Saturday, February 6, 2016

NAFDMA - North American Farm Direct Marketing Association - Conference

This post actually starts back at Christmas when our children went together and gave us a vacation package to British Columbia! They knew we wanted to go there, but they didn't all know why, the NAFDMA conference! I've always wanted to go to the conference because its where the corn maze people go, also greenhouses, bee farms, farm market people, etc. People who work with people on the farm. Anyway, we were excited this week to head out to beautiful British Columbia. We flew out of Winnipeg, since it's the nearest big airport, and flew to Vancouver. The conference itself was in Abbotsford, close to Vancouver. There were lots of great workshops and then one day we took tour buses to different field locations. I went on the bus that visited the BC Department of Agriculture Ag in the Classroom program, a honeybee farm, a corn maze, and a greenhouse. Arthur's bus visited a dairy farm, chicken farm, and farmer's market. This is the Ag in the Classroom staff member showing us how they do their school tours. 

We went around in our BC tour buses.

The Honeybee Centre and their "Beestro".

The owner showed us their education center and bee harvesting room. They also had a really nice honey gift shop with everything you can imagine having to do with honey. The honey I bought was in too big of a jar and was confiscated at the airport :(  So was the tiny knife I always keep in my purse that has been there so long I forgot about. Very embarrassing getting "special" treatment! For some reason I kept the machine buzzing as I went through it :( Anyway, this man provides bee supplies for movies that need bee related things in Canada. 

I donned the bee hat. I think it was on backwards or something. I could see out just fine but the picture doesn't show it. Anyway, it was one of the only pictures I got to prove I was there!

We visited the Chilliwack Corn Maze. Of course the corn isn't actually there but they had a bunch of things to show us, including their indoor square bale maze.

Their sign showing what they have during maze season. We also visited another maze where we were served a barbeque meal. They had a neat fort, mini train, and haunted maze.

One of the speakers was one of Canada's most popular gardening experts. He was really good, and we got a chance to visit his greenhouse. I should say green houses as there were a number of them. I especially enjoyed seeing GREEN!!  How nice after months of white!

I found this groomed tree in the shape of a cactus to be pretty neat.  It had a nice price tag on it too so I didn't bring it home :) This really would've sent a flag up at customs!!

So we had a wonderful trip! The food at the convention was fantastic as were the meals Arthur and I ate out. Our hotel was nice and we even had the pool to ourselves during the week. We met a lot of fellow maze people and farmers from all over North America so there was much we all had in common. There were vendors with their displays of things to use at mazes and we came home with way more ideas than we can ever use.  As much fun as we had, home is wonderful! I can't thank our children enough for giving us the chance to do something we have talked about for years!

Meanwhile at home... You'll have to wait for another day to hear about that!

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