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Life picking up at farm in north Forsyth
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A north Forsyth farm will soon receive some national exposure thanks to an unexpected visit from the Cooking Channel.

Paul Warbington, owner of Warbington Farms on Crow Road, said he was contacted by channel representatives asking if they could film a segment for an upcoming program.

“They called on Tuesday and came out on Wednesday morning to film,” Warbington said. “The chef wanted to pick fresh produce to cook with and to ride on a tractor. We let him drive the big tractor right there.”

The farm offers pick-your-own strawberries, as well as other fresh produce.

Warbington said crews were on site from about 7:30 a.m. until about 2 p.m. Wednesday, shooting a segment that Warbington was told would air in late summer on “Taste of the South.”

The show airs on the Cooking Channel, as well as its parent, The Food Network.

Warbington said he asked staffers how they learned of the farm, which has been open to the public only since September.

“Someone said they had heard we had the best strawberries around,” he said. “They have a research team that looks into different locations, so I think they probably just found us.”

Warbington said the farm, which including other property encompasses about 300 acres, has been in his family since 1972. For many years, he said, it was an egg producer.

But last year, he decided to shift to produce.

“You-pick” strawberries are the main draw, with more than 2 acres dedicated to the berries.

“We think they’ll be even bigger next year,” Warbington said. “We plan to do about 40,000 plants for next year.”

The farm also held its first strawberry festival on May 21, which Warbington said drew a large crowd.

“We had free entertainment, some bluegrass and gospel groups, face painting and pony rides,” he said.

This year’s strawberry crop is winding down and will be available only until about the second week in June, he said.

Tricia Stienman and her two children ­— Dan, 4, and Caroline, 10 — were armed with white buckets on a recent visit.

“We’ve been a few times and we just love that they’re here,” she said. “We love that we can support someone local.”

Besides strawberries, the farm also offers a range of other fresh produce. Some of the items Warbington featured Thursday included zucchini, squash, cabbage, broccoli, cantaloupe, tomatoes and peaches.

In the fall, he plans to have a pumpkin patch and hayrides.

In true farm fashion, Warbington also has a kids petting zoo of barnyard animals. Among the critters are two miniature horses, two pigmy goats and a rooster.

“All the animals get along well,” Warbington said.

As for the TV exposure, he said he’s optimistic.

“We think it’ll be a big thing for us,” he said.