Vermillion (Rural Roots Canada) – Farms across Alberta are opening their gates this weekend as part of Open Farm Days.
People attending each one of those events will be greeted by farmers eager to tell their story and why they are so passionate about producing food.
Chatsworth Farm, located near Vermillion, Alberta, has participated in the last four Open Farm Days.
Charlotte Wasylik speaks with energy when she talks about what it means to them to produce food.
“We raise beef cattle predominantly, sheep, ducks, geese, chickens, and turkeys, and then we have grains and legumes on our farm near Vermillion, Alberta,” says Wasylik.
Telling consumers about where their food comes from is more than just a once-a-year activity for Chatsworth.
During the pandemic, Wasylik took it upon herself to start educating people about where their food comes from year-round.
She was inspired by the Cincinnati Zoo, which was doing virtual safaris during the pandemic and thought that would be something really unique and fun.
“We might not have as many species as a zoo, but we certainly have lots of animals, ones that are very friendly and with the calving season, you just have something new to show every hour sometimes, so you are never without something cute to share.”
This started the farm on a journey, leading to her doing virtual farm tours a couple of times a week.
“It’s just something that people embraced, and they really appreciated, and it was just a lot of fun, no matter if they were five years old or 50 years old.”
Wasylik says their Open Farm Days presence grows with every year.
“For this year, we’re really able to add so many new elements. It’s thanks to our sponsors and our partners who have allowed us to do it.”
People who have been out to the farm before will hear one of the new additions upon arriving at the farm.
Edmonton-based singer-songwriter Mallory Chipman will be performing from her new EP.
A BBQ lunch featuring Chatsworth Farm’s own hot dogs and buns made from the farm’s Red Fife Wheat.
There will be a seed planting station where people can plant their own alfalfa sprouts and then see first-hand the progression the crop goes through in a growing season. If people so desire, they can take a sprout home, which they can continue to grow or throw on a steak and eat.
The artisan market is back bigger than ever, featuring 18 vendors this year.
There will be interactive displays, including one that will allow anyone visiting to grind their own flour in a number of different fashions, including using a nearly 100-year-old millstone.
There will be a calving demo where veterinarians will show the calving process using a cow model, and there will also be a carcass demonstration.
READ MORE: Celebrating 10 years of Open Farm Days
If people want to see some iron in action, there will be a machinery demo where people will get to see what goes into baling straw as well as farm and garden tours.
There will also be no shortage of livestock to check out during the day, including cattle, horses and poultry, as well as baby chicks that will only be a couple of days old when people visit the farm on Saturday.
As much as they love animals on the farm, the Wasyliks are asking everyone to leave their pets at home out of respect to the safety of the animals on the farm.
For a complete run-down on the Chatsworth Farm Open Farm Days event, click here.
For a complete list and map of all the farms participating in Open Farm Days this year, click here.