Adventures in a winter wonderland

I think I’ve found my new favourite thing about U of T: its reach extends even beyond the City of Toronto limits. That’s right – about an hour’s drive away from sky-high Robarts and huge lecture halls, you’ll find U of T’s very own sweet escape… aka, the Hart House Farm. Last weekend I had the chance to go out there for the annual Winter Carnival event, and it was SO NICE to get away from the city for a bit. That was my second time out there since the start of this academic year, and it was even more fun than the last trip. I pretty much love all things nature, so the combination of the great outdoors + good company + yummy Caribbean food really boosted my spirits. Talk about #joyatUofT! So, what exactly is there to do on a farm in the winter? Well, we actually spent quite a bit of the day outside exploring the grounds. The farm is a really great place to get some fresh air, some exercise, and some great scenic photos all at once. I still remember how beautiful the multi-coloured leaves looked during the fall. Right now though, the ground is white and the trees are lined with snow so that it feels like you are trekking through a winter wonderland. No true nature walk is complete without the sight of some wildlife, and sure enough we had quite the entertaining encounter with a very bold pheasant… Like we’re talking pecking-our-boots kinda bold. And at one point she was even chasing me!! It was actually hilarious - check out the video footage. And once we survived that, we made our way to even more awesomeness: the wooden sauna and frozen pond that served as a rink!! It was too bad that no one had mentioned the pond to me ahead of time, or I totally would have brought my skates out. But a few people came prepared and spent the afternoon out on the ice. And some people even braved the cold and did a “polar bear dip” into a small hole in the pond!!
Ice skating on the frozen pond!
I’m so glad that I discovered Hart House Farm this year. I mean, I had read/heard about it before, but I was kind of just like “oh cool” and forgot about it. Now though, I’m looking forward to getting more involved with the Farm Committee and spending as much time out there as I can over my next two years at U of T. I think that a visit to the farm should definitely be on every student’s grad bucket list! The Farm Committee hosts four events every year, one during each season. It’s a great group of people and they always welcome volunteers to help out. But if you’ve got your own transportation, then you can also book the farm and head out there anytime – just get in touch with the HUB at Hart House or send an e-mail for more info. So if you are looking for a getaway, there’s one more event coming up before the end of the semester: Sugaring Off. Yes, that means maple syrup!! Stay tuned to the Facebook page for more details to come in the next month or so!
Can't wait for maple syrup mmm!

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