Daily Gleaner Article: Open Farm Day

Open Farm day was September 19th, 2010. It is an excellent way to see where your food comes from and we were glad to be a part of it! The Daily Gleaner came for a visit as well and wrote an excellent article with some quotes from my father.

Originally published Monday September 20, 2010 for the Daily Gleaner Section A4, by Alexandra Davis. Click here for the original Daily Gleaner article.

Open Farm Day a chance for consumers, growers to reconnect

2010-09-19 People from across the province participated in Open Farm Day on the weekend.

Thirty-seven New Brunswick farms opened their barns, fields and orchards to the public Sunday, giving people the chance to learn first-hand about how local food is produced.

This marked the ninth year of the annual Maritime-wide initiative. The theme this year was “farmers feed communities.”

Robin Wiseman came to Everett Family Orchard in Island View, just outside Fredericton, to spend the afternoon picking apples with her family.

She said she and her husband Sean Wiseman take their daughters Brynn, 5, and Shea, 2, to the orchard as often as possible.

“We live just down the road and we come here all the time,” she said. “It’s a nice Sunday afternoon activity, and the kids love it.”

She said she thought Open Farm Day was a good idea, as it encourages farm education.

“We have two little city kids here who don’t always get to see the farm activity. When (my husband) and I grew up, we had access to farms, and they just don’t. It’s nice for them to see where our food comes from and things like that.”

Chuck Everett, part-owner of the family-owned orchard, said people from across New Brunswick had been stopping in over the course of the day.

‘It’s been tremendous,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of people from Edmundston, Richibucto and all over the place, as well as people from Fredericton.”

He said visitors were learning a bit about apple production in between picking McIntoshes to take home.

“We spend some times talking about how we grow apples and how we get colour,” Everett said. “We need those nice cold nights and sunny days to get colour.

“People learn something, and then the kids can go feed the horses some apples.”

He said the day was a valuable learning experience for New Brunswickers, who may not otherwise have much exposure to farms.

“It’s definitely important,” he said. “I think educating the kids is crucial. They get the sense of the apple on the tree and how to pick it, and just a general feeling for being on a farm.”

Jennifer MacDonald, chairwoman of the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick’s promotion and relations committee, said the annual event is important as it shines a spotlight on a provincial industry that produces $1.33 billion worth of agri-food and beverage products.

“Producers are excited to showcase their operations,” she said in a news release. “It is an important relationship for the consumer and the farmer. We both need to understand each other better, and Open Farm Day is an excellent opportunity to do that.”