Posted on October 4, 2010
Island Profile: Shamrock Farm
If each of us took the time to stop and visit some of the places we see in our everyday travels, we’d likely find some real gems in our own backyards. This morning I made such a discovery when I was fortunate enough to visit Shamrock Farm in the Comox Valley with my mom and 18-month-old niece, Sienna.
Situated on a picturesque acreage on the outskirts of Comox, Shamrock Farm is a hop, skip and a jump from both the airport and Little River ferry terminal. While it may be easy to miss, hidden behind leafy trees on the roadside, keep your eyes open for the orange and black pumpkin sign at 2276 Anderton Road.
Map: Google Maps
Run by a friendly family, the three of us were instantly greeted by Shamrock Farms’ proprietors, Mike and Shannon Farrell, and their children. Their land is entirely sustainable and prescribes to an organic farming practice. Even more admirable is their commitment to treating their farm animals in a humane manner. Everywhere you go, animals are freely roaming the grounds.
Pumpkin-producing farms are few and far between in the Comox Valley, and Shamrock Farm is the Valley’s largest provider of these seasonal gourds. They have been producing a sea of orange since 1993, and their pumpkin stock completely sells out each year.
Shamrock Farm provides 60% of their pumpkins to local supermarkets, while the remaining 40% are sold through in-person visits at the farm. Because no pesticides or herbicides are used, each year’s crop is rotated to a different place from the year before to give the soil an opportunity to rejuvenate.
Shamrock Farm is open each day during the month of October in anticipation of Halloween. In keeping with the ghoulish feel of this time of year, the barn is decked out into a spooky spectacle, complete with a witch’s cauldron and boney bad guys. Enter if you dare!
Pumpkins aren’t their only claim to fame at Shamrock Farm, and I was personally enchanted with the stretching lavender gardens. Their fragrant aroma was intoxicating and I made sure to bring a dried bunch home with me.
Shannon grows her lavender organically, with the harvest yielding soaps, edible lavender and satchels. Shamrock Farm is also home to two honey beehives, producing some of the Valley’s sweetest honey. The bees assist in pollinating the lavender, apples and berries, translating into tasty jams and jellies.
The Farrell family aren’t the only ones that call Shamrock Farm home. Visitors will find a goose, goats, horses, baby turkeys, roosters and chickens on patrol, all of which are entirely domesticated. My niece had particular fun feeding grain to the chickens and getting up close and personal with the goats.
A family-friendly place that’s easy to spend an entire afternoon at, Shamrock Farm is something not to be missed this autumn. As we pulled out of the driveway, my mom simply remarked “boy, they sure were nice people.” And she was right – we’ll most certainly be back again next autumn!
Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., admission to Shamrock Farm is entirely free and everyone is welcome. School tours are also available for groups interested in making an educational experience out of it. Visit Shamrock Farm online for more information. You can view the rest of my photos in my set on Flickr.
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