On Saturday, Aug. 10, the Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation Bus Tour will hit the road.

This year's tour puts the spotlight on four unique sites in Knox County. Participants see conservation practices in action, glean tips on how to apply them at home, learn about the benefits of local foods and farmland preservation, and enjoy the view as participants travel through the Midcoast.

The day’s itinerary includes:

  • Herring Gut Learning Center, Port Clyde: Alex Brasili, aquaponics and marine science instructor, will guide participants through the aquaponics greenhouse — a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics — and the summer vegetable gardens, where students raise and market vegetables and fish, while learning about the conservation of finite resources and the economic and health benefits of sustainable, locally grown food.
  • Hatchet Cove Farm, Warren: An organically certified, Community Supported Agriculture farm, Hatchet Cove sells produce at local markets as well as through farm shares. Veggies, chickens, cows, apprentice and volunteer programs, conservation practices — this family-run farm has it all!
  • Glendarragh Lavender, Appleton: Lori Costigan will greet us participants at Maine's only lavender farm, where they will see acres of lavender in the fields, the "high tunnel" that protects new plants through the winter, and visit the farm store to take in the sights and scents of home-grown lavender products.
  • Hope Orchards, Hope: Hope Orchard is Eco-Apple Certified, choosing the least toxic, minimal-impact production methods to produce nutritious and delicious apples based on what is best for the orchard ecosystem. With Brien and Emily Davis, participants will tour the orchards, which include hundreds of new trees and a water-saving irrigation system.

 

Between stops, relax and take in the breathtaking landscapes of Knox County — as well as muffins and coffee or tea — from the comfort of a climate-controlled luxury coach. Knox-Lincoln SWCD staff Hildy Ellis and Rebecca Jacobs will provide insights and answer questions about ecology, conservation, and agricultural activities during the drive past local farms, lakes, mountains, and blueberry fields.

Pre-registration is required and seats fill up quickly! Cost of the tour is $35 per person and includes all food and travel from the District office on Route 90 in Rockport. The bus will depart at 8:15 a.m. and return around 4 p.m. To request more information or to register for the tour, get in touch with Hildy at 596-2040, hildy@knox-lincoln.org, or visit knox-lincoln.org/bus-tour/. Knox-Lincoln SWCD is an equal opportunity provider and employer.