Popular Dufferin Farm Tour goes virtual with collection of video tours

October 16, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Paula Brown

Do you want to learn about milking goats, cows and sheep, biodynamic farming, pea picking, and hydroponic tomato growing?

Dufferin Farm Tours is providing a new way for local residents to experience the ins and outs of what farming in Dufferin County looks like with its recently launched virtual video tour. 

“They can actually learn about how their food is grown and where it comes from, they can also see how hard the farmers work to produce this food to bring to their tables,” said Marci Lipman, Dufferin Farm Tours committee member and producer of the video. “You say farm to table, but the farm tour really educates people about how their food is grown and connects them.” 

Continuing she said, “It’s really an eye opener to a lot of people about how their food is grown.” 

Dufferin Farm Tours started hosting tours of farms in 2000, and continue to do so for one fall Saturday each year. Started by a group of farmers, Lipman said they wanted to put people in touch with farmers and learn where their food comes from. 

Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event would have been a milestone 20th anniversary. Instead of cancelling, the organization chose to create a video of the farms across Dufferin County, acquiring local videographer James O’Connor for the project. 

A videographer and creative director for The Art of Storytelling, O’Connor said the magnitude of the event in 2019, with 10,000 attendees, got him interested in the project. 

“I felt the content around it, what it meant doing, which was going to the farms filming everything and interview everyone. Bringing the tour experience to the audience was a huge opportunity,” said O’Connor. 

A mix of close action shots and conversational interviews, O’Connor says the tour is now a 20 minute short film and “is very much a documentary” of local farms and farmers. 

“You get really close, you hear it, you almost feel it,” said O’Connor. 

Adding he said, “I hope people will take away from this , connect where your food comes from.” 

Besley Country Market in Shelburne is one of the local farms that is featured in the virtual tour video, highlighting their hydroponic grown tomatoes and seasonal crops. Evan Besley, is the fourth generation to operate the farm that started in 1939 as a dairy operation. This is the third time that Besley Country Market has been a part of Dufferin Farm Tours. 

“It’s a fairly large undertaking to have people onto our farm, or onto a farm the traditional way they used to do it, so this way was a little more efficient for ourselves yet still providing a good insight of how our farm operates on a day-to-day basis,” said Besley. 

In the video Besley highlights the farms hydroponic greenhouse, where they have almost 2,000 tomato plants with three varieties; cherry, low acid, and yellow. 

“In Dufferin County we have such a diverse product line as far as produce and products available to our community, which isn’t always highlighted or available for people to know or even find,” said Besley. “The farm tour does a fantastic job of bridging that gap and educating people of exactly where their food comes from and how it’s grown.” 

A full video of the farm tours can be watched on the Dufferin Farm Tours website as well as their Facebook page. 

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