Albertans have more opportunities to support local farmers and explore their own backyard this summer.
Open Farm Days will take place on Aug. 15th and 16th with about 80 host farms opening their doors with open houses, great local food experiences, tours and an opportunity to buy locally Alberta-grown and produced products, according to a release.
The weekend will also feature a sparkling sour cherry black current juice this year. The Open Farm Days craft juice was made in collaboration with local partners using Alberta-grown ingredients and can be purchased during Open Farm Days at select locations.
“Alberta’s agriculture and rural tourism sectors have a valuable role to play in driving our economy forward. As Albertans get out to explore everything Alberta has to offer, they should make Open Farm Days a part of their staycation plans,” said Tanya Fir, minister of economic development, trade and tourism.
Since 2013, Open Farm Days has seen almost 125,000 person visits, injecting almost $900,000 into the rural economy through on-farm sales.
Admission is free, but there may be costs for some activities and many are cash only. It is recommended visitors bring a cooler to store produce and other products.
“Albertans want to buy and eat local and Open Farm Days connects them with local farmers. Albertans can now buy direct everything from beer and whiskey, steak and potatoes, fruits and vegetables and everything in between. I encourage everyone to go for a drive and meet local producers to discover the great-tasting food Alberta has to offer,” said Devin Dreeshen, minister of agriculture and forestry.
This year, new measures are being introduced to provide an even safer environment for visitors, with enhanced cleaning protocols, including access to hand sanitizer and handwashing stations, an online booking system to help host farms schedule and manage the number of visitors at their venue and virtual tours and instructional videos, allowing Albertans to experience Open Farm Days from the comfort of their home.
“Alberta’s Open Farm Days is truly a celebration of Alberta’s bounty and those who create it,” said Tim Carson, CEO of Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies.
“It is an opportunity for people to experience first-hand the innovations in agriculture and the care and stewardship these amazing farmers have to feed the world.
“Open Farm Days is also the perfect excuse to travel throughout Alberta’s rural communities and experience the beautiful landscape and unique local culture that is Alberta. Although 2020 is a very unique time, the Open Farm Days hosts are ready to greet you and your family into a friendly and safe environment full of wonder and excitement you won’t soon forget.”
Due to event gathering restrictions and space limitations, Albertans who plan to visit a host farm are required to book their spot online ahead of time.
Visit albertafarmdays.ca for more information.
– Submitted by Alberta government