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A family turns to agri-tourism after saving their farm in Canyon County

Posted at 4:34 PM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 00:18:48-04

CALDWELL, Idaho — Flaming Acres Farm in Caldwell will host a new harvest festival this fall for families to enjoy as they try to supplement their income through agri-tourism as they try to live up to their motto: Fun grows here on this family farm.

In 1969, the Flaming Family moved to Idaho to become farmers, but Dion and Debbie Flaming chose a different career path both becoming educators and the farm got sold off piece by piece.

Four years ago Dion bought back the 37-acre farm to keep his father Lyon's land in the Flaming family, it would have been sold off and developed.

"It was going to become industrial and I’ve lived here most of my life, I raised my kids here and we just didn’t want to see that happen," said Dion.

So now this family turns to agri-tourism to help make ends meet on this working farm with animals, corn and sunflowers and the community will have the opportunity to check out a new Harvest Festival west of Caldwell.

"You can keep agriculture alive just by coming and supporting local farms," said Ashley, Dion and Debbie's daughter who helps run the farms social media page. "We also think it is really important to bring families together."

The Harvest Festival will feature 43-different varieties of sunflowers that people can pick, might want to show up earlier to to grab those, the farm will also feature a petting zoo, a corn maze, farm games like pumpkin bowling, hay calf roping, a hay ride and also a cow train.

"It kind of just looks like a little cow that you get into and then you can ride around with your kids so that will be a lot of fun for parents," said Ashley. "We also have a tractor playground going in with huge tires that children can play on and just experience farm-life."

Dion and Debbie have now retired, but after Canyon County unanimously approved a permit for agri-tourism they have been busier than ever putting together this festival with the help of their family and friends.

“Haha, I’ve been working pretty hard and you know what it will all be worth it," said Dion.

They will also have a grill with burgers, dogs and drinks while also bringing in vendors for a farmers market.

“To support the whole idea of buying local," said Debbie. "It has just been this whole learning process of putting a whole lot of little pieces together and making a good time for the folks to enjoy.”

The Harvest Festival will help this family connect with the community, but supporting this family also helps preserve farmland in the Treasure Valley, something that is really important to the Flaming family and the next generation which includes Ashley's daughter Olivia.

"My grandma passed away this year so it is kind of a way to bring back her memory and just say thank you for being a farmer," said Ashley. "We are really grateful for the people that farm around us so we are just adding to that and especially for my daughter, I love the farm-life but I don’t live on a farm so it is cool to have her experience that."

The Harvest Festival opens this Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. The farm is located on 20046 Lower Pleasant Ridge Rd west of Caldwell.

After this weekend the festival will be open Tuesday through Friday nights from 4-8 and on the Saturday from 10-8, tickets cost $14 on Friday and Saturday and $11 during the week, children three and under get in free.