By Michelle Poirier
After being closed to the public for over a year, ClearWater Farm reopened their doors on July 9 and is welcoming visitors back.
“We are so excited to have our community back, running around, learning and connecting with nature. I think now, more than ever, people are craving getting outdoors,” Jennifer Harrison, Director of Communications and Development for ClearWater Farm, said.
ClearWater’s farm stand opened on the May long weekend, but now visitors can explore the farm when they visit.
“You can see where the vegetables are grown, take a peek inside the greenhouse and look at the gardens and then you are actually able to buy the vegetables after you’ve seen where they’re grown,” Harrison said.
She said visitors to the farm can pick up a map and take a self-guided tour through the farm, stopping at eight locations with informative signs.
“The whole farm is about learning, kids learning to be connected to the land, young agripreneurs learning about farming, everybody learning about new technologies that can help small farms like us,” said Annabel Slaight, Founding Chair of the Ontario Water Centre, the charitable organization behind ClearWater Farm.
The Basket Program run by ClearWater has become very popular this year, with around 250 weekly customers through doorstep delivery and pickup locations, Harrison said.
She said the program partners, like Market Brewing Company and The Queensway Marketplace, contribute to the success of the program, and it’s important to them to foster these kinds of relationships.
Slaight said they will be adding more fields to expand growing space by opening up some more of the property near Metro Rd. And that they are hoping to complete the barn, which they plan to become a community hub, by next summer, using the grant money they received from the federal and provincial governments in May.
ClearWater has also launched a new interactive website for families, www.clearwaterkids.org. Slaight said it is a unique, interactive experience for kids as they can go and see the virtual farm, and explore and play online.
You can visit ClearWater on Fridays from 3:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30a.m. to 2:00p.m. at 1614 Metro Rd. N. in Willow Beach.
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