Bike the Barns highlights mountain farming

April, 2019

GABRIELS — The potato harvest will be in full swing when hundreds of cyclists and supporters gather at Tucker Farms this fall for the fourth-annual Bike the Barns.

The fifth generation family farm, which has been growing potatoes for over 100 years, will be the start and finish location for the fourth annual Bike the Barns.

The farm-by-bike event, hosted by the Adirondack North Country Association, is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 29, starting and finishing at the fifth-generation farm in Gabriels, where spuds have been grown for more than a century.

“Our family has been farming here since the 1860s,” said Tom Tucker in a press release from ANCA.

He operates the farm with his brother Steve.

“While it can be a tough environment for many kinds of agriculture, we’ve been able to embrace the colder climate and focus on potato production."

Helping to round out the business are the vegetable sales, the annual corn maze, school tours and other events.

“We’re looking forward to hosting Bike the Barns," Tucker said. "It will be a great opportunity for people to see what Adirondack farms have to offer and how we make a living off the land.”

A DIFFERENT LANDSCAPE

ANCA staff developed Bike the Barns in 2016 with a vision to promote North Country farm businesses and the local food movement.

Building on the experiences of past events, organizers aim to engage more people each year and introduce participants to a variety of farms and farming practices.

Past events — with participant numbers climbing about 100 riders and supporters in 2016 to over 250 participants last year — have taken place in the Champlain and Ausable River valleys.

This year, the Saranac Lake area presents organizers and participants with unique opportunities, given the variety of farms and community groups that are involved in the local agriculture scene.

“This year’s Bike the Barns will introduce riders to farms and families that have adapted to the mountain conditions in the Saranac Lake area,” said ANCA Agriculture and Local Economies Director Josh Bakelaar.

“Certain crops, production styles and business models are well suited for the area’s short growing season and soil types. Visiting a new area of the North Country each year allows riders to experience how different landscapes shape local agriculture.”

Read the full article in the Plattsburgh Press-Republican.

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