Alberta Open Farm Days a huge success

Bison Open Farm 2017

Alberta Open Farm Days is touted as a chance to explore the countryside, which this year in and around the Kneehill area, featured Bison Coulee Contracting (east of Trochu), Good Knights Medieval Encampment (south of Three Hills), and Primrose Farms (Big Valley).

Bison Coulee was open on Sunday and received about 100 guests. They offered a hay ride into the pasture of the breeding bison herd and it was exciting to watch lots of calves racing after their moms. Another tour was of their handling facilities and feeding equipment. There was an information booth with lots of pictures recording the farm’s transitions and information on vaccinations. Bauer Meats offered up bison burgers, smokies, pepperoni, jerky and other treats at his on site food truck. Mike Bauer, of Bauer Meats, receives his bison exclusively from Bison Coulee. There was also a small petting zoo for the little family members, a chance to get up close and personal with the donkeys.

Good Knights Medieval Encampment was open both Saturday and Sunday. They received over 100 guests on Saturday and there were well over 40 by mid Sunday with more guests pulling in. It’s amazing that this kind of adventure can be found in our own backyard. Volunteers were dressed according to the time, the tents amaze with the beautiful decorating and comforts, and they provided some entertainment with archery and other games from that era. A beautifully decorated horse and its rider were on hand for the weekend, giving guests a historical look at this very official “Canadian” horse breed. This breed of horse has its roots in 1660’s when King Louis XIV sent shipments of Arabian, Berber and Andalusian to his new colony. It was a breed that once dominated in New France for more than a century before almost going extinct. In 2002 Canadian Parliament passed an act making this “Canadian” horse, the official national horse of Canada.

Food trucks, at these open farm days, are a fantastic way to feature food products from the source to the plate. Primrose Farms invited a tour of their milking cows, baby calves, free range hens, ducks, geese, pork and poultry pasture. Product samples were available and a lunch was available to purchase from a food truck.

Open Farm Days provide an amazing opportunity for rural and urban families, including the agricultural community to explore ideas, the wonders of farm to table, and show support for rural neighbours, the caretakers of what makes Alberta great and proud.