It had never happened before. In all its seven years the Farm Crawl had never hosted rainfall. But the chill rain that came down for the Crawl on Sunday, October 6, 2013 did not slow the people. They came to visit eight special farms that offer themselves for viewing and their products for sale on the first Sunday of October every year. From White Breast Pottery and Weaving near Lacona to Crooked Gap Farm near Knoxville, these small farms are drawn together by a single criterion: they sell direct, through Farmers’ Markets, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), or on site. No middle man involved.
No one really knows how many people attend the Crawl. Blue Gate Farm at the southern edge of the county reports nearly 1,300 visitors this year, and Coyote Run out by historic German Town might have had 1,300, too. But a different 1,300. Let’s estimate at least 2,000 Farm Crawlers in 2013.
Ethan and Rebecca Book own Crooked Gap Farm located on the Crooked Road between Knoxville and Melcher-Dallas. The newest on the Crawl, Crooked Gap keeps adding attractions, but for some, the greatest attraction there would be seeing a live pig – not in confinement. Their pork products are best sellers (Crooked Gap sausage is a breakfast star at Coffee Connection in Knoxville); one big hit on Crawl day was the chicken brooder house displaying chickens in their different stages of growth. Over at Dairy Air the Reichert family’s goats rested in peace waiting for nighttime milking, and guests lined up to sample – and buy – award-winning cheeses before they sold out. Others took time for a wee sip of wine from Pleasantville neighbor, Grape Escape Winery. Down the road at Dan-D the children had many choices. Toast marshmallows? Ride out to the famous Maze? Climb the hay bales? And, Mr. Dan D (Dennison), we heard great things about the pig race this year. Who won?