Farm Crawl: A Rural Hamilton Experience

Summer has arrived, and for many of us that means retreats to the cottage and poolside hangs. But for a rural experience, I always love Hamilton’s annual Farm Crawl, an experience that showcases the passion local farmers have for their operations. With farms situated just minutes outside of Hamilton, Farm Crawl allows its visitors to experience the beautiful countryside and to observe, learn about and even be part of the daily happenings on a modern, organic farm.

We arrive at Fenwood Farm on a sunny morning in May. The Sawmill Road property is tucked away in Ancaster, surrounded by rolling farmland. John and Carol Fennema planted roots here over 20 years ago, raising organic and free range chickens. Carol walks with us around the property, sharing the history of the farm. Their Country Store sits in the back of a refurnished barn, dating back to 1905. Sustainability and nutrition remain at the heart of their philosophy.  

From there we head to Copetown, to visit Manorun Organic Farm. On a sprawling 25 acre property, Chris Krucker and Denise Trigatti farm organically and offer organic vegetables through Community Supported Agriculture. Local staff, interns and family help to plant, grow, harvest the vegetables, sell produce at farmers markets, and manage the livestock. We take in the scents of the herb garden, sipping on rhubarb soda before wandering down a trail to greet the wild pigs in the wooded mushroom forest. 

 

The exploration of each farm on the crawl happens at your own pace. Maps with suggested routes are available, and it takes ten minutes or so to go from farm to farm. After a drive through quiet country roads, we arrive at Alpacas from Eighth and Mud. Here we tour the shearing facility and fibre mill, taking in spinning and weaving demonstrations along the way. The farm takes pride in their Canadian Alpaca herds, explaining the importance of fine fibre, crimp, density in quality alpaca fibres. 

We spend the rest of the day wandering the grounds of Ridge Road Estate Winery, nestled on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment and enjoying a tasting of vibrant local Rosé. 


The next Farm Crawl happenings take place on July 16 and August 13. You can buy tickets online or pick them up at the farm you start your day at. And there's plenty more farms to be discovered, like Weir's Lane Lavender Farm & Apiary, Simpler Thyme, Waterhall and Ballantrae Farm.