This past weekend, we visited Carma Farms in Markham (11471 Ninth Line)!
This farm offers an opportunity for visitors to feed their farm animals and a place to shop for local goods! I had seen photos from many friends who had visited this local farm with their toddlers and how they were able to feed the animals. Everyone who I’ve seen visit this farm has raved about it. So when some plans fell through this weekend, I thought about where we could make the best of a nice autumn day and I’m so glad that Carma Farms popped up in my mind for us to visit.
Carma Farms is open from 9 a.m. to 4 to 6 p.m. (depending on the day). They have a few parking spots on site but we also saw some cars park on the side of the road before you turn in. We arrived right at noon and was able to find a parking spot in their lot.
From what I heard from friends, admission to the farm used to be free but now it is $2 per person. It’s free for babies under one year old. Two dollars is still really reasonable and respectable for a limitless admission to the farm. For $5, you can also get a bucket full of vegetables and dried corn to feed the animals! (You actually pay $10 upfront but when you return the empty bucket at the end, you get $5 back.)
We immediately saw the animals when we entered the farm area. There were sheep, pigs, goats, piglets, chickens, cows, piglets, ducks. All of the animals were so eager for food which made it so fun for all of us to take turns feeding the animals. It was the perfect opportunity for our toddler to get up close and personal with the animals too. There is a wire fence separating the animals and the visitors, so it is quite safe. (Of course, you still have to supervise your child to make sure that the animals don’t accidentally mistake your child’s small fingers as carrots!)
It was nice to see the animals all in good health and hygiene. Some of the animals’ coats were especially beautiful and healthy!
We found that the animals near the end of the path (it’s a square path that you walk in) were more hungry than the ones in the starting part. So if you want to feed some really enthusiastic animals, you might want to turn right when you walk in instead of straight ahead.
There were a lot of pumpkins that you could take photos with too as well as tractors, an old rustic fire truck, photo stand-ins, and more. They also have picnic tables along the path and an area with a cluster of picnic tables near the end of the path. Had we known how much our toddler enjoyed the visit, we would have packed more snacks and ate there at the picnic tables so that we could further extend our stay. I liked that there was no time limit either. You could literally spend hours there for a full day of fun if you wanted to.
Before we left, we checked out the shop and market. They sold many different varieties of large and small pumpkins, brussels sprouts on a stalk (rare sight), apples, cauliflowers, peppers, to name a few. They had an entire section for baked goods: pies, tarts, brownies as well as honey and jams. They also had ice cream and lots of locally grown meats like breakfast sausages, ham, and bacon in their freezers too. We picked up a coconut cream pie, head of cauliflower, two pumpkins for $5, and a gourd. Our small grocery haul was very affordable and inexpensive. The toddler had fun with the basket too by throwing in the small pumpkins and apples (I had to make sure everything was put back in place before we left).
They have a handicapped friendly porta-potty on their parking lot, but that was about it for restroom facilities that I could see.
We had so much fun feeding the animals and walking through the farm that day. I would definitely visit again!
To boot, it was a beautiful autumn day too, about 18 degrees, overcast with a bit of wind — a clear refreshing breeze — and best of all, the summer humidity is all gone!
(We tried the coconut cream pie from The Pie Place at home the next day. Even though the recommendation was to heat it up in the oven, we ate it straight from the fridge and it was so delicious. The rich and sweet coconut cream contrasted nicely with the crunchy texture on the surface of the pie.)