Hamingja Heritage Farm and Nature Preserve will be one of numerous locations people can explore during Alberta Open Farm Days this weekend.
The hobby farm with heritage livestock, located just north of Leslieville, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday as part of the 11th annual edition of the province-wide event.
Alberta Open Farm Days is a described as a collaborative, two-day event that gives Albertans an opportunity to experience the farm and understand where their food comes from.
“We visited various places around Central Alberta for Open Farm Days two years ago – we learned so much and it was so much fun,” said Janina Carlstad, who will serve as host at the farm alongside John Fletcher and Beaulah Phillpot this weekend.
“We picked berries, ate yak chili and buffalo smokies, and did all kinds of things. We met some tremendous people too. We really enjoyed the experience and as we’ve been building up our own little hobby farm, we wound up with some heritage animals that we’re excited to share.”
The farm, which they have owned for about two and a half years, showcases two of the world’s most ancient breeds of sheep – feral Soay and Icelandic – as well as Icelandic chickens, Rouen ducks and a trout pond.
Carding, spinning and felting of Soay sheep fleece, samples of Soay and Icelandic fleece, and other natural textiles will be displayed throughout the weekend. The farm focuses on on sustainability and rewilding with native plants, and features an old pioneer log home and antique farm implements.
The site also features standing stones and viking-style buildings.
To get to Hamingja Heritage Farm and Nature Preserve, take Highway 12 and turn onto Range Road 52. Then turn left on Blueberry Meadows Lane and follow the road until you reach the farm.
Several Central Alberta farmers are participating in Alberta Open Farm Days, including farms in Red Deer County, Lacombe County, Bentley, Olds, Didsbury and Rocky Mountain House.
“It is a backstage pass to meet the farmer, experience Ag-tourism in Alberta and taste local foods direct from the producer,” the Alberta Open Farm Days website states.
“Our goal is to showcase Alberta’s agriculture and tourism industry in a fun, engaging and meaningful manner to participants of all ages.”
To find participating farms, visit www.albertaopenfarmdays.ca.