This past weekend, the government of Nova Scotia, Canada, hosted an event called Open Farm Day.
There were 52 farms across the province participating featuring all different types of farming and various activities planned at each site. We chose to visit this one.
Farm: Sunni Knoll Farm
Host: van de Riet family
Civic Address: 234 Mill Village Road., Shubenacadie
County: Halifax East Hants
Directions: Take exit 10 from highway 102, come to 3 stop signs and turn right at each. Drive approximately 1 km down Mill Village Road until you reach civic number 234
There were lots of activities for the kids at Sunni Knoll Farm! It was a beautiful afternoon, bright sunny and not too hot, not too cold. As we rounded the bend on approach to the farm, we were overlooking bright green pastures as two horses came bounding along pulling a wagon of laughing kids and parents up and down the rolling hills. We parked and got out to meet our friends who had been there a few minutes. A fellow Mom was quick to inform me that she wasn’t sure about the llama, but the farmer taking her around to the kids was worth a second look, so we headed in that direction first! My daughter wasn’t so sure about petting the llama, but she really enjoyed saying the word over and over again.
Next we went to visit with a goat that a young girl was showing off to the guests. We thought it must have been pretty cool to have your own goat, and she told us that she actually had 6 goats of her own (and was quite proud of that fact). I had to make a quick escape from the goat because my ‘little bug’ became fascinated with its rear end and started trying to stick her finger there. The other adults pretending not to notice as I quickly pulled her away. Luckily the next area had a bottle of hand sanitizer for public use.
The cows were pretty exciting for all of the kids. They fed them grass and moo’d back and forth. The baby calves were also very sweet. At 4pm they started to milk the cows and you could go in to watch the process.
I loved this whole experience but was a little disappointed with this because I thought we’d see a demonstration by hand. I guess that is rarely done these days. It was all done by machine. I think the highlight for the kids was the display of antique tractors. They got to sit on them and pretend to drive and none of them wanted to get off. There were also chickens to visit and a really neat version of a sand box. Instead of sand, the box was filled with dried corn (feed) and it had plenty of tractors and farm toys to use to dig around and play.There was some art for sale including traditional hooked rugs and painting exhibits and a BBQ provided by the local Shu-Mil 4-H Club as well. The trails and the fields made for a beautiful place to take a stroll with some peace and quiet.
All and all it was one of the best afternoons we’ve had in a while. I will definitely be taking our family to visit some more farms at next year’s event! It has also inspired me to look into some more fall activities in Nova Scotia and I found a great website for U-pick farms and associated activites. It lists farms in U.S., Canada and several other countries. Check it out and let me know if you have any other suggestions for fun fall family outings!