Supporting Alberta Producers
Alberta has no shortage of high-quality local producers, and supporting them has never been easier. From farms and ranches to breweries and wineries, Albertans have a wide range of excellent options for amazing locally produced food and drinks. No matter your taste or what you’re looking for, there is undoubtedly someone producing your next favourite food somewhere in the province. Supporting local is better for the environment, supports the local economy, and lets you put some of the best food you can get on your plate. Here’s a quick look at some of Alberta’s many fantastic local producers:
Poplar Bluff Organics (Wheatland County), specializes in farming a wide variety of root vegetables. They provide the Calgary area with high-quality beets, parsnips, carrots, and potatoes, including the highly sought-after Kennebec potato, which is perfect for making the crispiest French fries. Their veggies are used in many Alberta restaurants (including NOtaBLE and River Cafe), so you may have already tried their fantastic produce and not even known it. poplarblufforganics.com.
Garlic Goodness (Red Deer County), grows a dozen strains of all-natural garlic with flavours to suit any dish. From the mild Rocambole to the hotter Georgian Fire, you’re bound to find a garlic that perfectly fits your palate. They also raise Scottish Highland beef cattle and grow seasonal vegetables like onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots. garlicgoodness.ca.
In the heart of Red Deer is Troubled Monk Brewery, who, since 2015, have been brewing a wide range of fantastic beers. The majority of their ingredients are sourced here in Alberta, and they brew everything from lagers to IPAs to ales. If beer isn't your thing, they also produce a variety of other alcoholic beverages, from hard sodas like their Saskatoon Soda (perfect for a hot summer afternoon) to gin (perfect for a refreshing summer cocktail). troubledmonk.com.
The pigs at Bear and the Flower Farm (Rockyview County), are ethically raised to ensure the highest-quality pork. Their feed ingredients are 100% locally sourced and free of any additives, so these pasture-raised pigs are as happy and as healthy as can be. The pork they produce is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, so not only is it better tasting, it’s healthier for you too. Whether you’re looking for some bacon or pork chops, or are looking to splurge on a whole pig, you can be sure that you’re getting some of the best pork you can get in Alberta. bearandtheflower.com.
While you might not initially associate Alberta with wine production, Barr Estate Winery (Strathcona County), produces some terrific wines made from raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry, and sour-cherry. Their wines pair well with all manner of foods, whether you’re looking for something to go with your next roast, something to enjoy with dessert, or just looking for a wine to enjoy on its own during a warm summer evening. barr.ca.
If you're looking to try a new cheese to accompany your wine, Dancing Goats Farm (Kneehill County), produces an excellent selection of farm-made goat cheeses. The goats are raised on the farm's large open pastures, which helps to make their milk the best it can be. The cheeses themselves are produced in small batches so that the cheese is as fresh and as tasty as possible. If you've never tried goat cheese before, then this is the perfect place to do so.
Alberta is famous for its high-quality beef, and Tall Timber Cattle Co. (Mountain View County), raises excellent high-grade beef. Their cows are ethically raised and grass fed to ensure the beef is of the highest quality. They sell a wide array of cuts, from individual steaks and sausages to half and full cows, so, no matter what cut you're looking for, you can treat yourself to some delicious Albertan beef. talltimbercattleco.com
If you’re looking to add some all-natural sweetness to your kitchen, then the honeys at Beary Berry Honey Inc. (Beaver County), are just the thing to scratch that itch. All their honey is harvested and processed locally at their farm, and they produce an ample variety of honeys and honey-based products. Whether you’re looking to try one of their many flavoured or infused honeys, looking for a honey glaze or vinaigrette to perfect that next dish, or are just looking for some fantastic plain old honey, they have a honey for your sweet tooth. bearyberryhoney.com.
If you love berries, then Saskatoon Farm (Foothills County), is a fantastic place to spend a day. Not only do they grow delicious saskatoon berries (as well as other berries), you can visit and pick them yourself. They also grow other seasonal produce such as strawberries, arugula, and radishes in late spring and broccoli, cucumbers, and tomatoes in the summer. After you’ve picked out your berries you can relax and have a meal at the Mexican fusion restaurant on-site or get a treat at their bakery, which uses the fresh produce from the farm to make a wide variety of baked goods. saskatoonfarm.com
Alberta Open Farm Days (August 14-15), allows Albertan producers to not only showcase their products, but to invite members of the community to come in and see the process behind how their products are made. The weekend-long event, which has been held annually for almost a decade, showcases producers from across the province (including several of the producers mentioned here), and allows visitors to meet the people who make the food and drinks we all enjoy. As things slowly begin to return to normal, Open Farm Days is a great way to spend some time outside, meet and support our local producers, and to treat yourself to some delicious food and drinks in the process. albertaopenfarmdays.ca.
Another way you can support local Albertan producers, while also treating yourself to some delicious meals, is through Alberta on the Plate. This ten day (August 6-15), province-wide dine-around festival showcases local restaurants featuring multi-course menus centered around Albertan-produced food and beverages. So not only do you get the satisfaction of supporting our local producers, but our local restaurants as well. Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or looking to treat yourself to some fine-dining, you’ll be eating some of the best food Alberta has to offer. albertaontheplate.com.