Nova Scotians can learn first-hand where local food comes from when farms across the province open their gates to visitors on Open Farm Day, Sept. 15.
"I encourage Nova Scotians to visit local farms and meet the folks dedicated to putting the freshest, tastiest food available on our tables," said Agriculture Minister John MacDonell. "Open Farm Day is a great opportunity to learn more about an industry that contributes so significantly to our local economy, our communities and our well-being."
This year, 51 Nova Scotia farms will be open to the public, as well as 20 in Prince Edward Island and 36 in New Brunswick. Activities include demonstrations, guided tours, u-picks, wine tasting, wagon rides and a grape stomp. Most farms will have local products available for purchase.
The event, supported by the federal and provincial governments, the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture and other agricultural groups, raises awareness about local agriculture and the benefits of buying local food.
"Open Farm Day is a backstage pass for consumers to see, first-hand, the hard work, skill and dedication of our farmers," said Dennis Boudreau, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. "It helps reconnect people to where their food is coming from."
In Nova Scotia, there are more than 3,900 farms employing about 6,000 people. Last year, the industry generated $585.5 million in farm cash receipts. Dairy is the top revenue-generating sector, followed by fur and chicken. Eggs, cattle, blueberries, vegetables, floriculture, Christmas trees and apples each generated more than $10 million in farm gate revenues.
A list of participating farms, and the hours they will be open, is available at www.meetyourfarmer.ca/openfarmday .
There are two that will be open in the local area:
Cornect Family Farm
Host: Margaret & Benjamin Cornect
Farm Type: Bees, Honey and Blueberries
Address: 365 Cornect Road, Denver
Directions to the Farm: From New Glasgow – take exit #26, #347 toward Thorburn, turn right onto Sherbrooke Road, #347 drive till you see Open Farm Day sign – approx 58 km (left turn). From Antigonish – #7 trunk w at Aspen, turn right onto 347 north, drive till you see Open Farm Day sign (approx 10 min) right hand side approx 54 km.
Hours: Noon-4 p.m.
Activities: Blueberry and honey farm – see how honey is produced, extracted and sample the many products they make with honey. Weather permitting at 1 p.m. and at 2:30 p.m. they’ll go through an actual beehive and show you what is inside those boxes and what the bees are up to. Allergic to bees? – this may not be the farm for you.
Seafoam Lavender Farm Ltd.
Host: Dave and Suzy Belt
Farm Type: Lavender, Herbs and Plants
Address: 3768 Hwy 6, Seafoam
Directions to the Farm: (1) 28km West of Pictou Rotary; (2) 10km East of River John; (3) 1km East of Seafoam Campground; Hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Activities: You'll learn all about lavender – how to grow it; and how it's processed into culinary, household, and skincare products. Bring a picnic lunch and spend time wandering through the lavender fields and gift shop.