Skills Building Farm Tours

 

  • Learn first hand from farmers who have been there, and have years of experience.
  • Meet other new farmers – you will learn from each other.
  • Get lots of great ideas for how to design your farm.
  • Learn what makes a farm successful, and what costly mistakes you should avoid.
  • Informal atmosphere creates plenty of opportunity to ask questions.
  • The focus topic allows you to concentrate on one important aspect of farming.

 

2014 Tours

 

 

  1. Introduction to Beekeeping, Tuckamore Bee Company. Saturday, August 2,  1-4pm
  2. Thinking about running a CSA farm? Fair Fields Farm & Cedar Down Farm, Saturday, August 16,  1-4pm
  3. Growing Hops, Dornoch Hops. Saturday, August 23,  1-4pm
  4. Farmstead Cheese Production, Harmony Tree Farm. Saturday, September 20,  1-4pm
  5.  Fall Season Extension, Drumlin Farm. Saturday, October 25,  1-4pm

Cost per Tour: $40 (includes HST) per person or $68 (includes HST) for two.
Registration: http://store.farmstart.ca/collections/tours

 

Tour Descriptions

 

Topic: Introduction to Beekeeping
Host: Alison Van Alten, Tuckamore Bee Company
Description: This tour was sold out last year, so we think you deserve another chance to attend! Alison Van Alten spent 15 years working
for the Ontario Beekeeping Association Tech-Transfer program conducting honey bee research. During this time she started her own business, Tuckamore Bee company, and has been doing this full time since 2010. Alison sells a variety of honey and beeswax products at the Guelph Farmers Market, and in the surrounding area. She also specializes in selling bees to beekeepers, using her background as a researcher to select disease resistant stock.

During this tour Alison will introduce you to the basics of beekeeping including what materials you will need to get started, where to locate your hives, what kind of preparations to make, what to expect etc. If this is your first season as a beekeeper, or you are thinking about getting some bee’s in the future then you will find this tour very informative! Weather permitting we will open a hive, if you have a veil we recommend bringing one, as well as a long sleeve loose fitting shirt.

When: Saturday, August 2, 2014. 1:00-4:00pm.
Where: 1006 8th Concession, RR#3 Puslinch (take a right off Hwy 6 if you are heading South, if you hit Carlisle Rd you have gone to far).  View Map
Cost per Tour: $40 (includes HST) per person or $68 (includes HST) for two.
Registration: click here

 

Topic: Thinking about running a CSA farm
Host: Fair Fields Farm & Cedar Down Farm
Description: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a production and marketing model whereby consumers buy shares of a farm’s harvest in advance. If you are considering the CSA model for your farm there are a number of questions and considerations we will explore on this tour; how to get started, what do members want, determining share price and payment options, recruiting and retaining members etc.

This tour features two CSA farms; Cedar Down Farm, is a must see if you starting a market garden, and plan to have a CSA! Farmers Jeff and Leslie have been honing their craft since they began farming together in 2004, and we think they are among the best growers out there. They have an established summer and winter CSA, which sells out every year.

In its third year of operation, Fair Fields Farm is a family run market garden business, owned by Devan Penney and Nicole Boyd. Devan spent years learning organic production methods by volunteering around the world, apprenticing and co-managing several farms around Ontario. He can offer some valuable insight in to what starting a CSA is really like

When: Saturday, August 16, 2014. 1-4pm.
Where: 1:00-2:30pm- Cedar Down Farm, 222145 Concession 14 RR #1 Neustadt.  View Map
2:30-4:00pm- Fair Fields CSA, 221689 Concession 14, Neustadt.  View Map
Cost per Tour: $40 (includes HST) per person or $68 (includes HST) for two.
Registration: click here

 

Topic: Growing Hops
Host: Cherie Swift, Dornoch Hops
Description: Cherie Swift and Richard Elder began in 2012, and have expanded to a 6 acre hop yard.  Plans are to continue using sustainable growing techniques to supply the Ontario Craft Beer Industry with pure Ontario grown hops. Cherie’s enthusiasm about growing hops is contagious, and she is happy to share all she has learned about this crop with you including; propagation tips, how to fertilize, drying hops, when to harvest, and marketing.

When: August 23, 2014. 1pm-4pm
Where: 234929, RR#2, Concession #2, Durham.   View Map
(Highway #6 north thru Durham, turn Left on Welbeck Rd., when you come to the bend – turn right on Concession 2
Fire# 234929.  Phone 369-8765 in case of problems.)
Cost per Tour: $40 (includes HST) per person or $68 (includes HST) for two.
Registration: click here

 

Topic: Farmstead Cheese Making
Host: Harmony Tree Farm
Description: Julie was born and raised in Birkenhead, England and came to Canada in 1987. Her passion for cheese making started after making cheese with her Italian neighbors as a hobby. After practicing in her own kitchen a few years using her own goat, sheep and jersey cow milk she attended Guelph university to learn the science/technical side of cheese making. Her business Carpe Diem Artisan Cheese makes distinctive cheeses in small batches. This tour will give you some insight on how to start a small scale dairy with sheep, as well as see some of the innovative infrastructure Julie and her family have built as they move towards living as sustainably as possible.   

When: Saturday, September 20, 2014, 1-4pm
Where: 650 Goodwood Rd., Uxbridge.   View Map
Cost per Tour: $40 (includes HST) per person or $68 (includes HST) for two.
Registration: click here

 

Topic: Fall Season Extension
Host: Drumlin Farm
Description: In 2013 we visited Drumlin Farm, and were so impressed by all the different growing techniques they are trying, and the new movable greenhouses they had just installed, we thought we have to go back! Drumlin Farm runs a market garden featuring many heirloom varieties of vegetables, and micro greens which they sell through a CSA program, and at local markets. They also raise Chantecler chickens, for their beautiful eggs, and meat.

When: Saturday, October 25, 2014, 1-4pm
Where: Drumlin Farm, 4565 Watson Road South,
 RR1
 Puslinch.   View Map
Cost per Tour: $40 (includes HST) per person or $68 (includes HST) for two.
Registration: click here

 

What to expect?

  • You are encouraged to participate by introducing yourself, asking questions, and sharing your experiences.
  • Come prepared to take lots of pictures, and notes. Tours are not workshops, and do not usually include handouts or other take home materials.
  • Expect that you will be outside for the duration of tour. Wear appropriate clothing, sunscreen, hats, and water etc.
  • Expect to be on your feet, and walking around for most of the tour.
  • No food or drink will be provided. There will be a bathroom, usually in the host’s home.
  • Check and double-check your directions. Rural addresses can be trickier to find than urban ones.
  • Every farm tour, like every farm is unique. Every tour group is at a different level. Ask for clarification if you need it!
  • A family rate is for up to two adults and two children under 13 years of age.
 

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