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Visit county farms during Ag+Art Tour

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by Cherry Doster/See Lancaster, SC
The annual Lancaster County Ag+Art Tour will kick off Friday, June 21, at the picturesque farm that is home to Benford Brewing Co., with music, cooking demos, 5-K, food trucks, craft brews, artisans, vendors and outdoor family games from 6 to 10 p.m. 
Flatland Express Bluegrass will provide the perfect soundtrack for fun on the farm from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by Fiftywatt Freight Train, which will rock the evening to its end. Guests will enjoy free admission and parking.
The event kicks off Lancaster County’s seventh year in the S.C. Ag+Art Tour, the nation’s largest free farm tour. Eleven counties take part in the agritourism event on weekends in June, Ag+Art Month in South Carolina.
Lancaster County farms and cultural sites will welcome visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 22, and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 23, offering visitors the opportunity to see first-hand where local products come from.        

Eleven agricultural locations – Lancaster County Farmers Market, Native American Studies Center, The Ivy Place, North Corner Haven, Dixie Bee Supply & Country Store, Griff’s Greenhouse & Nursery, Historic Craig Farm, Benford Brewing Co., Simple Faith Ranch, Rich Hill Farms and Fox Trot Farms, with artisans demonstrating and selling original, handcrafted items – are featured on the self-guided tour. Dianne Mahaffee’s Fine Art & Clay Studio,  will also be open for tours, exhibits and demos.
Tour guide booklets with maps and listings of all agricultural sites and artisans are available at S.C. Welcome Centers, The Springs House, 201 W. Gay St., Lancaster, or at any location visited during the tour weekend. Details are also available at www.agandarttour.com/lancaster and www.facebook.com/agandartlancaster.
The S.C. Ag+Art Tour is coordinated by Clemson Extension, in partnership with the Olde English District Tourism Commission and Catawba Farm & Food Coalition. Info regarding all 11 counties can be found at www.agandarttour.com.
Participating county farms and artisans

• Benford Brewing Co., 2271 Boxcar Road, Lancaster
Locally owned and operated craft beer producer, where beers are brewed in 30-barrel batches on small farm on land with a pure well water source tapped into the water table of three springs on premises. Beers are brewed with only natural-based ingredients, staying true to brewing traditions. Visitors will enjoy livestock, bees/beekeeping, beer samples, live music and food trucks including Carolina Cajun Meats and Kona Ice. There will be kid-friendly activities on site. Artisans include Ronda's Watercolors, Clay Impressions Pottery and Kate's TNT.
• Craig Farm, 1859 Craig Farm Road, Lancaster
Historical Craig Farm, founded 1773, is one of the few Lancaster County farms that have continually operated since pre-Revolutionary War days, with the Craig family the continuous owners. Consisting of almost 400 acres, it is a beef cattle farm. In addition to cattle, the primary crop is hay. The farm is about 55 percent pastureland and 45 percent woodland. The circa-1800 Craig Farm house is on the National Register of Historic Places, as is Kilburnie, the Inn at Craig Farm (1827), which operates as a bed and breakfast inn, across the road. The farm has beautiful woodland paths for walks, with cattle and horses to see. Visitors may visit the Craig House formal gardens and landscaped grounds, the historic farm and take guided tours of Craig house. Artisans on site include painter Walt Simpson and Pottery by Wendy.
• Griff's Greenhouse & Nursery, 234 Bill Sweatt Road, Lancaster
Visit a relaxing country setting with a wide variety of annuals, perennials, hanging baskets and a good selection of native plants. This location also has herbs and vegetable plants for your garden. Talented craftspeople are looking forward to sharing their treasures with you. Visitors have asked for more workshops and Griff's plans to offer more this year. Kid-friendly activities on-site. Artisans include Janet Creations.
• The Ivy Place, 8603 Van Wyck Road, Lancaster – open Saturday only
Gardens, historical house (not open to the public), wedding venue, old barns and beautiful gardens. Visitors will be able to pick blackberries and blueberries, weather permitting. There is a mini farm stand on site and artisans include Basket Weaver Carolyn Kemp and painter Abstract Alexandra.
• Lancaster Farmers Market, 1920 Pageland Highway, Lancaster - open Saturday only
Locally grown produce and artisans on site.
• The Native American Studies Center, 119 S. Main St., Lancaster - open Saturday only
See a Native-inspired garden by Leaf & Petal Club, Native American Galleries, Historic Archives, the world's largest collection of Catawba pottery and artifacts. Special activities are planned and Native American artisans will host a show and sale in the galleries of the center.
• Dixie Bee Supply, 1628 Hwy. 521 Bypass South, Lancaster - open Saturday only
Come see what all the buzz is about! See an observation hive of live honeybees and learn their importance to our environment, peruse beekeeping supplies and equipment and buy fresh local honey. Artisans include Woodham Enterprises.
• Fox Trot Farms, 5066 Rowell Road, Lancaster
This working sheep farm includes sheep, dairy goats, ducks and chickens. Learn about honeybees and visit Pork Chop, the potbelly pig. Take home lamb, meat, eggs, honey, handcrafted soap and crafts from the mini-farm market. Guided and self-guided tours are available. Artisans on site include Quartz Cottage Woodworks.
• North Corner Haven, 3454 Activity Road, Lancaster - open Saturday only
Enjoy a working farm and venue with small herds of Angus cattle, Berkshire pork and a market garden. Artisans include Daddy's Workshop of the Carolinas and weaver Marcia Houston.
• Simple Faith Ranch, 3248 New Hope Road, Lancaster
The ranch is an animal ministry and visitors will meet alpacas, sheep, goats, donkeys, chickens and more. Come learn how each animal was created uniquely for a purpose and participate in fiber crafts, weaving, spinning, leather tooling and children's crafts. Artisans include painter Hallelujah Ranch.
• Mahaffee's Pottery and Painting Studio, 2875 New Hope Road, Lancaster         

This studio features 3-D work, such as pottery, and 2-D work, such as paintings, mosaics, etc.. Some students and artisans will be working independently. Dianne Mahaffee will be rakuing and on the potter’s wheel during the day, and will offer a free mini-workshop with clay to interested folks. Kid-friendly activities on site.