01 October 2012

Food and Farm Tour

Saturday afternoon my family and I were able to sneak out for a little bit and take in part of the food and farm tour that was happening in our area.

We had a pretty busy week-end and so I wasn't able to visit all of the farms and see everything I wanted to; but, what we did see was awesome.

I love open farm days...this Saturday was a self-guided driving tour to visit the participating farms. We stayed so long at the farms we visited that we only were able to see two...yes, two.

The first farm we visited was a pumpkin patch that works on the honour system. I loved it. The patch was huge and the kids were able to run along the wide road path and look in at all the pumpkins. They were so excited. I loved looking at all the funky gourds and even picked a few corn stalks for the front porch.

After checking out the prices...I loaded up on gourds and pumpkins...now I just have to figure out what to do with them. I picked out a number of sugar pumpkins so I see some pies in my future.

The second farm was a beautiful old orchard filled with big trees (not one of the new orchards that look almost as if they are growing grapes with little trees espaliered along wires).

The view from the orchard was beautiful. It was tucked away in the back of a property... I had no idea it was even there. It can't be seen from the road. What a great surprise at the end of a very long driveway.

They had many varieties of pears and apples - many of them very old - some I have never heard of. The farmer was the fourth generation to run the orchard which was started just after his family bought the land in 1910.

I walked away from the tours with mixed feelings. I was so happy that we were able to go and walk around and learn more about local agriculture. Wandering around outdoors, looking at food growing is my happy place. I love it. I loved that the kids were outside and learning about where food comes from (or at least should come from). I loved picking an apple off the tree and crunching into one of the best tasting apples I have ever had and listening to my kids rave about how good they tasted.

But, I was a little sad too...first because I had to leave wishing I had a place of my own where I could go out and pick an apple every day while they were in season. Second - listening to the farmer say that he will be the last generation in his family on the orchard because he wants his son to go to university and get a real job. He explained how working on the farm generates so little income and made me wish that more people would pay attention to their food choices.

Fresh local food tastes so much better and in many cases is cheaper than what can be purchased at the store and even if it does cost a little more it is so much better for all of us.

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