From the left: Taylor Sherrer and Erica Gauthier are shown as they enter the 40-acre sunflower garden at Fields of Gold on July 23. Thompson Goddard Photo

NORTH STORMONT – The weather on July 23 cooperated for the grand opening of the 2022 season at Fields of Gold in Monkland; now in its second year of providing visitors with the opportunity to spend some time outdoors enjoying all that nature has to offer. Jakob Vogel, who operates the business with his wife Stephanie Allen, explained the 2022 season will run from now until approximately the beginning of September.

Erica Gauthier and Taylor Sherrer were two people taking advantage of the warm July weather to visit Fields of Gold. “It’s a nice thing to do on a weekend,” commented Sherrer, while Gauthier mentioned she enjoyed walking in nature while enjoying seeing her favourite flower, the sunflower!

Vogel mentioned the sunflower field has increased from 15 to 40 acres this year. These tall and beautiful flowers are beginning to bloom. He explained sunflowers are generally harvested in November, with the seeds produced each year used in bird seed production and new certified seed planted each year.

“We are really excited to add new experiences” this year, said Vogel. And he commented, there were several new activities at Fields of Gold; these include a “Pick Your Own Flowers” garden area, pumpkin patch and photo op locations. Vogel mentioned flower varieties in the PYOF area include marigolds, sweet peas, and gladiolus and they are beginning to bloom. He continued the opportunity to pick your own flowers will be offered between 10 a.m. and noon on Friday, Saturday and Sundays and that pre-booking is necessary.

Walking along the trail, visitors will notice a large corn field; shortly this field will be made into a corn maze for people to enjoy. Vogel explained there is also a pumpkin patch where pumpkins of several different colours will be available for picking in the fall. In current development is a children’s area with outdoor games becoming available.

He mentioned visitors can enjoy refreshments, including drinks, popcorn from Happy Popcorn and sweet treats at an onsite snack truck. Working in collaboration with local businesses, guests are offered the opportunity to purchase jewelry, merchandise as well as basic apparel items such as hats from local artisans on site. Pre-picked flower bunches are available for purchase from the flower truck across from the snack truck. Visitors are encouraged to take photos at photo op locations at the flower truck or along the trail as they walk out to the sunflower field.

Vogel mentioned the goal of Fields of Gold was to provide people with an enjoyable outdoor experience during the pandemic when it opened in 2021; he mentioned the first year “went very well.”

“Overall, so humbled and grateful for the support from the community and business partners,” he expressed how eventually their goal is to become a year-round business in the coming years.

More information on Fields of Gold can be found on their social media sites.