Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Alberta Open Farm Days: Stonepost Farms

This post was sponsored by a partnership between Alberta Open Farm Days, Yellowhead County, and Community Futures West Yellowhead.  I received monetary compensation in exchange for this post. As always, all thoughts and options are my 100% my own. 
  Stonepost Farms is a great example of a young Alberta family ran farm.  The farm hosts a variety of poultry, livestock, fruit, vegetables, and even bees. 
Farmers John and Becky Doherty were gracious enough to give me a tour of their farm and show me what participants can expect during Alberta Open Farm Days, which is taking place the weekend of August 18/19. You can find more information about all of the farms that will be participating in Yellowhead County HERE - though be sure to continue reading to find out what you will experience at Stonepost Farms
Participants will have the opportunity to tour the farm, and see hundreds of turkeys, chickens, and baby chicks. In addition to eggs, Stonepost Farms has poultry meat available for sale as well.
I was glad to see that the farm had turkeys which will be available for purchase just in time for the holidays. It was really neat to be able to see the birds up close and personal.
After checking out the birds, we hiked about a 1/2 a mile into the pasture to visit the cattle, which included a couple of long horns as well.  Once we were within range, the cows all ran towards us, stopping directly in front of me seemingly just as curious as I was.
In addition to poultry and livestock, the farm also has a boisterous garden. I was especially interested to see that they were successfully growing grapes, something I didn't know grew in this climate. 

 Stonepost Farms is part of a local CSA box program - every Tuesday they pick fresh produce from their farm and pair it with meat and eggs and deliver to pick up locations throughout the area.  Farmer John was gracious enough to put together an extra CSA box for me when I was there, and I was really happy with everything that was in it.  It was such a good feeling to know exactly where my food came from that week, and to support a local farmer in the process.

At the end of the tour, Farmer John and I suited up so he could show me the farm's beehives.  I've seen a lot of beehives in the past few years, but this was the first time a beekeeper ever pointed out a developing queen to me, which I found really fascinating!  When a queen starts underproducing, the bees work diligently on creating a new queen.  She's isolated in her very own pod, and fed an exclusive diet of royal jelly, a milky substance rich in protein and sugars, vs the mixture of pollen and honey ("bee bread") that make up the worker bees diets. 
As you can see, there's plenty to experience out at the farm! 
Be sure to join us for Alberta Open Farm Days, August 18/19, 2018.  You can tour all of the farms on your own in a self guided driving tour, or you can join a bus tour, which I will be creating a locally sourced lunch for.  See you out there! 

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