Farmers Feed Cities

I had a fellow blogger go check out an event for me. Read about her experience below
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As a child, I vividly remember passing a farm on my way to school. The seasonal smells were so palpable; I could practically taste the stinky cabbage and cauliflower that was growing in the fields. The strange thing about this scene was the its surroundings – a suburban neighborhood had grown up all around this farm, which occupied a full square block. Needless to say, from a young age, I was keenly aware of where food came from, even though I didn’t live in the country.

This isn’t the case for many kids today. In our age of fast food, and food processed beyond recognition, children often do not give much thought to where our food comes from. In 2005, when grain and oilseed farmers were forced to produce below the cost of production, Farmers Feed Cities signs started popping up… there was a realization that something had to change in order for farming to be sustainable in Canada. People needed to be educated about where food comes from and how much it truly costs to produce. Hence the Farmers 
Feed Cities movement began.

The movement has evolved since its inception and, these days, Farmers Feed Cities is all about educating children about how food is grown, and that it’s produced closer to home than they might have thought. Young farmers are the collective face of the movement, updating a traditionally old-school profession into something that has more modern, fresh and approachable appeal.

My son and I attended a fantastic Farmers Feed Cities event last week and got to meet some amazing local farmers. Stewart (@ModernFarmer) the pig farmer, Jacob (@JakeandEggs) the egg farmer, Katelyn (@kmceachren) the beef farmer, Dennis (@jansend73) the dairy farmer, and Jason (@CarronFarms) the vegetable farmer were the wonderful people we met that day…and we were blown away by what we learned.

The Farmers We Met
Photo credit: Hector Vasquez Photography
One of the most interesting facts, for me, was about hens. Did you know they lay approximately 1 egg every 26 hours and that they won’t lay if they’re unhappy or stressed out? It definitely makes sense – both from an ethical standpoint and a production standpoint to ensure the hens are healthy and happy! Some other neat facts… Did you know that 25% of all farms in Canada are here at home in Ontario? Would you have guessed that a family pig farm, operated by 3 or 4 people, feeds 30,000 people per year? Or that farms contributed $11.9 billion to the provincial economy in 2011? It’s obvious that farms are essential… so how do we educate (or “agri-cate”) our kids?

There are a few ways…
1. Take them to visit a farm – Find a farm near you here
2. Use fun games to keep them engaged and interested. Some suggestions:
• Easy – Dora’s Magical Garden and Agri-Trekking Across Ontario
• Medium – Agri-Trekking Across Ontario and Fact or Fairy Tale

• Hard – Where’s Agriculture and World Pizza
3. Continue the learning at the grocery store – ask them to help you look for the Ontario or Canada symbols on foods you purchase, and talk about why it’s important to buy local products

My son had a great time interacting with all of the farm animals. Kids are naturally curious and it was great to see that, even at such a young age, he had no fear or ambivalence when reaching out to pet them. The goats were especially accommodating – they loved the attention of the little ones!

Photo credit: Fab Frugal Mama
We were lucky to be able to share lunch with the farmers and enjoy some of their produce, brought fresh from the farm!!

Our wonderful farm-fresh lunch!
Photo credit: Hector Vasquez Photography

If you want to learn more about Farmers Feed Cities…
• visit them on Facebook –
• connect on Twitter – @FarmersFeedCities #FreshFromtheField
• or visit their website –

Not only are farms fun to visit, they’re education
al too, so find a local farm and enjoy some time learning about where our food comes from. You’ll be glad you did!

Be sure to visit Lisa for more family fun posts.


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