Visitors can experience livestock, vegetable and niche farms
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
A number of local farms are preparing to welcome car loads of visitors during the 5th annual Farm Crawl which kicks off this Saturday.
Since 2012, various producers between Hamilton and Brantford have opened their gates to visitors. The idea stemmed from three farmers who thought allowing the public to get a first-hand look at their operations would be beneficial.
“We were excited by reaction we had (to the first crawl). It far exceeded our expectations,” Kevin Beagle, a tour organizer, and lavender, hazelnut and bee farmer, told Farms.com.
Adult visitors were interested in understanding where their food was produced and children liked experiencing the rural lifestyle, including interacting with livestock, Beagle said.
“We realized not only was there a demand for (such tours) but farmers were excited to show off what they’re doing, especially to a more urban crowd.”
A dairy farm, winery, swine operation and berry farm are part of the 2017 Farm Crawl.
Visitors can participate in milking demonstrations and taste local products.
In addition to helping the public understand food production, the Farm Crawl helps farmers earn extra revenue.
“(Farm Crawls) are our biggest sales day of the year,” Beagle said. “And we’re being approached by farms wanting to be part of the tour.”
The first tour of the 2017 season takes place Saturday, May 27. Other tours are scheduled for Saturday, July 15 and Saturday, August 12.
Tickets for this Saturday’s tour are $20 per adult and $5 per child between 5 and 16.
Advanced tickets for the July and August tours can be purchased for adults for $15.
Any farms that wish to become a stop on the tour are encouraged to call 905-627-9208, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.