Atlantic Open Farm Day reveals ‘magic’ of growing at N.B. farms

David Coburn prepared to welcome up to 300 visitors to Coburn Farms for Atlantic Open Farm Day activities on Sunday.

“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” said Coburn, part owner of the Keswick Ridge, NB company

The event takes place annually in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI

The celebrations began at the farm museum, where visitors could learn about the 215-year history of the farm and some old farming techniques.

The cider factory and the feed mill were also part of the tour.

“The more people we can get involved in farming, the better,” said Coburn.

David Coburn conducted tours at the Atlantic Open Farm Day. Stations included the farm museum, the apple wine factory and the feed mill. (Aniekan Etuhube/CBC)

He said events like Atlantic Open Farm Day allow farmers to show people the complexities of farming and the challenges farmers face, one of which is rising costs.

Carol Muncer, garden director at Hayes Teaching Farm in Fredericton, said they are also attending Farm Day for the fifth year in a row.

Hayes Farm participated with cooking demonstrations and classes on how to make rope from milkweed and how to preserve vegetables and fruit for the fall.

Hayes Farm participated with cooking demonstrations and classes on how to make rope from milkweed and how to preserve vegetables and fruit for the fall. (Edee Klee)

Andrea Duval visited both locations. She said the people at the farms were helpful in answering all of her questions.

She said visiting local farms for the day helped her see just how much goes into operations.

“I’ve only been here a few years,” Duval said. “So you learn more about what’s going on here in Fredericton and New Brunswick.”

Andrea Duval visited Coburn Farms and Hayes Teaching Farm on Atlantic Open Farm Day. (Aniekan Etuhube/CBC)

The “Magic” of Farming

Muncer said people have lost the ability to support themselves, but growing at home in the backyard is “pretty easy.”

“It’s really important that we learn how to feed ourselves and get back to those basic ways of life and take care of the world around us,” Muncer said.

Coburn said there is a lot to learn when it comes to growing plants. He said he learned a lot from his mistakes. (Aniekan Etuhube/CBC)

Coburn said there is a lot to learn when it comes to growing crops and he’s learned a lot from his mistakes. But he said budding farmers have to be willing to make mistakes to see “the magic”.

“The magic of growing a seed in the greenhouse in spring and… watching it grow and produce… is very special,” Coburn said.

the children see

Coburn said the farm day was an opportunity for people to ask questions about food production. But most of all he likes to spend time with people.

He said that many children often come out and enjoy the fresh apples and cider.

Carol Muncer, garden director at Hayes Teaching Farm in Fredericton, said it was their fifth consecutive year participating in the Atlantic Open Farm Day. (Edee Klee)

Muncer said Hayes Teaching Farm has open houses every month. During the summer they also had weekly workshops and activities.

She said the rain kept some people from coming to Atlantic Open Farm Day, but there was a nice flow of visitors.

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