Meet Jonathan and Shannon Young, descendants of Springbank homesteaders, who have expanded the definition of what livestock can be.
And Janna and Ryan Greir, keen explorers of the 21st century synergies between technology and animal husbandry.
These local producers represent the ever-evolving nature of ranching in Southern Alberta – where the balance between food production, animal welfare, environmental stewardship, and good business is an ever more complex affair.
Then take the opportunity to meet more of the amazing people who produce our food, by visiting some of the tours, tastings, and activities occurring around the province during this weekend’s Alberta Open Farm Days event (August 13 & 14). You’ll find their passion contagious, their farm operations captivating, and the food – always delicious, of course!
As a food lover and a gardener, I love this time of year in Calgary. The promise of new growth, warm scents, and fresh flavours always makes my heart beat a little faster.
So, too, does the opportunity to speak with our local food producers about their passion for tapping into Nature’s ingenuity and bringing her gifts to the community.
It’s a tough and ever-more-complicated business, this vocation of farming, and I am continually awed by the dedication, acumen, optimism, and sheer stamina demonstrated by those who put food on our tables. The farmers I meet are always generous with their time and I learn so much from every conversation. I’m honoured to be able to share just a slice of their stories on the pages of Savour Calgary magazine.
In the current issue, I profile an industry icon, a farmers’ market mainstay, and a Lethbridge duo who are making inroads into the Calgary marketplace. You can read their stories here.
Next month, watch for several meat producers who – each in their own way – have stretched the definition of what it means to be a farmer.
Here’s to sunshine, sufficient rain, and a generous summer!
I flip the hood over my head; blink twice as my vision adjusts to the mesh hanging in front of my face. I ask for a final inspection of my suit and the beekeeper rips the Velcro away for readjustment before patting it firmly over the zippers at my neck.
“Looks good,” she says. “Are you ready?”
I am SO ready.
“Let’s do this,” I say. And I pick my way through the dandelions toward a pair of bee boxes bright against the sky.
I’ve arrived at Chinook Honey Company – just a stone’s throw from Okotoks’ Big Rock erratic – to join seven other participants in the farm’s BACKSTAGE WITH THE BEES experience. It’s my own personal tribute to 2021’s Year of the Beekeeper – and a good excuse to indulge my fondness for honey…
Read more about my experience as a wanna-be beekeeper HERE – or in this month’s issue of SAVOUR CALGARY magazine.
What a GREAT time for local food in Alberta! Alberta Local Food Week is upon us, bringing with it SO many ways to discover the diversity of food and drink produced right here in our backyard:
Alberta on the Plate 2021 Dine Around kicked off this weekend and runs through August 15, with 80+ restaurants across the province offering fixed price menus featuring local producers AND recommended local craft beer or local spirit cocktail pairings. There’s lunch, dinner, gourmet dinners, and takeout – find full details and menus here or follow them on Instagram or Facebook.
Open Farm Days runs this Saturday and Sunday (August 14 & 15) with 100+ Alberta farmers inviting you to see what they do and to taste what they produce. Use the online portal to plan your stops and schedule your visit times.
Apologies to my wee band of followers for not including a direct link in my previous post to the Great Growers article in this month’s Savour Calgary magazine. And thanks to those of you who clicked through multiple links to eventually find it!
Let’s just attribute the omission to too many Friday distractions. The link is now included in the Farmers’ Day post – but to keep it simple, you can also read the article here.
One of the great aspects of my gig writing for Savour Calgary magazine is the opportunity to sit down with farmers and talk about their life’s work. Their passion never ceases to amaze me and it’s a privilege to be an ear with which they choose to share it.
While the covid vaccine roll-out numbers continue to climb, so, too, does the hope that we’ll be able to explore a little beyond our neighbourhoods later this year.
As you look ahead to the summer and fall, consider some of the great close-to-home destinations covered in the current issue of Taste & Travel International magazine – including Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley, which I was fortunate to visit in 2020.
A global pandemic is hardly an optimal scenario for opening a new restaurant venture. But many Calgary chefs did exactly that – proving that where passion and ingenuity ignite, there’s no putting out the flame.
What does it take to be a chef-entrepreneur during times of adversity? I sat down with Chef Jinhee Lee, Chef Connie DeSousa, and Chef Jenny Kang to find out.
You can read what they had to say here – or in the March/April issue of Savour Calgary magazine. Some of their comments may surprise you!
“It was 2003 and time for the talk. Like many propositions put forward to tweens, it might not go well.
And the proposition we were making to our son and daughter? We wanted to take them travelling at Christmas…”
What fantasy world is this?
In the Year of the Pandemic, travel feels like a distant dream – and carving the usual Christmas traditions out of 2020 is looking as possible as returning to 2003.
Christmas parties? Gone from the calendar. Community celebrations? Better get the laptop going. Family gatherings? Uh-uh – not if we want to keep Grandma & Grandpa healthy, the kids in school come January, and our own workplaces and businesses open.
Keeping our collective chin up seems to take a little more energy each day.
Enter Savour Calgary magazine, whose holiday issue just hit the stands last week. It isn’t going to flatten the second curve or generate a new covid vaccine. It won’t bring distant family members home for the holidays. It won’t bring us any closer to that light at the tunnel’s end.
But it just might offer a wee bit of first aid. Call it a thin string of lights to brighten up that tunnel wall.
The November/December issue is unabashedly Christmas focused. Dishes up big sides of nostalgia. Brings global experiences to Calgary and points to ways we can enjoy them right here at home.
And among its stories are different slants on what it means to celebrate Christmas – and a reminder of the joy found in solitude, too.
So if you’re looking for escape, fresh inspiration, that fruitcake recipe you lost, or just a small smile, check out this digital copy of the new issue or look here for where you can find a free paper copy to thumb through with your glass of mulled wine.
Me, I’m a sucker for all of those things – and happy to contribute a story to Savour Calgary, too. (That’s an excerpt at the top of this page. You can read the full text of “DOUGHNUTS TO DOSAS: A Christmas Tale” here).
My strategy this year is to set aside what I’ll be missing and focus instead on how to make “different” into something good.
Best wishes to everyone for the holiday season – no matter how or what you celebrate. This, too, will be just a memory some day. There’s still some choice to be had in what that memory might be.