The Plateau AgResearch and Education Center (PREC), located in Cumberland County, will be the first stop on this tour. Established in 1943, the PREC includes 2,100 acres in three locations in Cumberland County. The PREC has a wide array of research and active programs including beef reproduction and nutrition, silage corn, wheat, fruits, vegetables, ornamentals and food safety research. PREC has the largest field trial site in the country dedicated to rose rosette research. Tour participants will have lunch onsite at the UT Gardens, also referred to as the Plateau Discovery Garden (PDG). In 2017, the PDG received an “International Master Gardener Search for Excellence Award” for demonstration gardens. A short walking tour led by Cumberland County Master Gardeners will feature the Plateau Discovery Garden and describe the special working relationship and educational programs conducted by Master Gardeners, UT Extension and UT AgResearch. Next, tour participants will visit a green bean packing shed and get an overview of “snap bean” production in the Upper Cumberland area. Here participants will have an opportunity to ask questions regarding the bean growing, harvest, cleaning, and processing within the shed. The farm vows to remain sustainable by using practices preventing soil erosion and improving soil quality by utilizing minimum tillage, cover crops, crop rotation and improved picking equipment. Before heading back to Chattanooga, attendees will stop and tour Stonehaus Winery. Mr. Fay Wheeler, considered by many to be the “grandfather of Tennessee wine,” began making wine in 1977. He opened Stonehaus Winery in Crossville in 1991. Specializing in southern wines, Stonehause is considered one of the oldest wineries in Tennessee.
ADVISEMENT: This tour includes moderate walking, and closed toed shoes are advised.