The Shamrock Farm, and its second-to-none pumpkin patch, is open to the public throughout the month of October. Photo by New Leaf Photography

Shamrock Farm in Comox open to the public throughout October

Shamrock Farm is once again swinging open its gate this October to welcome the community to reconnect with their roots. The final harvest of corn has ripened, plump apples are being plucked from trees and pumpkins in a riot of colours dot the fields.

Shamrock Farm is one of the few remaining heritage farms on Vancouver Island that’s open to the public. Because it’s a working farm, Shamrock Farm’s focus is on food and sustainability. This year more than 40 varieties of heirloom pumpkins were planted, including Long Island Cheese and Winter Luxury – both of which are excellent for baking; Marina di Chioggia, Galeux D’Eysines, Queensland Blue, and Autumn Frost. Many of these pumpkins aren’t available anywhere else. In addition, the Farrell family decided to plant double the amount of carving pumpkins as in 2018, so there will be a huge selection of all shapes and sizes right up until Halloween!

More than just pumpkins, Shamrock Farm also produces a number of farm-made food and self-care items. By growing King, Spartan, Liberty, Granny Smith and Crab apples, as well as pears, fresh-pressed pasteurized juice from Shamrock’s own apples is the perfect autumn beverage. This year they’ve also created a sweet and tangy Crab apple-pear juice.

Wander into the pumpkin patch, choose a bundle of fresh garlic (for eating or planting), pick up some goat milk soap made with milk from the farm’s working goats, or bring home a 5L box of pasteurized juice. Shamrock Farm has once again partnered up with Benino Gelato in Comox to create a decadent pumpkin gelato, available in single servings or a take-home size. For the October opening, pumpkin goat milk soap and Butterbeer-flavoured lip balm (inspired by the Harry Potter series!) can be found in the barn market.

2019 is a particularly special year as it marks the 20th anniversary of school field trips at Shamrock Farm. The annual field trips provide local students with a deeper understanding of how a farm works, where their food comes from, the importance of pollinators, and how vital all of this is to a healthy agriculture.

“Getting to show the children all the aspects of the farm has always been one of the most fun parts of what I do, and the teachers are always so great to work with,” said Shannon Farrell. Children of all ages especially enjoy the Decorated Barn, lovingly put together by the Farrell family through hundreds of hours of hard work over the years and a ton of creativity. Don’t forget to say hello to the witch when you stop by.

The Comox Valley community and its support is what has made Shamrock Farm what it’s been for more than two decades. Come and share in this local tradition with your friends and family next month. As always, admission is free and the farm is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. throughout the month of October. Shamrock Farm is located at 2276 Anderton Road in Comox. Visit the farm online at www.shamrockfarm.ca or follow the farm’s updates on Instagram (@shamrockfarm) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/shamrockfarmcanada).

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