Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Field Trip Toronto - Glencolton Farm

I was ecstatic when my 9 year old came and asked if we could go visit a farm! He wasn’t talking about the typical pumpkin patch with corn maze, wagon rides and overpriced and lack lustre baked goods. He was talking an honest to goodness good old fashioned FARM! His idea was to learn about where his food comes from and in his words “milk a cow.” I immediately opened my computer and started searching for a farm that offered such a learning experience for the entire family. Quickly, I realized most “farms” offered only the typical pumpkin patch variety of farm experience. Then I met local nutritionist Sara Dobec who is founder and operator of an amazing business -Field Trip Toronto! Field trip Toronto aims to connect city folk with their food source, perfect I thought.

I visited the website and chose Glencoltan Farm Field Trip. Run by trailblazers Michael & Elisa Schmidt, Glencolton is a true Biodynamic Farm! The farm made headlines in 2006, when the farm was raided and charges were placed on Michael for selling raw Milk. Champions of food, environment and community, Michael and Elisa continue to fight for freedom of food choice and food security!
Farm Store
The day began with Elisa welcoming us with fresh pretzels that Michael himself had baked. It was Friday, the day members come to pick up milk, quark, yogurt, cheese, butter and fresh baked bread! Other offerings included fresh eggs, a variety of seasonal vegetables, grass fed meat products, garlic and maple syrup. Outside the farm store, two of Elisa’s children sold Lemonade for .25 cents a glass (not plastic or paper – glass)

The tour of the cheese making facility, cow milking operation, house garden, apple orchard and a visit to all the animals -cows, chickens, pigs and ducks was followed by a lunch of farm fresh pizza, coleslaw, apple cake and yes you guessed it Milk!

After lunch, Michael sat and spoke to us about his love of food and the land.
"To me farming is an artful work, one that requires a certain consciousness and passion in order to transform the earth to a place where food can be grown for nourishment. Today there is a clear disconnect between the health of the environment, food and ourselves. Food has simply become entertainment”

It’s hard to convey in words what an outstanding experience this was for me as a lover of food and the environment. An exceptional learning experience for my children, who although frequent local farmers markets with me, have never seen a working farm. The highlight for my children was walking to the field, bringing the cow’s home and watching them get milked!

43 Cows on site, 8 get milked at a time.  Conventional Dairy Cows are
 killed after 5 years because of the excessive way they are pushed to give milk.  Michael has cows that are 17,, still giving nourishing milk naturally.

Field Trip Toronto runs various field trips to farms such as Everdale, Avalon Orchards, Cookstown Greens even Organic Winery Tours. If your passionate about food I highly recommend you check out Field trip Toronto at,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
The scope of what happens on the farm far exceeds the depth of this blog post, I encourage you to visit the website for further information.
Farm fresh pizza with quark, grass fed beef
pepperoni, tomatoes and zuchinni.

Aged Raw Cheese

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