.org/extension or call (386) 822-5778.