At Eat Alberta 2018: More with Less, we discussed the possibility of expanding the number of events that we host each year. Thanks to some new partnerships, we are excited to present two events this August!
When it comes to the food industry, there are many initiatives that help ensure we produce enough food to feed future generations, especially with a growing world population. This includes maintaining populations of pollinators, including bees, as they play a crucial role in our food system through supporting plant reproduction.
Edmontonians are stepping up to do their part, as permits for urban beekeeping have increased dramatically since the City of Edmonton amended the by-law in 2015. Among those permits was the one that led to the launch of MacEwan University’s Urban Beekeeping Project in 2016, which is led by its Office of Sustainability and Campus Services.
Our last stop was Happy Acres, a U-Pick in the Spruce Grove area with a wide variety of chemical-free fruits and vegetables. As with any U-Pick, availability of items are dependent on season and time of maturation, but there was certainly no shortage when we stopped in with nearly 20 fruits, vegetables and herbs to chose from! They have a sales centre with farm fresh eggs, honey and ice cream (with peanut-free options, which makes me happy) and a gift shop with unique home and garden novelties.
Irvings Farm Fresh Ltd. is owned and operated by Alan and Nicola Irving and located near Round Hill, Alberta. Although both were very experienced in agriculture, they had no idea when they moved their family to Canada in 2005 that they would be raising pigs! When they arrived here, they realized that many of the British pork products they loved in England were not available in Alberta, so they purchased a batch of Berkshire pigs and decided to make their own sausages for family and friends.
By Tianna Albrecht
Although it was a bit cooler than the August summer weekend many were hoping for, it was perfect for an Alberta farm road trip! Alberta Farm Days had been written on my calendar for weeks and we were excited!
As their website states, Alberta Open Farm Days is a collaborative, province-wide, two-day event that gives Albertans an opportunity to experience the farm and understand where their food comes from. Open Farm Days started over 10 years ago in the Maritimes, but 2017 marked the fifth annual Open Farm Days in Alberta. This year, over 100 farms participated and featured 16 culinary events, so we had to be selective on our tour (especially since taking the scenic backroad to Ponoka got us lost, decreasing our farm-visit efficiency).
Rock Ridge Dairy and Irvings Farms may be familiar to many Edmontonians, with their products available for purchase at places like the Strathcona Market and Blush Lane Organic Market, or popping up on menus, such as Cafe Linnea. Since we personally consume these products on the regular (5% whole Jersey milk elevates our Nespresso cappuccinos to gourmet levels), we wanted to see exactly where they come from and learn a few things along the way.
From August 28 - September 2, the Eat Alberta blog will be home to Tianna’s Open Farm Days road trip adventures. Monday's post features a tour of Rock Ridge Dairy from one of our newest members.
No matter how much the world changes, people will always strive to put food on their kitchen tables. Agricultural production has come a long way over the years, as automated machinery and new technology allow Canadian farmers to sustainably feed a growing world population. However, it is also through their hard work and determination that Canadians get to enjoy a wide variety of locally-grown fruits, vegetables, crops, dairy and meats.
So today, on Canada's Agriculture Day 2017, Eat Alberta would like to "celebrate the food we love" by taking a moment to say, "Thank you," to all of the incredible farmers in Alberta and in Canada.
If you are interested in learning more about Canada's Agriculture Day, check Agriculture More Than Ever's website. Or, learn more about some of the agricultural groups in Alberta through clicking on the links below.
Alberta Beef Producers
Alberta Beekeepers Commission
Alberta Chicken Producers
Alberta Elk Commission
Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association
Alberta Goat Breeders Association
Alberta Lamb Producers
Alberta Pulse Growers
Alberta Sugar Beet Growers
Alberta Turkey Producers
Alberta Wheat Commission
Bison Producers of Alberta
Egg Farmers of Alberta
Potato Growers of Alberta