Sunworks Farm Tour and DinnerPosted: June 28, 2017
I have been so fortunate lately to be working with some incredible local clients through my business, Plated Public Relations. Ron and Sheila Hamilton from Sunworks Farm have been no exception. We teamed up together to create a food blogger farm tour and dinner that was incredibly informative and very well received by Edmonton’s food blogging community. To begin the tour, Ron described their farming philosophy: Organic, sustainable and humane. I’ve worked in conventional agriculture before and have visited a few conventional farms. Compared to Ron and Sheila’s, I have never seen a farm that was so well maintained, and where the animals were so happy.
Sunworks farm is a multi-commodity farm, producing eggs, poultry, beef and pork. As such, they maintain their quotas for each of their commodities from different organizations (including the Egg Farmers of Alberta, the Alberta Chicken Producers, and the Alberta Turkey Producers.) Each organization regulates their respective commodity, and inspect the farm accordingly.
Sunworks’ egg production is extremely efficient. They have 5000 laying hens that lay 2100 eggs a week. Each egg is hand collected and washed using the above egg washing machine.
Their organic laying hens produce beautiful and flavourful eggs.
In addition to maintaining their large quota, Sunworks Farm is Certified Organic through EcoCert. This means that no pesticides, chemicals, antibiotics and additives are used while raising and packaging their livestock and poultry. Inspections are carried out yearly and evaluate all aspects of their farming operations.
They also use an interesting farming technique I’ve never heard of before. Their broiler chickens are housed in movable barns that are pulled over new grass every morning. This is to ensure that they have access to a fresh bed of comfortable grass every day.
Not only do these barns benefit the well-fare of the chickens, but they also add vital nutrients to the soil. Since converting their land to an organic farm back in 1992, Ron and Sheila have added several inches of topsoil to their land by using this practice.
Sunworks farm is also Certified Humane through the BC SPCA. This not-for profit is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the quality of life for farm animals. They carry-out yearly inspections to ensure that all farming operations meet their organizational standards.
Have you ever seen happier chickens? I know I haven’t.
After the tour, guests were greeted to a beautifully-lain table (if I do say so myself), and treated to a five-course dinner prepared by Chef Kevin Zellweger from the Quarter Section Food Company. They will be opening a restaurant in Leduc soon, so if you like what you see below, go check them out!
The first course was a charcuterie platter pilled high with Sunworks meat products and Sylvan Star Cheeses (not pictured.) The second was a seasonal salad with local oil and vinegar from Vinesations in Camrose.The third course was a chicken leg comfit atop asparagus and mushroom risotto.The fifth course (my favourite) was the beef wellington. The beef was perfectly rare and the crust was crispy and crunchy, and gluten-free no less! And finally, to end our meal, a triple layer chocolate mouse gateaux and nespresso coffee.
Guests were even sent home work a full bag of sunworks sausages to enjoy at home. Ron and Sheila’s generosity knows no bounds, and I was so happy to have been able to work with them on this project. If you’re interested to see what the other Edmonton Food Bloggers had to say about the event, you can check out my Storify Story.