There are lots of reasons to take a field trip to Bovina. To buy java from FosterBuilt Coffee, where resident Mark Foster hand-roasts beans in a converted barbecue, 20 pounds at a time. To eat a locally revered egg sandwich at Russell’s General Store. To rub your palms across sheepskins from Green Shepherd Farm, which were just featured in “Martha Stewart Living,” and admire the works of potters, painters and photographers who take their inspiration from the mountains around them.
Later this month, you can do all of those things in one day, at the third Open Barn & Studio Tour.
“There’s so much going on in Bovina, so I started this because there needed to be something to gel all this awesomeness together,” said Foster, who moved to the Delaware County town in 2011 and organized the first tour in 2013.
The tour is designed like a traditional studio tour, but in addition to artists’ work spaces, the 16 stops also include a variety of farms growing produce, raising meat animals and making dairy products, as well as food producers like Bread Fellows, which are not normally open to the public. (Green Shepherd’s farmers, Steve and Annette Robbins, say you are welcome to pet the sheep, particularly if you bring along their favorite food, pistachio shells.)
Artwork and farm products such as raw milk and gouda cheese from the eighth-generation-run ByeBrook Farm will be available for sale throughout the tour, along with cappuccino and espresso from FosterBuilt and soft-serve ice cream at Brushland Eating House. It’s an annual chance to experience “the intimate and magical blend of creative arts and agriculture” the town has to offer.
“There’s such a pride among the people in Bovina. All of the people on this tour work really hard,” Foster said. “It’s a fascinating place.”
The Bovina Open Barn & Studio Tour takes place Saturday, Aug. 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit the website for video interviews with each of the hosts, a map and more details. Maps are also available on site the day of the tour.