Without a doubt, Fall is my favorite season. The cooler mornings pair beautifully with a hot coffee and a yarn craft. Being outside during the day no longer makes you feel as if you are melting. The fresh local vegetables and fruits are a vegetarians dream come true. With all these glorious reasons to love the fall season, there are tons of opportunities to create family traditions. Aside from the usual apple picking and trips to the pumpkin patch, two years ago we discovered an event that combines the best of fall in one day. Open Farm Day allows people the insight into where and how food is grown in the province. It is a fun, hands-on learning experience for people of all ages.
This year there are 37 farms taking part in Open Farm Day 2018, showcasing everything from fruits and veggies, to animal products and flowers. Take a day and explore all that Nova Scotian farmers have to offer.
What can you do
Checking out the animals is always my kids favorite thing to do, but on open farm day, farmers offer you the chance to see behind the scenes. Along with some petting zoo type events at Dempsey’s Corner Orchard, you can see chickens, cows, pigs, goats, bees etc. doing their work to provide food for people of Nova Scotia.
- Kleiner Farms – livestock
- Watershed Farms – chickens
- Meister Farms and Forestry Ltd. – livestock
- Wood’n’Hive Honey – bees
- Ebbett’s Meadow Brook Farm – cattle, baby chicks
- Vista Bella Farms – bees
- Nicnat Farm – cows, pigs, chickens, ducks and donkeys
- Lismore Sheep Farm – sheep, lambs
- West River Holsteins – dairy cows
- Simply Ducky Farms – goats (with kids), baby quail
- Mamie’s Alpacas – alpacas
- Lake Mabou Farms Ltd. – dairy cows and calves
- Guneden Place – highland cattle, bees
- Bayview Dairy Farm – dairy cows
- Hampton Farms – alpacas
- Moorbern Farms – chickens, rooster, pigs (with piglets)
The touring of farms is one of the main points of the day. Many farms are offering wagon ride tours of their land, which is sure to thrill visitors young and old. I know my kids can’t resist a hayride.
Nothing makes you appreciate your food more than going out and picking it yourself. Many farmers offer their fruits and vegetables at a discounted rate if you come and pick them yourself. On Open Farm Day, people have the opportunity to u-pick LaHave River Berry Farm Inc, Taproot Farms, Elderkin’s Farm Market, Vista Bella Farm and Nicnat Farm.
If you didn’t know already that local food tastes best, then farmers want to prove it to you on Open Farm Day. I guarantee once you test out what Nova Scotia has to offer, you will be heading home with heaps of tasty treats.
- Terra Beata Farms – cranberry appetizers
- Lunenburg County Winery at Hackmatack Farm – wine tasting
- Maplewood Maple Syrup & Christmas Tree Farm – maple products
- Wood’n’Hive Honey – honey tasting
- Grand Pre Wines – wine tasting
- Vista Bella Farm – cider tasting (hard and soft)
- Wsymykal Farm – veggies
- Simply Ducky Farm – selection of farm and local products
Visiting a farm is already a good time to most kids, but some locations sweeten the deal by adding kids activities like face painting, balloon animals, coloroing contests, photobooths etc.
- Dempsey’s Corner Orchard – petting zoo
- Blueberry Acres & Country Magic Produce – free ice cream for children under 12
- Four Seasons Farm – kids activities (plus an adults scavenger hunt)
- West River Holsteins – kids activities
- Sullivan’s Family Farm – face painting, balloon animals
What better way to truly support local farmers, than to buy directly from them at their farms. Cutting out the middle man is made easy on Open Farm Day, where most farms have their products for sale on sight. After your tour, pick up some awesome local products to take home and enjoy.