Connecting With Your Farmers
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, sheep, laying hens and cattle here on the farm. Our poultry is processed here on the farm and all of our meat is cut and packaged in our on farm government inspected processing facility. Our sausages are made here on the farm by hand. Our land has been certified organic since 1997 and our animals have been Certified Humane since 1999.
In the late spring, summer and early fall, all of chickens, turkeys and laying 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 sheep are raised outside and are moved every few days onto fresh grass. In the winter they are fed hay and a small amount of oats.
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.
Sheila is at the Old Strathcona Farmers Market every Saturday and loves making connections and answering your questions. During the winter Ron is at the Edmonton Downtown Market every Saturday and right now is is also at our newest stall at the Calgary Farmers Market every Thursday and Friday. He also pops into our stall at Fresh and Local Market and Kitchens at Avenida every once in a while. In the summer Ron is at the St. Albert Farmers Market on Saturday and the Southwest Edmonton Farmers Market on Wednesday. Although we can not be at every farmers market or location as much as we would like anymore, we are still proud to be able to provide our customers with lots of convenient locations 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. After two years of this event being canceled due to Covid 19 we are hopeful that we will be able to have this event again in 2022. Information on how to register will be posted at the beginning of August. If you would like to see 2020’s Virtual Family Farm Days videos please follow this link https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sunworks+farm+virtual+family+farm+day
Ron and Sheila
- Sunworks Farm