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Alberta Open Farm Day looking for host farms

Posted on May 19, 2016 by Vauxhall Advance

Nikki Jamieson
Vauxhall Advance
njamieson@tabertimes.com

Attention farmers: those looking to show city-folk where corn comes from should sign up now as an Alberta Open Farm Day host farm.

“They’re interested in where their food comes from, and that’s mainly the goal,” said Hanneke Camps, of CP Farms in Barnwell and Open Farm Day participant. “That’s why people come out, to find out where food comes from.”

This year will be the second time that CP Farms in Barnwell will be participating as a host farm in the province-wide event.

CP Farms is entering their 15th crop year, and grow potatoes, sugar beets, sunflower, wheat and grain corn. They decided to participate in the provincial event.

Last year, they had activities such as races in potato bins, swimming pools filled with grain and corn for the kids, different tours of the farm and potatoes sack races, activities, along with a representative from McCain’s came out to the farm to talk about what they do and answer questions.

“We mainly focus on the potatoes,” said Hanneke Camps, from CP Farms in Barnwell and Open Farm Day participant, adding that they produce potatoes for french fries. “So we have a whole bunch of pieces of equipment set up, with signs with it, talking about what the machines do and some facts and some fun stuff on them, so that’s basically a self-guided tour. Then in our shop, we have the people pick their own potatoes out of the pile, cut it, fry it and then they can eat it.”

It takes a lot of bodies to put on the event. While run by Camps and her husband, Michel, their crew, friends and family and two members from the Potato Growers of Alberta came out to help.

This year, Open Farm Days will take place from Aug. 20-21. Camps says they are hosting their event on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., since last year they had hosted on the Sunday, and did not see a lot of locals around. However, they did get a respectable crowd of 180 people, including some who had come as far away as Calgary to see the farm.

“This year, we’re shifting to do it on the Saturday, and we’re going to do some more advertising, so hopefully, we’ll get a lot more people visiting.”

Alberta Open Farm Days is a two-day event that gives people the chance to experience local farms and learn about where their food comes from. Attendees have the opportunity to meet the farmer, experience Ag-tourism and sample fresh food direct from the producer. Open Farm Days has taken place in Canada for more than 10 years, originating in the Maritime Provinces, before making its way out west. Registration for host farms ends on May 31. For more information, visit http://albertafarmdays.ca.

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