On Oct. 7 the Annual Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District’s Fall Bus Tour explored several locations within Knox County. Destinations included the Pool Preserve, Sweetgrass Winery & Distillery and Linita Farm in Union and Avena Botanicals in Rockport.

USDA/NRCS Resource Conservationist Mary E. Thompson, Farm Service Agency CED Trudy Soucy and Knox-Lincoln SWCD Office Manager Katherine Ward led the tour with , providing information and answering questions about conservation and agricultural activities as they drove past local farms, lakes, mountains and blueberry fields.

At the Pool Preserve in Union, owned and managed by the Georges River Land Trust, Annette Naegel, conservation program manager spoke with the group about the history behind this spectacular three-acre property located on a wild section of the St. George River as the group took a leisurely walk around the grounds to enjoy the beautiful scenery and take photos to share with family and friends.

Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery recently received the “Best Wine from Maine” award at the Eastern States Exposition. Owner Keith Bodine provided the perfect blend of information, background and products available for purchase.

A homemade picnic style luncheon buffet was served at Linita Farm where hosts Lincoln and Peggy Hawes immediately helped to make everyone feel right at home. After lunch, members of the group took a tour of the 250-acre dairy farm in Union which included the milking room and free stall barn. As a special treat for this year’s participants, a brand new calf was born in the morning.

The final destination on the tour was at Avena Botanicals where “Healing Begins in the Garden.” The colors and fragrances of the herbs growing in Avena’s two-acre gardens provided a feast for the senses and a healing balm for one’s spirit.

The bus tour was sponsored by the Knox-Lincoln SWCD in partnership with the USDA/NRCS, FSA and the Knox-Lincoln Farm Bureau.