Fall is inextricably linked with harvest, even for those of us who pick up our food year round in grocery stores. It’s hard not to experience the feeling of abundance as you watch the leaves turn to crisp burnt shades and see the pumpkins appearing everywhere.
One unique place to pick up a pumpkin is Southlands Farm in Vancouver. Most people don’t even suspect that there is a working farm right in their backyard. However, this farm goes out of their way to outreach to the larger community with educational programs. Some of the pumpkins are grown on the farm, and some in a neighbouring farm.
The farm was originally started in 2008 by the Maynard family in their backyard. They wanted to show that growing food in the city was possible. The challenge was a success. They moved to their current location three years later.
You can visit the farm, meet the animals (but don’t pet them without permission), and pick up a harvested pumpkin. This is a free-range farm, so you’ll see chickens milling about doing whatever it is chickens do. In fact, on an earlier visit, I saw rescued battery hens enjoying freedom for the first time. They also have a horse stable. You can even offer to help out with farm tasks during your visit.
The pumpkins were scattered along a meandering path through the orchard. Fresh jam was available for sampling and sale on the porch. Check out their website for more information about programs at the farm.