Breakfast on the Farm Event Draws a Big Crowd at Blackrapids Farm

It’s one thing to have some people over for breakfast.

But on Sat., June 22, Peter Ruiter and his family hosted 2,800 people for a farm fresh breakfast at Blackrapids Farm at Prince of Wales and Fallowfield on the edge of Barrhaven.

The event was part of the Breakfast on the Farm program held by Farm and Food Care Ontario.

“We weren’t really sure how many people were going to get,” said Ruiter. “We had enough food for 3,000 so everyone was able to get breakfast.”

The program gave the opportunity for visitors to learn about the world of agriculture and witness firsthand the variety of food produced right here in Ontario. Experts, including farmers and agricultural groups, were on hand to provide insights and answer any questions for an engaging and enlightening experience for visitors.

Visitors to the farm had to register in advance. There was a shuttle bus running between the Fallowfield Park and Ride in Barrhaven to the farm.

The farm is unique because of the technology used in the barn. Ruiter’s farm was destroyed by fire several years ago, resulting in the loss of 88 cows. When he rebuilt the farm, it was done with the latest in technology and robotic farming.

“The advancements in technology have attracted a lot of young people to be interested in farming,” Ruiter said. “A lot of young people who may have turned away from farming are now being drawn to it.”

The Ruiter family has operated Balckrapids Farm for 62 years. Peter’s parents, originally from the Netherlands, started the farm in the early 1960s.

Their farm is home to 110 animals and showcases the impressive innovation and technology used in farming today. At the breakfast, the Ruiter family encouraged Barrhaven residents to visit Blackrapids farm to tour a modern dairy barn and witness firsthand how robots seamlessly handle tasks such as milking and feeding, reflecting the Ruiter Family’s commitment to efficiency and sustainability.

In the rotation of cows, Ruiter keeps several cows across Prince of Wales in a field that is part of the farm.

Throughout the years, the most common question Ruiter is asked is how he gets the cows across the busy Prince of Wales Drive. When asked how many guests asked him that question during the event, he responded by saying “all of them.”

Theories have floated through the community that perhaps there is an underground tunnel under Prince of Wales Drive, or even that Ruiter, who is 6’10” and build like Paul Bunyon, hoists the dairy cows on his shoulders and walks across the road.

“I have to come up with a good story for people when they ask that question,” he said. “Once we had a helicopter do some fertilizing for us. People driving by were so busy looking up and watching that there were nearly accidents on the road.”

The Breakfast on the Farm program runs an average of three events per year. The event at Blackrapids Farm marked the first time that a farm in Ottawa has been a host.

Peter Ruiter of Blackrapids Farm had about 2,800 people over for breakfast on June 22.