Lochaber, Antigonish County, N.S. - Lochaber Growers Cooperative opened their doors and gardens to the community for their first Open Farm Day, Aug. 12.
Lochaber Growers is a not-for-profit cooperative comprised of four farms; Glenhill Berry Farm, the Avant Gardener, Quinn Farm and Gillis Lochaber Valley Farm. They are all located near Lochaber Lake, a 20 minute drive from Antigonish towards Sherbrooke, off of Highway 7.
The farmers were happy to host roughly 70 food box customers, fellow farmers’ market vendors and local Lochaberites.
Arriving at 1 p.m., guests were given tours between rows of squash, corn, asparagus, potatoes, and melons.
At Fenn Martin and Amberlee Boulton’s farm (the Avant Gardener), the free-range chickens thrilled many children and adults alike.
In a workshop, event organizer Amy Buckland-Nicks hosted a potato printmaking activity where participants carved potatoes into shapes of chickens, tomatoes, and fish, and coated them with rainbow coloured paint. These were used to decorate stamp passes.
Across the road, Brian and Theresa Gillis gave detailed tours of their raspberry patches and vegetables. At John and Bonnie Quinn’s farm, young families and L'Arche core members toured rows of corn, beans and zucchini and practiced their new knowledge with a vegetable quiz.
After a hot and sunny afternoon, people were glad to arrive at Sid and Barb Taylor's Glenhill Berry Farm for an ice cream cone and a tour of their blueberry processing machine.
“It’s wonderful that so many people share our enthusiasm for small farms and local food,” John Quinn said.
Lochaber Growers has a weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) food box with 70 recipients. They will be part of Antigonight: Art After Dark Festival, Sept. 7, at the People’s Place Library, offering a fun vegetable art activity.