On Sunday November 7th, I visited the Top Market Meats, Family Farm in Ariss Ontario. They were having their 4th annual Pig and Pumpkin Party! At this event everyone can bring their carved pumpkins and feed them to the pigs. The moment you drop your pumpkin in the pens several pigs come to chow down on your pumpkin. This event normally attracts around 200 people throughout the afternoon. Thats a lot of pumpkins .
Before this became an actual public event, pig pumpkin feeding was part of a community group promenade. They would pick up the pumpkins in Guelph, with the help of others and bring them back to the farm to feed the pigs. They decided to make this a public event to allow people to see where their food comes from. This isn't the only public event they have. In December they have Christmas Trees for Goats. This is where you bring your Christmas tree to the farm and feed it to the goats. In September they have the Fall Rural Romp and in June they have their Open house Farm Day. At the open house people get to see all the baby animals, then later in the year they can see how they've grown.
Jeff and Leslie Zinger have run the farm for 13 years, but it has been in Jeff's family for 100 years. The farm started out as a livestock farm. Eventually, the farm was changed to a cash crop farm. It stayed that way until Jeff and Leslie took ownership of the farm and decided they loved livestock, so they switched it back to a livestock farm. They have many animals at the farm, Pigs, Goats, Geese, Chickens, a Donkey and a Horse. They also have two 'Junior Farmers,' John (11 years old, on the left) and Elizabeth (13 years old, away on a trip).
When I spoke with Leslie, she said she was a city girl who married into the farm life. She mentioned that many city people have no idea where their food comes from, much like herself before she met Jeff. That was why they wanted to make events like the Pig and Pumpkin Party, a public event. This allows people to come to the farm and experience farm life and see first hand where their food comes from.
Under their home, they have a fully stocked Meat Market. Here they sell all the products from their farm, as well as many other products from other local farms. All of them are a part of the Guelph Wellington Local Food community, they all work together. We left with two full bags of pasteurized meats and cheeses.
I had a great time at the Pig and Pumpkin Party. We got to feed the pigs. We fed Elmo the Pony and Dozer the Donkey an apple by hand. I also pet a few goats along with the cutest two 10 week old puppies.
Thank you to the Top Market Meats farm for such an amazing event. They have recently started using social media to advertise their events, so keep an eye out for some of their awesome events, check them out on facebook. I am very excited for December to feed the Goats our Christmas tree.
#pumpkinsforpigs #topmarketmeat #knowyourfarmer #localfamilyfarm