Take a Tour at ECHO Global FarmJun 06, 2023 08:00AM ● By Anne Marie O-Phelan
Enjoy a walk through ECHO Global Farm in North Fort Myers. Image courtesy of ECHO.
Whether you are a gardener, a plant lover, or interested in learning about many types of worldwide farming, the ECHO Global Farm Tour located at 17391 Durrance Road in North Fort Myers is an experience unlike any other.
“Summertime is known for its hot, humid, and rainy days; yet, it is a great time to visit. Mornings can be spent seeing tropical crops taking advantage of all that sunshine before you spend the afternoon indoors. Come and see the winged bean, longevity spinach, pineapple, mango, and lychees in season. Our rice paddy is planted in June and is at its peak during July and August,” states spokesperson Danielle Flood.
The farm has eight different regions where crops, techniques, and animals worldwide are used for demonstration purposes. Moreover, ECHO is home to one of the largest collections of tropical food plants in the United States.
Docents lead guests on a 90-minute walking tour of the ECHO Global Farm. During the tour, visitors experience farming at its most creative, with unique demonstrations showcasing how discarded items can help build a garden, how nutritional plants can sustain the elements, and techniques that are designed to assist farmers and urban gardeners in developing countries. Tour guests learn about sustainable and nutritional plants such as the fast-growing and highly nutritious Moringa Tree. They also witness how to effectively grow crops with little or no soil in the Urban Garden area—a tour standout.
Tours are open to all ages and are a great learning experience for parents, grandparents, and children. Tours run Tuesday through Saturday at 9:30 a.m. (May through November), and Tuesday through Friday (December through April): 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
“The tour path is perfect for a jogging stroller for our littlest guests, and ECHO has golf carts to ride on if a member of your group cannot walk the farm,” explains Flood.
Another option is the ECHO Appropriate Technology Village Tour, where guests learn how simple technologies can assist farmers and growers worldwide. Also on-site is the Market Garden stand that is open every Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., selling fruit in season. There’s also a bookstore and a nursery open Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Ann Marie O’Phelan is a SW Florida resident and a regular contributor to TOTI Media.