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'Farm in the City' celebrates farm life during Downtown Windsor Farmers’ Market

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Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island and the Essex County Federation of Agriculture are bringing farm life to the city during ‘Open Farms: Farm in the City’ on May 25 to the Downtown Windsor Farmers’ Market.

Situated at the entrance of the farmers’ market at the corner of Pelissier Street and Wyandotte Street East, the free event will give patrons the opportunity to get a glimpse of farm life while heading downtown and supporting local.

“Farm in the City is a one-of-a-kind event bringing farm life close to home, and a perfect tie in with the much celebrated Downtown Windsor Farmers’ Market in downtown Windsor,” said Gordon Orr, CEO of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island.

He added, “This will be a great opportunity for the entire family to learn about farm life in a fun way, and connecting directly with food producers. We thank the Essex County Federation of Agriculture for their commitment to the W.E. Heart Local program, and helping educate visitors and locals alike of the abundance of farm-fresh options we have in Windsor Essex.”

Farm in the City is supported by Libro Credit Union, ADM Agri-Industries Company and location sponsor The Hive, with visitors getting the chance to get up close and peek into farm life where they’ll get to learn about agriculture, animals and where their food comes from.

Scheduled activities include:

  • Grain wagon and mini on-site grain elevator demonstration from ADM Agri-Industries Company
  • Dairy calf from Bally Bright Farms
  • Children’s pedal tractor course
  • Antique steam tractor and cider pressing from Essex Steam and Gas Engine Museum and John R. Park Homestead
  • Antique and new farm equipment display from Canadian Transportation Museum and Southpointe Equipment
  • Kids’ activity zone including seed planting and farm animal face painting
  • The opportunity to meet the farmers from Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards, The Fruit Wagon and more

“I think they're gonna really enjoy it,” said Leslie Balsillie, co-owner of The Fruit Wagon in Harrow. “We really want people to be aware of this huge industry in Windsor-Essex and the opportunities that people have to get delicious, healthy, nutritious food locally.”

Balsillie said they have more than 70 places across Windsor-Essex where people can get local food from farmers, restaurants or stores.

“We have such a rich tradition of agriculture in our region,” added Vice President of Destination Development Lynette Bain. “We've got our first crops kind of making their debut, the asparagus has been out for a few weeks and strawberries now on the shelves. So it's a time to get people thinking about supporting local. We all know what grocery prices are like too, you know, reducing your carbon footprint by shopping local, supporting the economy.”

Bain explained that agritourism is all about experiencing life on a farm.

“Agritourism is growing in popularity,” Bain continued. “People want to have a more unique taste of place when they visit somewhere. It really reflects your true terroir of your region. Because something that we grow here might taste completely different than something that's grown in another part of the province.”

“We believe that supporting local agriculture is key to a thriving local economy. Whether it’s eating at farm-to-table restaurants, buying fresh produce from your local market, or buying directly from farms, supporting your local farmers and producers has a positive impact on our communities,” added Lori Atkinson, Libro Credit Unit regional manager.

Users can also experience more farm life in Windsor-Essex by registering for the W.E. Heart local digital pass, a self guided passport that connects users directly with more than 65 farm stands, farmers markets, growers, producers, craft beverages and more.

“As the region with the longest growing season in Canada, we are blessed with fresh produce all year long. Using the W.E. Heart local digital pass as a tool to connect you to each road side stand, market, winery, brewery and more will keep your dollars local, but also offer you a unique journey along the backroads to discover new tastes, and incentivizes users to do so at the same time,” said Orr.

Additional details can be found on the Farm in the City website.

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