by guest blogger, Deirdre Evans
It’s time to get out into the garden and enjoy this year’s plentiful harvest. The many days of sun this summer not only made for great beach days, it also meant that we have an early and impressive harvest this Fall. If you don’t have a garden, not to worry, Open Farm Day’s “Meet Your Farmer Program” means you can go enjoy the Nova Scotian Harvest at one of the 60 farms that are opening their farms to visitors on Sunday, September 16th. Hayrides, u-picks, animals and giant pumpkins are just a few of the activities that kids will enjoy.
With over 60 farms participating, you won’t be able to see ‘em all, so grab an Open Farm Day map at your local Sobey’s store and head out to visit a Farm. Here are a few suggestions given a route planned along the 101 stopping first at Exit 5 – Windsor area, then continuing up to Exit 11 through 14.
First stop, Exit 5, Windsor: I always recommend a trip to see the giant pumpkins growing at Dill’s Atlantic Seed Centre. For kids, it’s out of Jack and the Beanstalk, only it’s giant pumpkins three times their height – definitely impressive. If you’re up for a walk, you can venture to the pond at the back of the fields and see the home of hockey!
Sticking to farms in the Windsor area, visit W.G. Oulton & Sons/ Martock Glen Farms where your kids will likely see the widest assortment of animals they have ever seen in NS. There are waterfowl, pheasants, chickens, turkeys, wild boar, elk, yak, hereford cows, sheep, 5 different species of deer, and many other surprises.
Hop back on the 101 until you get to Exit 11, King’s County. You’ll know you’ve reached Exit 11 as the apple orchards and vineyards line the landscape.
Kids love being able to pick the bite size apples straight form the trees and throughout King’s County there are countless farms that are open to the public for picking apples, pears, peaches, and plums. Many of the farms have wagon rides into the orchards, corn mazes as well as a range of activities set up for kids. Gates, Boates and Willowbank are three of the better known Kings County U-Picks participating in this year’s Open Farm Day.
On your way home, treat the kids to ice cream and pick up a pumpkin pie at Hennigar’s before you head home. You can also pick up any fruit or vegetables you may have missed or a bag of tasty Honey Crisp apples before they’re all gone!
For more details on farms participating in Open Farm Days and an online map, click here.
Deirdre Evans is founder of www.urbangardener.ca, a garden coach and mother to two young boys. Deirdre helps people grow fresher, healthier, tastier food in urban garden boxes here in HRM.