Meet farmers in central Alberta during Open Farm Days this weekend

Central Albertans will be able to enjoy a dinner right in the middle of the fields, under the Prairie skies during Open Farm Days this weekend.

The provincewide event is about farmers and ranchers inviting their urban and rural neighbours to stop in for a visit to share stories, see demonstrations and understand the people who grow food in the province.

Culinary farm-to-fork events that highlight local ingredients have been popular at Open Farm Days.

In central Alberta, three farms have joined forces to bring the farm-to-table dinner experience together this year. The multi-course dinner, in the middle of the fields, is being hosted near Halkirk, about 30 minutes east of Stettler.

The three farms bring their specialties to the $75 dinner Saturday. For Lazy T, it’s the pastured chickens and eggs. Redtail focuses on beef and pork, while Lady’s Hat has the vegetables, raw honey and flowers covered.

Devin Dreeshen, minister of agriculture and forestry, says Alberta has some of the world’s best farmers, food producers and processors.

“Now is a great time to step up and show support for Alberta’s agriculture industry. I encourage Albertans to buy local food, meet a farmer in their community and get to know the people who put food on their tables,” said Dreeshen.

Overall, there are 29 culinary events and 11 tours to enjoy this year throughout the province. Other fan-favourite activities, such as corn mazes, hayrides and mini golf, are also making their return.

Friendly dogs and an orchard of saskatoons, currants, plums and cherries await those who want to venture out to DNA Gardens, located east of Elnora and just south of Highway 590, this weekend.

The owners joined Open Farm Days to educate people on what they can grow in central Alberta. During the 2018 provincewide event, the farm welcomed more than 100 people each day.

The Jungle Farm, about 20 minutes south of Red Deer, will be open to the public during Alberta Open Farm Days. The farm offers something for every age: a vast u-pick array of produce, a large play area and an eight-acre corn maze.

If you want the urban and rural to come together this weekend, then check out the community garden plots at Piper Creek Gardens, about a kilometre south of the City of Red Deer’s waste management facility.

Those who attend will hear about the restoration agriculture project and learn how to bring biodiversity into their yards and maximize garden yields. The barbecue event is open Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

The Lacombe and District Historical Society will let attendees sample foods at the Michener House Museum patio with a bit of a history lesson.

Guests can stroll through the gardens or downtown Lacombe with one of the costumed historian interpreters from 10 to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

If you’re in the mood to drive this weekend, keep going on QEII south between Innisfail and Airdrie, and chances are you’ll stop somewhere in Kneehill County.

The municipality is rich in agricultural diversity and made-in-Alberta products.

Over the weekend, you will be able to sample goat’s cheese near Acme, fresh baked goods at Mousse Cake Sally and Little Bird Bakery.

For more information or tickets, visit albertafarmdays.ca.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

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