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Open Farm Days goes from one weekend to six weeks in 2023

Open Farm Days has transformed from a one weekend event to a six week series this year, stretching from Sept. 1 to Oct. 15, across Frontenac County and Kingston.

Open Farm Days is a series of events where community members can learn more about local farming and food by visiting local farms, farmers markets, and various other locations across the region. The event aims to increase agri-tourism in the region, make connections between local producers and consumers, and teach people about local production. Experiences available to visitors this year include tours of fields, beekeeping, introduction to growing of fruits and vegetables, demonstration on coffee roasting, learning about animals, and culinary tours and tastings.

For the past five years that the event has been running, it has been a one weekend only event in early fall. This year, however, the event has been extended to take place over six weeks to provide more opportunities for local agri-business owners to open their space to the public. This change in time frame allowed for the jump from six farms participating last year to 17 locations with multiple events this year.

“Previous years it’s been a one weekend event, focused around one weekend early in September. This year when we talked to the farms, it was really important to understand sort of just capturing all farms and just getting input from everybody. And there were some farms that the timing of the event previously didn’t necessarily work for their harvest because, as we know, not everything harvests at the same time,” explains Debbie Miller, Community Development Officer for Frontenac County. “Apples are an example, they harvest later in September. So, it just allowed more people to be involved.”

The events will kick off on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, at the Frontenac Farmers Market in Harrowsmith, with live music, speeches and an official farm-style ribbon cutting. 

“Visiting a farm offers a memorable opportunity to really connect with the food, the land, the farmers, and the chefs,” says Miller.

For more information and the complete Open Farm Days 2023 schedule, you can visit www.OpenFarms.ca.

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