Sunworks Farm Tour

A few Sundays ago, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Sunworks Organic Farm. Located near Amena, Alberta Sunworks is a locally run, free range, certified organic and humanely raised farm. (Phew, so many great things to say about them!). Alongside some talented YEG bloggers, I was able to tour the farm and learn about the production behind the farm’s products and enjoy a tasty dinner prepared with their products!

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I had the pleasure of meeting Ron, Sheila and Issac – the wonderful people behind Sunworks. Ron and Sheila began their farm in 1992 and together, the 3 of them are all strong believers in organic, humane and sustainable farming. Just by listening to them talk about their work, I can tell how passionate they are in maintaining these values.

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Starting the tour!

The Tour

As someone who grew up in the city my entire life, this was my first time on a farm. It was quite an incredible experience – Sunworks is grand… 400 hectares of open land! My first impression was that the entire farm was insanely well up kept – super clean and organized. It made me happy knowing that these products are coming from this kind of environment.

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We started off the tour by checking out chicks that were only a week old! They are kept in a warmed shelter/barn until they have grown a full set of feathers – this allows them to stay warm enough before they are placed into moveable shelters outside.

IMG_1333.JPGAfterwards, we also checked out the grading station for eggs.IMG_1352.JPG

Sunworks Farm’s eggs are hand picked, hand washed and graded on the farm. We were told that they grade 2100 dozen eggs per week!! Impressive or what!?

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Ron showing us the grading station. Look at all those eggs!
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Hand picked and hand washed (soon to be) 

We also took a look at the cows, chickens and turkeys of Sunworks during the tour. All of the animals were living in seemingly comfortable conditions and looked pretty happy with themselves. One thing that I noticed was that the animals were not really afraid of our presence which, for me, is a good indicator that they are well nurtured and comfortable with their living space.

The cows are moved daily so that they always have fresh grass to feed on.

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The cows are waaayyy out in the distance there!

The hen shelters are also moved down the field so that they feed on fresh grass daily too. Amazing! I think that it’s great that the animals are so well fed and nurtured because this means we are consuming quality products.

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Lot’s of room in the shelters!

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The hen shelters

The best part about seeing these chickens and turkeys was all the noise that they were making. We kind of got serenaded to.. all the clucking was super entertaining!

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These guys lay eggs and then the eggs are hand picked.
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Turkeys!

We were also shown the new processing plant. Sunworks Farm prepares and packages their products themselves. After learning about every step of the process, I could really see that their values are held and maintained in their work from start to finish. The animals’ lives are ended on site and are done in a humane way. Additionally, as I mentioned before, the plant is very clean and well-kept too which maintains the quality of the product. There is truly a lot of man power that goes into the whole process and I commend Sunworks Farm for this work! Check out the photos below:

 


The Dinner

After the tour, we were served with a delicious 5 course meal prepared by chef Kevin Zwllwger of the Quarter Section Food Company. Most of the courses (except for dessert) were made with products straight from Sunworks. Let’s just say dinner was the cherry on top to a fun-filled Sunday!

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Kevin preparing one of the courses.

The first meal was a Charcuterie platter/board. This showcased a variety of cold cut meats and sausages that all came from the farm. There was also a variety of freshly baked bread and cheeses from Sylvan Star alongside the meats and sausages. It was a great start to dinner; everything tasted fresh and you can really tell the difference between organic and non-organic … you’ll have to try the products yourself to know what I mean!

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The second meal was a Seasonal Salad made with local ingredients. It featured bacon from Sunworks with greens and goat cheese. The salad was tossed with a vinaigrette made with local oil and vinegar from Vinesation.

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The third course was a Chicken Leg Confit that came with asparagus and mushroom risotto. The chicken in this dish tasted fresh and was cooked so well that the meat literally fell off the bone!

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Beef wellington was the fourth course and this was one of my favourites. It was paired with mashed potatoes and veggies and was also gluten-free!

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Dessert was a Triple Chocolate Mousse Gateaux – sooooo delicious and beautifully presented! The mousse was creamy and decadent. It was paired with a macaron and caramelized sugar. This was really the perfect way to conclude dinner.

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We left the farm full and we were lucky enough to be gifted with some sausages from Sunworks. Since then, I have tried some of these sausages already and can confirm that they are indeed tasty and fresh. Thank you!

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So….

To conclude, I highly recommend trying out Sunworks Farm’s products which can be found in several places around Edmonton – this includes the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market, Sunworks Organic Meat Shop (in the Blush Lane Organic Market), and the Southwest Edmonton Farmer’s Market. They also have their products sold around the province. Check out their website for more details on when and where their products are available for purchase.

After learning about the ins and outs of the facility and farm, I am definitely more appreciative of locally made products. Their amazing values towards ethical and humane farming really shines through their products and I am truly impressed and supporting local has become more meaningful. The work that goes into maintaining a sustainable environment as well as raising animals humanely and ethically really sets Sunworks Farms above all other chain brands. I’ve also grown more appreciative for my food overall by seeing the work that goes on ‘behind the scenes’ – it’s easy to forget that our food actually comes from somewhere other than the grocery store/market.

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I would like to end this blog post by extending a special thank you to Ron, Sheila and Issac for the invitation and for hosting such a fun and informative tour!

Check out a few other blogger’s recaps here:



Sunworks Farm Facebook

Sunworks Farm Twitter

*** Disclaimer – I was invited to Sunworks Farm as a blogger but all opinions and thoughts expressed represent my own. *** 

 

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