In Rowan County, farming grows tourists, too

“In 1994 we branched out by opening a produce market and gift shop, and began offering tours,” says Michelle Patterson. Along with her husband Doug, brother-in-law Randall and sister-in-law Nora she operates Patterson Farm Market & Tours near Mt. Ulla.

“On our tours, we let children gather artificial eggs, pick plastic tomatoes and milk a plywood cow,” she says. “And they get to feed animals. The farm began in 1919 and today grows tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and strawberries. Patterson Farm is also known for its pick-your-own strawberry field and pumpkin patch, and, in the fall, a corn maze.

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