Photo's credit above: Jens Gerbitz and Slow Food Edmonton
Last fall on October 4th, we had the privilege of co-hosting a celebration on our farm with Slow Food Edmonton that was nothing short of incredible! We started the day off with guided tours of the farm, a honey tasting workshop led by Patty Milligan and an informative session about native pollinators by ecologist Mark Wonneck. Then, the team of chefs from Get Cooking Edmonton topped off the evening with an unbelievable feast made from local sourced ingredients.
It was our first experience working with Slow Foods Edmonton and we were amazed and inspired by their commitment to preserving and promoting a food culture that values diversity, sustainability and flavour. Not only did a group of 20 plus Slow Food volunteers help coordinate the entire event, but they also raised $1100 dollars which they graciously donated to our farm to be used for some much needed infrastructure.
Since we moved to our new yard site in 2008, we have been without an automatic watering system during the winter. With the money that Slow Food Edmonton raised we were able to purchase and install an automatic frost free watering system which can be used in our integrated cattle and hog wintering site (more on this system later!). This simple piece of energy efficient technology has greatly reduced our work load during the harsh winter months and improved our livestocks quality of life, as now they have free choice of fresh water even when it is -40˙C! Our previous method of winter watering was to give them as much water as they could drink twice a day. Something which took a great deal of time!
So from all of us here on the farm (especially the pigs and cows!), we want to say a BIG thank you to Slow Food Edmonton, Get Cooking Edmonton, all of the wonderful volunteers and of course our guests that day! You all made our first Fall Celebration a day to remember and we just can't wait to see what happens next year!
Takota Coen is a 4th generation farmer, carpenter, educator and ecological consultant.