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A woman participates in one of the heritage centre’s hay lifting competitions.
A woman participates in one of the heritage centre’s hay lifting competitions. - Contributed

First 100 Mile Farm Food Festival set for Aug. 4

NORTHVILLE, N.S. —

The Annapolis Valley Farmland Trust (AVFT) not only believes our farmland is worth preserving, but also that its continued preservation is essential to the prosperity of future generations.

On Aug. 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the AVFT will be hosting its first annual 100 Mile Farm Food Festival at Northville Farm Heritage Centre.

Visitors will have the opportunity to fill their bags with a variety of seasonal farm products, all produced by regional growers within a 100-mile radius of Northville.

In addition to locally-produced vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, dairy products, honey, and maple syrup will also be available. Vendors will also feature an assortment of food and drink products sourced from local ingredients such as ciders, wine, ales, spirits, cheeses, pastas, baked goods and tasty lunch offerings, including a barbecue hosted by Meadowbrook Farm.

“Our goal is to strengthen the ‘buy-local’ movement and connect families with local farmers selling their farm products, (as well as) other secondary products derived from local ingredients,” says AVFT director and event organizer Marilyn Cameron.

Marilyn Cameron, left, gets some help planting garlic at Hawthorn Hill Farm in Grafton.
Marilyn Cameron, left, gets some help planting garlic at Hawthorn Hill Farm in Grafton.

This amidst “a country fair atmosphere” that will include a variety of music, a livestock petting zoo, free wagon rides, a hay-lifting competition with prizes for all ages, and much more.

The event is being hosted by the Northville Farm Heritage Centre, which features its own step back into the history of local agriculture, including a history museum, antique farming implements and a vintage blacksmith studio.

"This is our first try at this. I thought we would start small and see what kind of response we get," Cameron said.

"It's all about making connections, and raising awareness both of the Farmland Trust and the Northville Farm Heritage Centre, which is a great facility.”

Her aim was to attract 40 vendors, and as of July 17, she had 37 confirmed, “with a couple still pending.”

Admission to the 100 Mile Farm Food Festival is $5 per person and $10 per family, with children under five admitted free. Visitors are encouraged to come and stay as long as they like, roam the grounds and enjoy the atmosphere while sampling the best of local produce.

This year's inaugural event is “just about food,” but should it prove moderately successful, Cameron would like to aim bigger for next year and include wool producers working with llamas, alpacas and different breeds of sheep.

She also envisions sheepdog trials and sheep shearing as future additions, as well as “hookers, spinners, and weavers,” both among the vendors and possibly as demonstrators.

As part of its ongoing quest to make sure that farmland is forever, the Annapolis Valley Farmland Trust partners with landowners to conserve farmland and is also able to acquire farmland and hold it in trust, available for farming.

The AVFT points out that 94 per cent of Canada’s land is unsuitable for farming, and of the remainder, close to six million hectares of good agricultural land in this country has been lost to other use over the past 50 years.

IF YOU GO: The festival will be held at Northville Heritage Centre, 1158 Steadman Rd. in Northville, Kings County, Aug. 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 per person or $10 per family.

GO ONLINE: For more information on the AVFT, visit http://preservefarmland.com or contact Cassidy Franklin at cassidyfranklin95@gmail.com.

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