Open starting Nov. 26 for Tree Sales
Open Dec 1-24
10 AM - 5 PM
Come out and enjoy fun farm activities on our fourth-generation family farm!
There's nothing like spending a day in the fresh air and sunshine!
Give us a call at 905.263.2930 and ask us how we can give you a little taste of farm life or if you like, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's beginning to look alot like Christmas!
November 2012 - Ho ho ho! Festivities about out here in the sticks, kicking off with the Farmers' Parade of Lights the first Wednesday in December (see facebook for map), and we have it on good authority that Santa and the Mrs. plan on stopping by the farm soon!
Weather - one of the many joys of farming!
October 2012 - Pumpkin size was a little smaller due to the summer drought, and sales a little slower due to the fall rain! What luck. When you're only really open for nine days a year, the weather really matters. This October we had more than our fair share of rain, leaving our spirits a little droopy. But on the bright side, Farmer Grace got the kind of birthday party a three year old deserves, instead of being sidelined for pumpkin sales - and it made the whole family happy to watch our little pumpkin grow into her next year!
It's been more than dry on the farm this summer!
August 2012 - If you drove past the farm this summer the house might have been obscured by a giant dustbowl! It's been terribly dry this summer, but our little area has fared better than some in Ontario. We were recently visiting Papa in Woodstock and Ian noticed yellow cornstalks in one parched field. Farm analysts are saying that it's the driest in recent memory and that there will be an impact on pricing for most commodities. As for the pumpkins, they seem to be thriving -- so far. Rain over the next few weeks as the pumpkins themselves develop will be key. This year the crop rotation puts the pumpkins in the field closest to the road, and in the 'back forty.'
Over 300 come to tour the farmhouse!
June 2012 - Earlier this month we were honoured to be included in Doors Open Clarington, the locally-led version of Doors Open Ontario. This fabulous initative allows participants to see behind the walls of historical buildings, buildings of culture as well as businesses and industrial facilities. Only a few visitors trickled in during the first half-hour, so we were surprised to see more than 310 people throughout the day. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit and share the history of this wonderful old farmhouse, built by the Van Nest family in the latter part of the 1800's. There was a little cleaning involved... but that means less cleaning for the summer!
It's a special day in the farm barn!
December 2011 - Christmas Day is a special day on the farm. The phone doesn't ring much... not many come up the lane. The pace is definately slower and the crisp winter day has an air of stillness about it. The girls wake up early, there's a special Christmas Day breakfast and then the presents are opened. The farm barn gets some special attention (Jenny likes to put up a tree for the animals, which makes for a family squabble each year) and the day rolls on. One thing that can't be forgotten is the thawing of the farm turkey, which is saved for the annual gathering of the Knox Clan at the farm. Last year it was 30 lbs. We nearly needed a bigger oven! Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
The last weekend before pumpkins was spent at the fair!
September 2011 - This weekend Ian took a few of our best cattle to the National Show & Sale. He didn't come home empty handed, that's for sure! We are proud to say we won best cow/calf pair at both the national and the Durham/Orono fair this year. They're a great team, this mom and her babe... Now on to showing off our beautiful pumpkins for the next four weeks;)
Bella and the rest of the family proud to see Ken awarded an Honourary Doctorate
February 2011 - Kenneth Knox Among Honorary Degree Recipients at Winter Convocation - Granddaughter Bella was proud to watch Grandad take the stage to receive an Honourary Doctorate from the University Of Guelph. Kenneth (Ken) Knox (OAC '72), president and CEO of the Innovation Institute of Ontario, was recognized by OAC, the Ontario Agricultural College, on February 24 at the War Memorial Hall. Knox spent 28 years as a provincial public servant, many of them with the ministries of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Transportation. After helping to establish the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology in 1997, he served as deputy minister to support research and technology applications.
January, 2011 - Colleagues and friends of Ken Knox, K.Dip ’61 and B.Sc.(Agr.) ’72, have established a scholarship endowment in his honour to benefit diploma, undergrad and graduate students of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). The endowment, which has already exceeded $80,000, was initiated by Bruce Archibald, B.Sc.(Agr.) ’79, M.Sc. ’84 and PhD ’93, who acknowledges Knox as his mentor.
All donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the provincial government’s Ontario Trust for Student Support program.
After retiring from a 27-year career in the Ontario government, including six years as a deputy minister, Knox is now president and CEO of the Innovation Institute of Ontario. And he is still involved in a 300-acre family farm north of Oshawa that supports educational agriculture programs. The Kenneth W. Knox Scholarships will provide experiential learning and travel opportunities for OAC students. The first grants, ranging from $1,000 to $3,500, will be awarded this fall.
Join us for an old-fashioned Christmas at the farm!
December, 2010 - Well, we've been having so much fun this October that we've decided to open up the farm for the Christmas season as well! What are your favourite holiday memories? Let us know and we'll add them to the list we've been compiling as we put together our line-up of farm activities. Can you think of anything more fun than a horse-drawn wagon ride to pick your Christmas Tree?
Along with browsing through the boo-tique for holiday gifts and knick-knacks, taking part in a live nativity, getting your picture taken in an old-fashioned cutter, along with pony rides and all our usual activities, there'll be fun activities for everyone! What do you think about carolling around a campfire, drinking hot cider and hot chocolate? Mmmm, kettle corn still warm from the kettle... The opportunites are endless, so send us your great ideas and we'll try to incoporate them! It'll be a Merry Christmas home on the farm this holiday season.
Please join us to support a cause near and dear to our hearts...
"He still doesn't have any words...He doesn't play, he just stares at a piece of string...He doesn't look at us anymore"
A conversation between family friends around the kitchen table at the Knox Pumpkin Farm in 2005 started a chain of events that would lead to a diagnosis of Autism for twin boys, Owen and Will Haley.
The third Saturday in October marks the annual Autism Awareness Day at Knox's Pumpkin Farm. "Ever since our friends, (then-residents of Bowmanville) Stacey and Jonathan's twins were diagnosed with Autism we decided to raise awareness at the farm" says Jenny, one of the farm owners. This Saturday, Ian Kruis and Jenny Knox will proudly present a donation to Kerry's Place Autism Services - Durham Region.
Autism rates have been rising steadily - even dramatically - in Canada. An estimated 190,000 Canadian children have the disorder. Recent studies have estimated that the lifetime cost to care for an individual with an ASD is $3.2 million. Families living with ASD in Durham Region are facing the following social services issues: limited services for adults with ASD, high cost and long wait lists for Intensive Behaviour Intervention (IBI) and family stress and the need for family respite.
In addition to the fun fall activities at this farm north of Courtice, this Saturday the farm folks at Knox's Pumpkin Farm will adorn the barn with facts about autism awareness. Educating the Durham community about agriculture and farm animals isn't the only thing that the farmers are hoping to accomplish.
"One year a mother was reading our autism awareness information in the barn, which led her to realize that her four year old was possibly afflicted with this disorder. It later led to his diagnosis," says Ian. "With autism, early diagnosis is beneficial. Our community, like others across North America, has many families affected by this disorder. This cause is near and dear to our hearts and we are hoping for a good turnout, rain or shine."
But where are the rubber duckies?!August 2010 - Oh, what a beautiful sight... Farmer Ken brought all the tractors out for a bath on a fine summer day...
Why is Farmer Jenny no longer 'taking it easy' this pumpkin season?
October 27, 2009 - We're over the moon to announce the arrival of Grace Anne on Tuesday, October 27 at 8:01 in the evening. Jenny went into labour as Ian was leading a morning school tour, and thankfully Farmer Elizabeth was able to take over the afternoon tour! We're glad Grace waited safely inside until the end of October, so that Jenny was able to work during the two busiest days we've ever had at the farm;)
She's a healthy, beautiful little baby, weighing 8 lbs 6 oz and 21.5 inches long. Big sister Bella is very excited about the arrival of her little sister and the fact that there's now room for her to sit on mommy's lap again. Thanks to all for your support during this very trying month for a very pregnant Farmer Jenny!
Order your tickets now!September 2009 - Please join us to break bread at Durham Region�s largest harvest table! On Saturday, October 3, a Harvest Dinner is being held at Knox's Pumpkin Farm as part of the fourth annual Gates Open: Savour Durham weekend showcase of regional farms and culinary delights. A four-course gourmet meal of locally produced farm fresh food will be prepared and served by Kings Court Catering, live music will entertain and a dance will follow with featured band the Dirt Squirrel Allstars. The event is held in partnership with Durham Region, Durham Region Tourism, Durham Farm Fresh Marketing Association, and Kings Court Catering.
Event details: Gates Open: Savour Durham Harvest Dinner on Saturday, October 3, 2009. Reception at 6 p.m. Dinner at 7 p.m. Dance to follow. Attire is western/casual wear, with a prize for the most decked out cowpokes.
Tickets are $50 per person. Seating is harvest-table style. Please note that this is an age of majority event. To purchase tickets, please contact Kings Court Catering (905-623-4277) by September 25.
Click here to view the invitation. We hope you're able to join us in this celebration of the harvest!
As posted by Metroland!
Farmyard fun isn't just for the kids any more. This weekend (Oct. 3 and 4) Gates Open: Savour Durham also entices adults with a bucolic day away, touring farm markets, watching cooking demos and enjoying a harvest dinner. Sure, the kids will meet baby animals and bounce through fields on wagon rides, but on Saturday night, the adults can sit down to a four-course gourmet feast of local food and wine in the new barn at Knox's Pumpkin Farm. A country band and prizes for the best hat and boots promise to make this a memorable evening.
This year, four new farms will be added to the annual self-guided tour showcasing farms, food and rural attractions. They include: Musthaven Farms (for a milking demo), Ashton Maple Products (for a sugar shack tour and syrup tasting), Maple Winds Farm (to see a live sow and piglets) and Valleyview Farm (to meet dairy goats). Enjoy a wagon ride through the orchard at Ocala Winery, sample fruit wine and food pairings at Archibald Orchards and watch the sheep shearing and dog trails at Greendale Farm. You can even meet the alpacas, the fleece of which is being spun into yarn at Heronview Alpacas.
Farm fun continues through the month of October with pick-your-own pumpkin visits. Knox's Pumpkin Farm in Hampton turns the farm into a playground with its straw jump and corn maze. www.knoxpumpkinfarm.com... Visit www.durhamtourism.ca for more information on events and other attractions.
Betty Zyvatkauskas is a Durham Tourism writer. Look for her columns each month in This Week and her blog at www.newsdurhamregion.com.
Pick Durham Fresh!June 2009 - Championed by the Clarington Board of Trade and the Agricultural Advisory Committee of Clarington, the Clarington Farmer's market is once again open for business!
Located at Newcastle Memorial Arena, just off the 401 Mill Street exit in Newcastle, the market offers a unique line-up of quality products - Durham Farm Fresh Produce, along with specialty items, not found in many markets. Pick up your wild bird seed for your backyard friends or, treat your pal to a selection of quality Dog Treats. Baked goods including artisan breads, sweet rolls, and cornmeal buns or, try a loaf of Black Bean & Raisin Bread. Purchase frozen chicken selections from Clements Poultry, a Clarington institution for over 50 years - try Snowden's delicious meat pies - baked goods including pies, butter tarts and lemon squares by a number of great vendors or, take away Durham Fresh, " number one" White or, Portabella Mushrooms.
Hours of Operation: Sundays 10:00 am to 2:00 pm - Opening May 24 with our Grand Opening on Sunday June 14. Open every Sunday until Thanksgiving week-end.
Driving Directions: Take the Newcastle Mill Street exit north off Hwy. 401 to Edward Street. Turn west (left) on Edward St. - one block to the arena parking lot.
Durham Farm Connections 2009
April 2009 - Durham Farm Connections is in it's fourth year, and this year promises to the best ever! FC was setup to enhance knowledge, understanding and appreciation of agriculture and the Agri-Food industry within the Durham Region.
Members of the public are invited to attend the Open House on Wednesday, April 8 at the Vipond Memorial Arena in Brooklin from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Meet farmers from across Durham Region and their livestock; learn how to protect our soil, air and water; learn about crops and farm machinery; and view agricultural murals made by participating schools. While admission is free, donations of canned goods will be gratefully accepted on behalf of the local food bank. Check out the website at www.durhamfarmconnections.ca.
Have you hugged your farmer today?
February 2008 - By February 12th, 2009, the average Canadian will have earned enough income since the beginning of January to pay his or her individual grocery bill for the entire year. In observing Food Freedom Day, farmers in Ontario and across the country celebrated their role in providing consumers with one of the safest and most affordable food supplies in the world.
Food Freedom Day occurred slightly later in 2009 due to the recent rise in the price of food. This bucks the trend of recent years, where the disposable income of Canadians rose significantly faster than the cost of food. However, thanks to farmers, Canadians still get the best deal in the western world for their food dollar,� says Bette Jean Crews, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA).
In many parts of the world, the cost of food is significantly higher. Member countries within the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), on average, spend 8.3% more of their disposable income on food than Canadians. Australians spend 12.7% more, the Japanese spend 35.7% more, and Mexicans spend over 125% more of their disposable income on food than Canadians. In 2008, while prices in some agriculture commodities rose, Canadian farmers continued to take only a very small percentage of the consumers� food dollar at the store. In 2005, a grain farmer received $0.07 for the corn in a box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes and $0.11 for the wheat in a loaf of bread. Given the processed nature of many consumer foods, it is far more likely that an increase in energy costs played a much larger role in the retail price increase.
Canadians continued to receive high quality food produced at the highest food safety and environmental standards. To ensure that consumers are able to identify Canadian food products and support our agriculture sector, the OFA, together with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, will continue to advocate for effective ingredient-based 'Product of Canada' guidelines that are both informative to the consumer and practical to the agri-food industry.
Crews adds �in order to maintain a sustainable local food system, Ontarians need to buy local food and support the agricultural industry.� Agriculture is the second largest economic contributor and third largest employer in Ontario.
Local chef on-hand to help visitors 'Savour Durham'
October 2008 - We were pleased to be a part of the GATES OPEN - SAVOUR DURHAM tour - which features 16 participating farms across beautiful Durham Region. Geissberger Farmhouse Cider Mill was here to demonstrate apple cider pressing, and Kevin Anyan, owner of Kings Court Catering made yummy Pumpkin Chickpea Curry Soup (click on Kings Court to be linked to the recipe), and the 'Today's Parent' magazine photo contest was a blast - hope you won!
Receiving Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence
June 2008 - It was an honour to receive this prestigious award on behalf of Mary Anne Found and the Durham Farm Connections gang, as well as to meet with other recipients in an award ceremony with Ontario's Minister of Agriculture. Setup to enhance the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of agriculture and the Agri-Food industry within Durham Region, the committee members use lots of talent and expertise to help spread the good word.
The ceremony took place near Belleville, and you can see more (including Jenny's photo with the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Leona Dombrowsky) at OMAFRA.
An Ode to our Beloved Archie
Febuary 2008 - We are sad to report the passing of our beloved farm mascot, Archie the Turkey. On the weekend, Ian noticed that Archie was looking a little peaked, and we are guessing that he died of old age.
For anyone who didn't have the opportunity to get to know Archie, he was no turkey. When the school buses arrived he would waddle out and meet the bus, and chaperone the classes around from station to station. When Isabella was spending her summer days crawling around the lawn last summer, Archie fluffed up his feathers at anyone who dared approach. When a wolf or coyote dared enter the paddocks or the barn, we would be alerted by Archie. And finally, what other bird would let our visitors touch their waddle? It is not likely that another turkey will ever have the same regal, professional and loyal characteristics of our dear tour-guide. Rest now, dear Archie. You will be missed by all your farm friends.
This Year it's February 3, 2008
Febuary 2008 - Food Freedom Day, February 3, is the calendar date representing when Canadians earned enough income to pay the grocery bill for the entire year.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture calculates that it takes just 34 (down from 37 last year) days from January 1st to acquire the income needed to cover annual food expenses (on a per capita basis).
Canadian consumers spend on average 10.5 percent of their personal disposable income (PDI) on food expenditures. In many parts of the world, the cost of food is significantly higher.
In observing Food Freedom Day, farmers across the country will celebrate their role in providing consumers with one of the safest and most affordable food supplies in the world.
Farmer Ken Spreads the Word!
January 2008 - On a cold day in January, Farmer Ken was the keynote speaker for the FARMSMART conference in Guelph. His message centered on the changes that have taken place in farming over the last 40 years, what changes are predicted for the next 40 - and what tools farmers will need to adapt and remain successful. http://www.uoguelph.ca/farmsmart/
Farmer Ian returns as the Prez!
January 2008 - For a second term, Ian will be doing his part for the current and future farmers of Durham Region by serving as President of the Durham Farm Fresh Marketing Association. This is a group comprised of farm markets, producers and restaurants in Durham that is poised to capitalize on the current 'buy local' food trend. www.durhamfarmfresh.ca
Ian, Jenny and Bella return to the embryo farm!
January 2008 - On a recent trip to France, we stopped in to visit the home of our embryo calves. We were greeted with a warm welcome and a tour of the barn, where we were once again in awe of the size of their cattle. Marl�ne and Dominique Puech recently exported a bull to Ecuador, and all three of their university-aged children, Christel, Fabien and Aubinare, are pursuing careers in agriculture. The industry is lucky, for they are all incredibly well-educated in ag issues and will bring alot to the future of farming. As for other french animals, we almost ran into a giant wild boar in the middle of an evening drive through the Pyrenees mountain range. They sure grow them BIG in France... http://www.chez.com/firfin/elevage/
The 2007 Royal Winter Fair wows again!
November 2007 - We always love going to the Royal Winter Fair, and it's even better when we get a chance to work a little, too! It's amazing to watch all of city people learning about what farmers do, and an amazing opportunity for farmers to get together and learn from each other. It really is a great event put on by people who love agriculture - and it shows. Their school program is also an excellent opportunity for teachers to meet curriculum requirements.
This year our Percheron team did very well with the help of the Barron family, who showed off their best characteristics. And Bella's best characteristics were on show as well, as the autumn posterchild for the Durham Region Tourism "Good Natured, Good Times" advertising campaign. www.theknoxfarm.com http://www.durhamtourism.ca/
The future is green!
November 2007 - Through Durham Farm Fresh Marketing Association, we took part in the first GreenStar Expo & Awards in Ajax. It was really neat to see the various business in the area that have produced innovative and forward-thinking products and services that can help residents and businesses do their part to save the planet. And it was a well run event by Kerri King and her merry gang of elves. Our friends the Geissbergers were on hand with their apple cider samples - I think the crowd was impressed! http://greenstarawards.com/
Another season comes and goes!
October 2007 - It really was a great month. Overall, the weather cooperated (one day people were even wearing shorts and tank tops!) and so did the animals, staff and customers;) With the help of our amazing staff and friends and family volunteers, we pulled off the busiest day in pumpkin farm history without a hitch! Once again our school programs were successful, with the help of 'Farmers' Christa, Laura, Jaime, Emily, and we were lucky to have the mid-month return of Farmer Bateman.
We continued in our tradition of holding a fundraising and awareness day for autism, which was started a few years ago after friends Stacey and Jonathan found out that their twins, Owen and Will, have autism. Although there was much talk about autism in the fall election platforms, Ontario continues to drop the ball on service provision for children diagnosed with autism. Because of this, the Haleys moved out west to Alberta last year, where the twins were able to immediately access provincially-funded therapy and have benefitted immensely. Meanwhile in Ontario, there are hundreds of children with autism who are missing out on therapy in the most critical years... The Haley family has an excellent blog that we visit to keep current their news, but we were still sooo happy that they were home for a quick visit in October. http://www.willowjak.blogspot.com/ http://www.kerrysplace.com/
Energizing the World Percheron Congress!
October 2007 - Be sure to look for our new advertisement in the upcoming Draft Horse Journal magazine. This highlights our Mare 6 Horse Hitch, driven by Dan Barron, our Champion Mare Double G Brandilyn and the outstanding colt First Start Acres Energizer. He will available at the Gordyville sale, and we are very pleased to be donating the proceeds from his sale to the 2008 World Percheron Congress. https://www.drafthorsejournal.net/
Knox cattle and horses hit the circuit!
September 2007 - As fair season draws to a close, and the percheron horses and blonde d'aquitaine cattle settle back into the straw, we are thankful for a good showing overall. We showed at Rockton, Norfolk, Lindsay, Navan, Percy, Campbellford, Orono, the CNE and the Royal Winter Fair. We won some and we lost some, and we learned alot, had fun and came home with a bushel basket or two of ribbons and trophies (okay, maybe a cold or two as well after sleeping in the barns!).
Our show team crew consisted of Ian, Bella, Krystin, Alex, Emma, Kevin, Ashley, Jen, and the the whole Barron Family. Thanks everyone for another great year. There's a listing of the '08 fairs at: http://www.ontariofairs.com/, and don't forget to check out the percheron and blonde webpages through www.theknoxfarm.com!
START YOUR FAMILY TRADITION AT THIS ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEAR OLD FAMILY FARM!
October 2007 - Nestled into the countryside just north of Courtice, this historic farm offers lots of fun for the whole family. Young and old alike delight in the offering of weekend fall activities, free with admission of $5 for children aged 2-15, which include a corn maze, farm animals, a straw jump, a jumping castle, a story reading room, a colouring station, wagon rides out to the pumpkin patch, and face painting. Additional activities are family photo station ($5), scarecrow making ($15), and pony rides ($3). "The genuine farm atmosphere, coupled with century old trees that frame a property filled with hundreds of orange-hued pumpkins and fall activities all add up to the ideal family outing" says Jennifer Knox, who manages the farm along with her father Kenneth and husband Ian Kruis.
Indeed, many families visiting the farm come back year after year - and they have been spreading the word! Many new visitors to the farm have heard about it from their own friends and family, and quickly become repeat visitors themselves after this special farm steals their heart.
Decorate your home with items from the farm market, which include every size of pumpkin imaginable along with straw bales, cornstalks, gourds, and Indian corn. Add some country flavour to your dinner table by picking up some pies, loaves, candy apples and other goodies from the bake table. For families prolonging their stay at the farm, a hotdog lunch is available.
This October over 150 school classes are visiting the farm, with the farm being overrun during the evenings as well by group tours. A phenomenal response has been received from area teachers who rave about the high quality of school programs offered by the experienced staff at the farm. "Our school programs are curriculum-based, and are available for all primary grade levels throughout the year" says Mr. Kruis, himself a primary school French Special-Education teacher in Bowmanville, Ontario. "We feel that agricultural education is a vital component to a student's primary education, and as development increases in Durham Region we are fortunate that we are able to provide this to local children - some of whom have never before had the opportunity to visit a farm".
A third generation family farm, it is the invaluable help of family and friends that keeps the operation, originally a dairy farm, going strong. "Many people have strong ties to this property", says Mr. Knox, "and by everyone pitching in day after day, we're able to offer the public a glimpse of life on a farm, as it was a century ago, as it is today, and as it will hopefully be a century from now".
Directions to the farm: The farm is located at 6325 Enfield Rd. (just north of Mitchell's Corners off Taunton). From 401 take Courtice Rd. Turn left on Taunton Rd. Turn right on Enfield Rd. Follow signs!