Have you ever wondered how the local farms in Dufferin County operated on a day-to-day basis?
After a two-year hiatus, organizers have announced the annual Dufferin Farm Tour is returning to an in-person tour at a number of different local farms. The tour, which is self-guided, will run on Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It’s nice to be back. The tour is always an upbeat day, where everybody gets outside for fresh air and explores a little bit of what Dufferin County has to offer,” said Trevor Pugh, secretary for Dufferin Farm Tour.
The Dufferin Farm Tour was established in 1999 by a group of dedicated farmers, who wanted to bring rural and town people together on the farm to hear firsthand the challenges of providing safe, nutritious food.
While agriculture serves as one of the largest economic contributors in the community, with around 520 farms calling Dufferin County home, the connection between these farms and the food on our plates is often lost.
For one day each fall, a different group of local farmers open their doors to the public to showcase their farm, in an attempt to bridge the farm to table knowledge gap.
“It is very easy to walk into the grocery store and grab something off the shelf, but to really think about what went into getting that product, growing the crop, raising the animal, all the way through the whole production to a finished product at the grocery store, is very important,” said Pugh. “When we have world events, like we’ve had, that create issues in the food supply chain it’s incredibility important to know what we can grow and produce in Dufferin County.”
This year, the Dufferin Farm Tour will be visiting farms in the Grand Valley area. Five farms are slated to be featured in the tour including a jersey farm with over 300 jersey cows, a goat farm, a sheep, cattle and horse farm, and a lavender farm.
Grand River Farms, located in East Luther Grand Valley, is one of the local farms that will be featured in the tour. Siblings Josh and Rebecca Landman will be showing the working aspects of their separate enterprises on the family’s farm.
The tour at Grand River Farms will include a walk through of the barn, where visitors will see the day-to-day operation of Josh’s goat farm such as kid management, feeding and milking, as well as a look at Rebecca’s bakery, food booth and the Blackhouse attraction.
“Generally, the public doesn’t get to see farms due to biosecurity and logistic reasons so it’s nice to be able to open it up and have people come to see a snap shot of a day,” said Josh. “It brings awareness to how much farming is done in Dufferin County with small, medium and large farms, that otherwise would go unnoticed.”
Organizers are asking those interested in visiting the local farms to pre-registers to secure a spot on a tour as spaces may be limited. To pre-register for the Dufferin Farm Tour, visit their website – www.dufferinfarmtour.com.
Donations to local food banks are being accepted as price of admission for this year’s tour.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press