Open Farm Days is one the best ways to spend a day outside, get to know your region, and have fun learning.
Open Farm Days is on Saturday, August 14 this year. The province-wide initiative is supported locally by Community Futures Lakeland and by the M.D. of Bonnyville.
There are five venues participating through Community Futures and the M.D. Others may be participating independently, including operations in the County of St. Paul. A complete listing can be found on the Alberta Open Farm Days website.
“The point of Open Farm Days is to open farms and acreages up so people can understand where their food comes from,” said Community Futures manager Lisa Ford. “We want to connect farm to fork. We want to connect restaurants to our producers, and just bring awareness to all of the locally grown, amazing produce and meats and vegetables that are just in our backyard.”
And it’s not just food. Ford said she was surprised to learn there are three subscription flower farms operating in the region, and she’s excited to see them participating at the market venues on Saturday.
Each venue will offer different activities—tasting opportunities, games, and artisan markets will be part of the experience.
“There’s a huge bale maze at the Charlotte Lake Farms, and there’s tractor mini-golf at Rocky Meadows,” Ford said. “And this year, our new vendors are Landry Lake Ranch, they’re super cool. That’s a wedding venue and AirBnB.
“We also have local artisans coming out. This is kind of an open farm-based artisan market. Cold Lake Brewing and Distilling is coming, and Journey North Cidery is coming. And then we also have a lot of our local artisans—I think every venue has different artists coming. It’s going to be really exciting.
“So it’s not just for farmers,” Ford said, it’s a day for your kids, get your family, bring them out, see some sights.”
Ford said the partnership among the venues, Community Futures, and the M.D. of Bonnyville has worked well.
“The M.D. has been so great and so helpful They’ve been such a great integral part of helping us get this out, advertising and providing service. They’re providing picnic tables and all kinds of things like that,” she said.
“We’re hoping people come out and enjoy the process and the farms, and get to know your local farmers.”