Connecting With Your Farmer
Knowing who, how and where your food was raised is an important part of reconnecting with your food. We have all heard of the child who thought meat and milk comes from a supermarket or that brown cows produced chocolate milk. Although these stories may seem far fetched the disconnect from the realities of farming and the consumer are very real and are not confined just to children. This is one of the reasons that we love marketing directly to the consumer. We can do our best to bridge the divide between the realities of feeding your family and the farm that grew what you are eating.
We are a small family farm and our farm is near Armena, Alberta about 1 hour southeast of Edmonton and about 3 hours northeast of Calgary. We raise our certified organic chickens, turkeys, pigs, laying hens and cattle here on the farm. Our meat is also cut, packaged and also turned into our wonderful organic sausages and deli meats in our on farm government inspected processing facility. Our land has been certified organic since 1997 and our animals certified humane through the BC SPCA since 2005. Previous to this we were certified through the Manitoba Humane Society.
From our very first flock, in the late spring, summer and early fall, all of chickens and hens are raised in movable shelters that are moved every day onto fresh grass. In the winter they are raised inside warm barns on our farm, where they have lots of natural light and room to move around and express natural behaviours. Our pigs are raised outside so that they can bask in the sun and roll in the dirt and mud. Our cattle are 100% grass fed and finished. In the summer they are moved onto fresh grass daily and in the winter are fed certified organic hay and are provided with lots of straw and windbreaks to keep them warm and dry.
Our first farmers market was in 1998 and since then we have been in many different ones throughout Alberta. We love farmers markets as they allow the consumer to meet us, their farmer, and purchase the products directly from us allowing them to know exactly where their food is coming from. We are at the Old Strathcona Farmers Market every weekend and love being there handing out sausage samples and answering your questions. During the spring, summer and fall months we are also at the St Albert Farmers Market and the Southwest Edmonton Farmers Market. Although we can not make it down to the Calgary market at Avenida as often as we would like anymore, we are still proud to be able to provide Calgary with a way to buy directly from the farm. The relationships we have built with our customers are extremely special to us and we love talking to you, being part of your lives and answering your questions. We hope that you feel connected or reconnected to your food by being able to say that you know the farmer who grows your food.
Each labour day Monday in September we invite our customers out to see the farm. They can see how the birds are raised in the winter and the summer and see our cattle in the pasture eating the grass. We love seeing the children looking at the cattle and the chickens and seeing that this is where their food comes from. We do not change anything on this day. If it is a dry year you will see the dust and thin grass. If it is a wet year you will walk in the mud and the wet lush grass. It is a wonderful day rain or shine when you can join with other people who are interested in the way that their food is raised and ask questions directly to the people who raise your food. Information on how to register will be posted at the beginning of August.
Ron, Sheila and Isaac
Although we do not have a farm store here on the farm you can still buy directly from us at several locations throughout Alberta. Some of these locations are farmers markets and some are our own retail locations. For a list of all of our own locations visit our Where To Buy Our Products Page
- Sunworks Farm