WESTFIELD — Luna’s Trail Farm & Event Center, in Westfield, is one of the area’s newest agritourism destinations. Purchased by Daniel and Ann Wilson in 2010 as a country retreat, the property has been transformed into a day trip or extended stay working farm.
Agritourism is an old idea that is growing in popularity. According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, “agritourism farms support economic stability in rural areas, contribute to environmental sustainability, promote and protect local food systems, and provide visitors with unique ways to learn about North Carolina farms.”
Named for the Wilsons’ dog, Luna, the picturesque landscape contains 250 acres with a lake, creek, more than seven miles of trails, and views of Sauratown, Hanging Rock and Pilot Mountain. The working farm consists of a u-pick area, market garden and livestock, maintained by farm managers, Nathan and Amanda Joy Wheeler.
Educated in biology, avian studies, permaculture, sustainable building, and holistic living, the Wheelers have a strong interest in sustainable farming practices. “We want this to be a community-based educational space for farmers, kids, and families, moving the community toward a more viable foodshed,” Nathan explained.
The farm experience is adaptable to the interests of each guest. “People are encouraged to engage in a real way with what the growing experience is for them,” said Nathan. Visiting the pigs, llamas, goats and chickens is one fun farm activity. Other options include learning about sustainable farming, harvesting eggs and produce, and practicing food preservation.
With the objective of allowing visitors to slow down, enjoy nature, and reconnect with themselves, a variety of experiences are available. Kayaking and paddle boarding in the lake, hiking the trails, receiving massage therapy, and enjoying the hot tub are among the many possible activities.
Visitors may pick from the 680 blueberry and 100 blackberry plants as well as the culinary and medicinal herb garden, which is a new addition to the u-pick area of the farm. “Picnic tables will be added next, so people can come spend a full day picking berries and enjoying time on the farm,” said Amanda Joy.
The Wheelers lead guided tours of the wild flora and fauna sharing their wealth of knowledge and sampling some of the edible wild plants. “The difference between a weed and a flower is judgment,” said Amanda Joy, explaining that every plant has value. Educational programs can be specially tailored to suit families, youth groups, or experienced farmers.
In addition to a “day on the farm” experience, Luna’s Trail offers lodgings and an event venue for large gatherings. The lodge is a two-story house with sleeping accommodations for up to nine people in three private suites. Far from a rustic experience, the lodge offers every modern convenience including air conditioning, kitchen facilities, cable television, and wireless internet access.
The event venue, known as The Big Barn, contains four bathrooms, two fireplaces, a swimming pool, and hot tub. Inside there is space to comfortably seat 100, and the large covered patio offers additional space. A catering kitchen provides an area for food service. In its final stages of construction, The Big Barn will be available for events beginning in September.
Blueberries and blackberries are ripe for picking at Luna’s Trail, 1155 Wilson Farm Road. For more information, contact 336-351-2052 or visit lunastrail.com.
Diane Blakemore may be reached at 336-368-2222 or on twitter @PilotReporter.