From pumpkins to alpacas and much more
By John Hamilton
Whether it’s planting, herding, or preserving, there’s plenty of agriculture in Clinton County. There are also many ways to explore this vital offering of the county and throughout Ohio with agritourism.
Visit with fuzzy friends
If folks are wanting to see some less-than-traditional farm animals, KB Alpacas on Gurneyville Road has some fuzzy friends to check out.
Established in 2006 by Kim and Brad DeLaney, they breed, raise and sell alpacas for 4-H projects or for pets. The farm also sells yarn and products made from the fleece of the alpacas, including hats and scarfs.
“(The alpacas) were something that just drew our interest,” said Brad DeLaney. “We were looking at something that we could do after we retire … we keep about 50 animals on the property.”
The farm has seen different types of visitors over the years, from those who wish to acquire breeding quality alpacas to someone who may want one as a pet. Some people stop by because they’re curious about the animals and the products.
The DeLaneys believe their farm has added something different to the area.
“I think people are just drawn to the uniqueness of the animal. They’re common in a lot of areas but not this area,” he said.
Kim DeLaney believes the location of the farm adds something to it.
“We’re smack in the middle of crop farmers and pig farmers, that kind of thing, and we do this. So, it’s very different than what normal Clinton County farming is,” Kim said.
The farm only allows visits by appointment. To schedule a visit, kbalpacas.com.
Pick a pumpkin and more
Agritourism in the area can include people picking their own produce, whether they’re berries at Stokes Berry Farm or lavender at Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm.
One farm that incorporates picking a product, celebrating the agriculture history of the county, and has some cute animals is Schappacher Farms.
Located on West State Route 73 near Wilmington, folks can enjoy hayrides, pumpkin picking, and maybe even meet their social media darling — Cowlvin.
The mid-mini Highland cow joined the farm in June and has become a favorite on social media.
Schappacher Farms features their Pick-Your-Own Pumpkin Patch Sept. 17 through Oct. 30 that includes free hayrides and corn maze, along with fall treats, and farm animals. Admission is free.
Travel Quaker Scenic Byway
In recent years, members of the community helped with the formation of the Quaker Scenic Byway, the 54-mile loop in Clinton and Warren County created to bring awareness of Quaker history in the county and its influences.
Tanya Maus, the Director of the Quaker Heritage Center at Wilmington College, said the project started in 2010 and was always intended to be a state byway.
“We had to get it vetted by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and go through the bureaucratic system to get it and meet all the criteria,” said Maus.
The proposed byway had to have significant culture and heritage component and contribute to the state’s history.
ODOT is creating a story map starting at Wilmington College. This would take the participants toward Harveysburg and Waynesville ending in a loop at the Clinton County Historical Center.
“Most of the byway goes through rural backroads in the county, but it’ll also take visitors to historical houses and farms,” said Maus. “They’d also learn about local nature and the settlement of Quaker migrants who came up looking for rich and fertile farmland, and to distance themselves from slavery in the south.”
The tour also directs visitors to farmsteads highlighting multiple local farming spots to visit including That Guys Family Farm in Clarksville.
Get out this fall
Visit the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau for more information on agritourism and more at https://clintoncountyohio.com.