| ||Registration for Open Farm Days is now open, and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) has produced some new videos to help out farms that are considering participating, but might not know where to start. “These videos are a great resource because they profile some of the different types of farms that have opened their doors to Open Farm Days in the past,” says Colin Gosselin, senior project coordinator with AF. “They give a quick overview of participants’ experiences, along with tips for hosting an open house.”
Open Farm Days is a province-wide event that showcases agriculture, local food, and agritourism by inviting the public to come out and directly experience the farm. This year’s fourth annual event runs the weekend of August 20-21, 2016, while farm registration closes May 31, 2016.
One of the videos features Humphrey and Terry Banack, who operate a conventional grain and oilseed farm near Round Hill. They discuss how consumers are going on an adventure to see where their food comes from, and how Open Farm Days helps bridge the gap between the producer and the end user of their products.
Another video features Leona Staples from The Jungle Farm, an established agritourism business. Leona shares some great tips on improving the visitor experience around things like temporary parking areas, porta potties, and working with your local health inspector if you’re going to be providing food as part of your event.
Our third video puts the spotlight on Daniel Chappell of Country Thyme Farm. Daniel is a local food producer with a Farm Box Program, and he discusses how Open Farm Days has helped increase his exposure, and provides him with an opportunity to open up his operation to the public for one day of the year.
Open Farm Days 2015 had 70 participating farms and 18 farm-to-table culinary events. Last year’s events boasted over 10,000 visits to farms, and almost $100,000 in food and on-farm sales. “Open Farm Days clearly benefits both the host farm and the visitor. I encourage you to watch the videos to see if hosting an open house is in your future.”