With the trend of eating local on the rise now more than ever, people want to know where their food comes from.
For the sixth year in a row, Alberta Open Farm Days is helping to bridge the gap between agricultural producers and the public by allowing people in to explore the province’s production facilities.
The tours happen this Saturday and Sunday when the public will have access to 110 different farms, ranches or distilleries across Alberta.
“Participating host farms will offer educational tours, opportunities to buy locally grown and homemade products and activities like corn mazes, hayrides and petting zoos,” according to event organizers.
Leanne Sept runs an alpaca farm southeast of Edmonton and says she welcomes the opportunity to let people engage with her animals.
“There’s still a lot of people who don’t know about them and the beauty of them,” Sept said. “So this is a good opportunity for people to come out and see them in their natural environment and have a look at what we do and what we raise them for.”
Sept harvests the wool from the alpacas and has a textiles store on site. From knit sweaters to craft-flavoured vodkas, many of the different Alberta Open Farm Days participants will have items for sale.
Mike Beile runs the Righand Distillery in Nisku, Alta. and says the tours allow for Albertans to gain a better understanding of how far the agricultural industry reaches.
“We hire local people to work here, we buy from local farmers and we sell to local people,” Beile explained. “So the money stays in our community and it keeps going around and around.”
Just around the corner from Righand Distillery, you’ll find the Gruger Fungi Farm which is also participating in Alberta Open Farm Days.
It’s here where you can catch a glimpse of the potential future of indoor vertical farming in their high-tech facility.
It doesn’t look like it at first, but “this is a farm,” Rachel Gruger explained. “This is a huge production of food locally.”
Gruger says she is excited for families to see their modern agriculture facilities and appreciate what food production might look like for many food products in the future.
For a complete list of businesses participating in Alberta Open Farm Days, click here.
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