Hanging with the Honey Bees

Hanging with the Honey Bees
Credit: C. Van Brunschot

IT’S TIME.

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.

Alberta Local Food Week

Winter family w their turkey flock
Credit: Winter’s Turkeys

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. 

Need more inspiration?  Read “Meet the Producers” and “The Bison Whisperers” in the current issue of Savour Calgary magazine – featuring several ranchers who have knocked the socks off Debra Smith and myself of late.  Look for Savour Calgary on these newsstands around the Calgary region.

#ABlocalfood #ABonthePlate #localfood #supportlocal

Text © 2021 Catherine Van Brunschot

More on Great Growers

Allpa Vertical Farms Team
Credit: Bonafide Media & PR

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.

It’s Farmers’ Day in Alberta!

Dancing Goats Farm
Craig Sanok & Paul Chambers (Credit: Dancing Goats Farm)

Happy Alberta Farmers’ Day!

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.

This month’s issue of Savour Calgary magazine presents just a few of the amazing people growing food for us in Southern Alberta, including Allpa Vertical Farms, Red Fox Fungi, and Solstice Berry Farm.

Recent issues have also featured Grand Trunk Veggies/Chef’s Farmer, Dancing Goats Farm, Bear and the Flower Farm, and Trail’s End Beef.

There are SO many other great producers out there and I hope to share more of their stories in the months to come.

Look for their products at fine restaurants and grocers across Calgary, and at farmers’ markets throughout the region.

And join me in thanking all Alberta farmers for the essential work they do to keep us happy and healthy!

#FarmersDay #albertafarmers @ufacooperative

Text © 2021 Catherine Van Brunschot

Culinary Cowichan Valley

Cowichan Bay Village waterfront (Credit: C. Van Brunschot)

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. 

Read more here or at https://tasteandtravelmagazine.com/ .

Meet the Producers

Craig Sanok and Paul Chambers of Dancing Goats Farm

Spend some time with modern farmers and you’ll find they’re a thoughtful bunch. Especially these Calgary-area producers, who are getting noticed for doing things differently.

Jessica and Christopher Fasoli of Bear and The Flower Farm

Kye Kocher of Grand Trunk Veggies

Some even call themselves “nerdy”.

They’re focused on building community around quality local food – and on mindful stewardship of the planet’s resources.

Here’s a peek at why they’re turning heads…

Read more on my conversations with these local producers here – or in the new issue of Savour Calgary magazine. On newstands now at all of your favourite food purveyors.