The farm gate is open at the UPA Open Door event



Kate Aley

Both country folk and city slickers came out for the 15th edition of the L'Union Producteur Agricole (UPA) Open Doors event on Sept 10. Luskville's La Riveraine, the only site within the Municipality of Pontiac, welcomed well over 100 visitors. They were able to tour the farm which dates from 1905, enjoying old machinery, tiny ponies and proud peahens, not to mention sampling some delicious pancakes.

From left, master chefs Louise Alary, Bruno Alary and Marie-Lise Couillard serving pancakes made of corn, oats, wheat or buckwheat.

The Open Door event was created to help people see where Canada's food is produced. La Riveraine, currently operated by Louise and Daniel Alary was founded by Daniel's grandfather, Jean-Baptiste. The road leading to the farm is named Odessa after Daniel's father. The farm produces grains and maple syrup and also hosts a popular sugar house restaurant in the spring.

Blacksmith for the day, Jean Laframboise was hard at work in La Riveriane's forge.

The farm also features a large collection of vintage farm machinery and a historical section with a forge and kitchen. There is also a wooden chapel housing a remarkable array of religious artifacts rescued from a decommissioned church in St. Jean-Marie Vianney, Qc. 

Local farmers and UPA members Ronald Belisle, left, and Blake Draper greeted visitors by the apple orchard.

"When people drive in, you can see them staring all around them," said Draper. "During an Open House last year, we had a young calf and a boy asked us if it was a pony. I had to ask him to repeat the question. He was about 15 years-old and he was serious. That really shows that these events are so important for education."

A tractor-drawn wagon traveled around the fields, visiting corn, wheat and soy crops.