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Alberta Open Farms Days - August 17th

Published August 7, 2019.
Est. Reading: 3 minutes
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This year we're participating in the event Alberta Open Farm Days, which, if you haven't heard of it before, you'll want to because it's pretty cool! Alberta Open Farms Days is a collaborative, province-wide event where farmers and ranchers open their doors to their urban and rural neighbours for a day of farm tours and activities. It's a great opportunity for folks to learn about where their food and fibre comes from, how it is grown, and the hard-working people behind the scenes. Stories are told, skills are demonstrated, fresh foods are served up - it's like one big open house!

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At Custom Woolen Mills, we'll be open on Saturday August 17th, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. We'll have some of our favourite machines running for your viewing pleasure and lots of folks on hand to answer all the questions you've ever had about how wool from the farm gets transformed into usable goods to keep us warm! You can try your hand at needle felting - a fun wool craft that's great for both adults and kids! You can take a walk through our natural dye plant gardens! And, you can check out all the amazing finished products that wool becomes in our gift shop!

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There are many farms, ranches, breweries, meaderies, and markets open on August 17th  and August 18th so you can plan a whole weekend of discovery if you want. The Alberta Open Farm Days website has a handy interactive map where you can choose who you want to visit and plan a route. BUT, If you find it hard to narrow down who to visit from the huge number of options, we've come up with a couple fun Saturday tour routes and listed them below (we've even made map routes and double checked them, for your navigating convenience).

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The Fibre Route Trail: Rosebud River Fibre Mill, Kneehill County Market, Custom Woolen Mills, Pasu Farms

This tour is excellent for those of you who have a specific interest in local textiles and fibresheds. Start your day by heading to the town of Rosebud and Rosebud River Fibre Mill and Sheep Farm where you'll see sheep shearing and mini-mill yarn production. Next, grab some food at Horseshoe Canyon where you'll find the Kneehill County Market or head straight to the town of Linden for a quick coffee and snack at High Seas Coffee, our local coffee roasters. From Linden, you're just a 10 minute drive to us here at Custom Woolen Mills, where you'll see larger scale wool processing on historic machinery. After visiting us, head on over to Pasu Farms, a sheep farm and restaurant west of Carstairs - if you get there before 4pm, you can enjoy afternoon tea with views of sheep on rolling hills of pasture. If you want to go there for dinner, then phone ahead to get tickets for their South African BBQ!

Click here for a round trip map for the fibre tour starting and ending in Calgary!

The "I want a little something of everything" Tour: Custom Woolen Mills, Shirley's Greenhouse, HGB Bison, The Honest Box

This tour is for those of you who want to take the opportunity to see different types of farms, but don't want too big of a day; the route is streamlined and the variety might make it more interesting for those with kids. Pack a picnic lunch, but plan to supplement it with fresh vegetables and bison products which you can purchase along the way! Take a relaxed start to your Saturday by coming out here to the mill for late morning. Once you've seen all the historic milling equipment in action and created a needle felted masterpiece, jaunt just down the road to Shirley's Greenhouse where they grow delicious, pesticide free vegetables. There you can tour the big produce growing greenhouses and see their chickens and kittens. Then, head across the #2 Hwy to HGB Bison where you'll see their beautiful, majestic bison up close and personal. Finally, close the day off with a stop at The Honest Box - a small mixed farm that sells their product direct from the farm gate and teaches micro-green production and good-old-fashioned cooking and canning classes.

Click here for a round trip "little something" map starting and ending in Calgary!

Thanks to The Honest Box for providing farm photos!

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