One of our favourite events of the year and, one of the very few that happens across the province is back for its 7th year. Open Farm Days is back with a recond number of farms participating in 2019 and they have their own beer which means there’s a greater chance of a being able to visit many farms near you, AND, the variety of farms is greater.
We love Open Farm Days for multiple reasons, but here’s why you should really hop on their website and pick your farm visits this weekend.
- Know where your food comes from. We’ve spoken about our love for farmers markets, but this is a chance to see where your produce from the farmers market is grown!
- Baby animals. I mean really? Do I need to say more?
- Getting out of the city. Nature is good for us! Studies have proven it, but we don’t need studies to know that spending the day outside is a good way to spend the day.
- Finding hidden gems. There are many fantastic places that are an hour outside of town that you may have never known existed. From antique stores to coffee shops and beautiful scenery, you don’t know what you’re missing until you get out there.
- Teaching your kids about farms. It’s one thing to take them to the store (or farmers market) and talk to your kids about where food comes from…it’s another to see it produced on a farm.
- Learn about sustainability. Many farms are sustainable by choice! This means using grazing techniques that are better for the soil, solar panel and … yup…going off the grid entirely. Farmers rely on the land for their livelihood and are heavily invested in making sure they’re using the land in a sustainable way.
- Family farms. All the host farms at Open Farm Days are family run. This may seem like a silly sentiment if you’re from a farming background, but from someone with ZERO experience with farms, this blew my mind. I’m not sure what I thought was happening, probably “Big Farm” (I have no idea if that’s a thing…is that a thing?) was running the farming operations in Alberta and boy was I wrong. See! Learning things!
How to Plan Your Trip
Before you head off on your farm adventures, head on over to the Open Farm Days website and click on “Farms”. Use the filter tool on this page to pick what type of experience you’d like.
I chose my experience from the city I live in and thus filtered the farms by city. If you’re traveling or camping this weekend, simply use your camping location as your starting point and voila camping activities!
Once you’ve filtered your experiences take a look at the farms. Click on “View Listing” on the farms and from here see what will be happening on that day. It could be wagon rides, u-picks, petting zoos, beer tasting, you get to choose your day. Simply click on “Add to Trip” once you’ve chosen the farms you’d like to visit. The map will start calculating the trip for you. Head on over to “Plan My Trip” and the map has done the work for you. Magic.
What to remember
You’ll need a couple of staples to get you through your Open Farm Days road trip:
- Rubber boots/Wellies – If you hadn’t noticed it’s been raining nonstop. Sandals are not going to cut it. You and your kids are going to get dirty dirty feet. Bring your boots.
- Cash – While Open Farm Days is free to attend and participate, there may be some paid activities on the farms. Most farms won’t accept credit cards because….well they’re a farm…. so it’s best to hit up an ATM on your way out.
- Cashola – cashola is the same as cash, except this cash is used for buying produce from the farm like veggies, jams, bison burgers. You never know what you’ll come home with which is why you’ll need…
- A Cooler – to store the fresh veggies you’ve purchased
- A water bottle – filled with water in case you get thirsty because buying water bottles is the worst and urggh.
- Your Dog/Cat/Budgie Snake – all pets MUST stay at home unless you’d like your farmer to bring their pet cow into your home. No exceptions. Keep Rover at home.
You’re officially ready to conquer Open Farm Days. For the veterans, where are your favourite farms to visit? Let us know in the comments!