I apologize for not posting many entries lately. For personal reasons, I haven’t been able to focus much time on agritourism lately, but hopefully that will change as the weather warms up and the growing season gets into full swing.

Here are a few recent agritourism-related developments that readers may find interesting:

1. New Garden Centre in Carp opening on Saturday, May 7th: Our friends at Kings Creek Trees and Ornamentals are opening a full service retail garden centre at 153 Donald B. Munro Drive. This is exciting news for the Carp area, which is also home to the new organic farm at Carleton Growers. For those not familiar with Kings Creek Trees, have a look at my previous article about their tree farm and perennial garden business, where they grow an interesting assortment of trees, ornamental grasses, exotic thistles, and wetland plants. Their new business in Carp is a welcome addition to the community, and definitely worth checking out on their opening weekend! 

2. Farmers’ markets opening dates: Many farmers’ markets are starting up this weekend. Here is a list from Ottawa’s Rural Affairs Office:        

3.  New Nature In Deed website for rural landowners: This new website provides a wide range of information and resources about living in a rural environment. Topics include woodlots, wetlands, shorelines, farmland, wildlife habitat, septic systems, and wells. There is a myriad of information about environmental regulations, tax incentives, financial subsidies, and available resources to answer your questions. It’s definitely worth checking out, even if you aren’t a rural landowner.

4. The City of Ottawa’s 2011 Food Aid BBQ on June 3rd: From the Ottawa Rural Affairs Office: The annual Food Aid BBQ is taking place at Marion Dewar Plaza, outside of City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. West on Friday, June 3 from 11 am to 2 pm. The BBQ will bring the Ottawa Food Bank that much closer to raising $150,000 – the necessary funds to sustain its beef program for a year. For only $10, hamburgers prepared by The WORKS will be served alongside chips and a drink. There will be plenty to see and do with music, a live broadcast by 580 CFRA, displays by rural businesses, and a celebrity milking competition all on tap.  Food Aid is a program that provides nutritious protein to those who normally would not be able to afford it. All Food Aid fundraising efforts go toward purchasing and processing beef from local producers, boosting the local market for cattle.  The program accepts donations of cows for processing.  If you are a farmer interested in donating a cow to Food Aid, please contact the Rural Affairs Office at ruralaffairs@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424 x28352 for more information on the tax receipt benefits and how you can participate.

5. Special events at the Canada Agricultural Museum: Head out to the Canada Agricultural Museum this weekend for their Mother’s Day special activities. Admission is free for all mothers. Or you can wait until the May long weekend (May 21-23), when the museum is holding its Sheep Shearing Festival, where you’ll see shearing demonstrations, border collies at work, and spinning, weaving, and felt-making.