Friday, 17 August 2012

Farming in the City

When my Mom and Dad moved into the town of Airdrie from the small farm they had been on for twenty some years out by Irricana, my twenty-something daughter began to fret. I never lived on that farm. I visited it lots but my Dad was an oilman and when I was growing up we spent lots of time following the rigs in a mobile home. We often returned to our family roots in Pincher Creek where my uncles and aunts farmed and ranched. As Dad brokered his years of experience as a rough neck into more responsible positions we found ourselves in Calgary and Edmonton. Then just as I entered my last year of university Dad's work took them to back Calgary and he fulfilled his dream of his own land. On the acreage they bought, they settled to raise my younger siblings, Brown Swiss cattle and allowed my horse-mad sister to purchase a paint horse to show.

"How will my kids ever learn all the things we did, Mom? Do you think my cousin, Leanne, will marry a farmer?" My daughter already had her sights set on a fine young man who was city raised in Calgary and she has always had the ability to take a long view and worry about it. She and her brother spent idyllic times "on the farm" riding horses, pulling weeds, stacking bales and floating down the irrigation canal while actually growing up in the city.

So next weekend, we will do our best to get my grand-daughter to a farm. The last couple weeks Anisha has been snacking on the ripening tomatoes we planted seeds for this past February and her Aunt Jenn brought raspberries in from her parents garden out by Stony Plain. But I think we would enjoy a bus ride in the country to see and taste out "on the farm".

Sunday, August 26, GEA, Live Local (handling ticket sales) and Northlands (where you can park and catch the tour bus) are teaming up to get folks out to our exceptional growing lands with an event called Farming in the City. North-east Edmonton is home to a large valuable area of fertile land with a fascinating micro-climate. The event promises some history (one of my favorite parts of tours) and the opportunity of a sensory experience to help connect us with our food roots (could not resist that little pun).

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