Monday, July 30, 2012

The Farm Tour

We took the girls out to a farm tour yesterday, so that they could get an idea of what agriculture is like in Alberta. I suspect that a lot of the talks went over their heads, but we tried to explain the basics to them and I think just the sights were something for them to experience.  And, they got to taste local produce at each stop, which they seemed to like.

Last year, when I went on this tour, I didn't think to bring my camera.  This year, I did bring it but I inadvertently left the telephoto lens instead of the usual one.  I took loads of pictures, but most of them were of the girls from a distance (telephoto lens) when they were unaware.

So - some shots of what we saw...

Cherry tomatoes, growing in the greenhouse
They're already ~20 feet tall, and will keep growing taller until November.  You can kind of see supports along the ceiling between the rows in this shot - the plants are tied to lines that hang from the supports.  As they grow taller, the tomatoes are more productive near the tops of the plants, to the lines that support them are lengthened and the bases of the plants are stripped of leaves and wrapped around the pots.  By fall, there won't be any space to walk between the pots.

This is brussels sprouts, I think, although the truth is that the plants looked exactly like cabbage to me.

This is definitely cabbage in this shot.  There are four different kinds, but I mostly took this shot for the girls because of the derrick. We have derricks all over oil-rich Alberta ... Except, now that I look at it again, I don't think that's a derrick.  I think it's farm equipment of some sort.

Asparagus.  So pretty, I might just grow it in my gardens next year for its aesthetics.

We actually got the girls to use a pitch fork and then dig around in the dirt with their hands for potatoes.
I'll bet they never expected that they'd be doing that on this visit.

Artichokes!  In Alberta.  The last farm we went to is expanding its horizons, and trying new techniques to grow produce that until now has been considered impossible for our weather.  They had rows of artichokes and celery to show off their success.

Then there are about 50 shots of the girls in the fields. We spent quite a bit of time in the strawberry fields, in particular.  Strawberries are a special treat in Japan, so it was just great to watch them skip around the field, filling up on something they clearly love.

Both girls are so pretty and graceful to watch, I wished I had a video camera.   I felt almost like a stalker, as I snapped shot after shot of them tip toeing through the fields or bending to pick produce, but I was very open about it.   They looked up periodically and saw me with my camera pointed at them, and didn't seem to mind.  I got some great shots that I'll pass on to them and their families, but but since they are only 16 with limited ability to communicate, it wouldn't be right for me to share them publicly.  I am actually kind of sad that I can't post them here.


  1. I've never seen artichokes or asparagus growing in the field, thanks for the lesson!