A delegation of 18 “ambassadors” from Nara, Japan and their Raleigh hosts with Friendship Force International (FFI) visited Lynch Creek on September 27, 2007 – one stop in their week-long exchange visit to North Carolina.
Nancy Shugart, exchange director for the Raleigh FFI club, said “We’ve been to the Capitol, Duke Homestead and Duke Chapel in the past and rather than tour the same things, we decided to go to some new places.”
Nara Japan resident and FFI Ambassador Non Hamada said “Rural Franklin County is a beautiful place to visit . . . it’s so nice out here . . . I want to stay in a place like this.”
Photo Credit: Carey Johnson, Franklin County Times newspaper
Bob Radcliffe led the group on a short farm tour emphasizing the conservation, preservation and organic farming practices on the farm – including grass-fed beef, year-round hoop house production of tomatoes, lettuce and spinach, herbs and flowers.
Debbie Lou Powell of Henderson, NC discussed the unique American art-form of quilting, and displayed a series of antique and modern quilts native to the area in Lynch Creek’s restored pack-house cabin (under construction).
During lunch, Billy Jarrell, from the Ridgeway Opry House played a selection of melodies on the dulcimer, banjo and ukulele – and gave an impromptu dulcimer lesson as well.
The visit was initiated by an inquiry to Martha Mobley, Cooperative Extension Agent, who has been instrumental in promoting small farms and Agri-tourism in Franklin County.
Both Bob and Kerry believe that innovative uses of their property, such as this, will enable them to continue to live and farm at Lynch Creek in the future. “Agri-tourism is an essential dimension of our small farm if it is to be both sustainable and profitable in the future.”