News & Information
Alberta Farm Fresh School
A two-day conference for producers to learn, network and build capacity in direct market fruit, vegetable and livestock production and marketing.
Register now for Alberta Farm Fresh School 2015!
February 26 & 27 in Olds Alberta.
If paying by cheque, please use the registration form below. If paying by credit card, please register on our Eventbrite page.
Registration deadline is February 19th, 2015!
Fruit and vegetable production and marketing and direct market livestock sessions
An evening of awards, networking and food; hear from the Honourable Verlyn Olson, Minister, Agriculture and Rural Development
Fruit and vegetable production and general direct marketing sessions
One-on-one consultations with granters/lenders/experts and grower mentors
A trade show will be held both days.
Dates: February 26 and 27, 2015
Time: Day 1: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm (plus an evening event)
Day 2: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
$175/person/2 days (AFFPA member rate) or $225/person/2 days (non-AFFPA member rate)
Includes all sessions, snacks, lunches and evening session
Farm unit discount / One-day and Student rates available
Pomeroy Inn & Suites, Olds College Campus
4601 46th Avenue, Olds, AB
Access industry specific information and data
Obtain resource materials
Receive support to move forward
Connect with peers
Meet industry suppliers
Featured member: Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm
There’s so much to see and do at Prairie Gardens and
Adventure Farm that it’s almost impossible to highlight. From School Programs
to the Garden Centre and the U-Pick facilities, featured AFFPA member Prairie
Gardens and Adventure Farm truly has something for any size group, any time of
Make sure you think about heading to this Bon Accord site—where
more than 1 million visitors have been—to check out the fall Corn Maze and,
leading up to Halloween, the Haunted Pumpkin Festival runs the next two weekends.
Like Prairie Gardens and Adventure Farm on Facebook to keep
track of all the great things happening!
Featured member: Markerville Berry and Vegetable U-Pick
If you live in the Red Deer region and you’ve wondered about Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, the Markerville Berry and Vegetable Farm may be just the ticket for you.
Located on Range Road 15, the farmers welcome visitors for “U-Pick” in the summer, or just to “say hello.” Established in 2008
Markerville Berry & Vegetable has been “selling vegetables at various Farmers Markets across Central Alberta as well as opening their farm for U-Pick berries” during the strawberry, raspberry, and Saskatoon seasons. In line with their pesticide free growing philosophy and
sustainable farming practices, Beth and Jim Huising, as well as their children and Jim’s parents, decided to incorporate the CSA Farm Vegetable Box program into their business in 2013, and now deliver in the Red Deer and Innisfail areas.
Check out their website for information on the farm, the farmers, and the farm box delivery.
Featured member: Brix N' Berries
Even though berry season is coming to a close, there’s still
time to zoom out to Leduc for Saskatoons, raspberries, strawberries, sour
cherries, and honeyberries … also known as haskaps. The folks at Brix N Berries
are passionate about, and rightfully proud of, their products that are chemical
free and grown in healthy soil that is “killicide” free. The producers
concentrate on making the soil healthier so as to boost the Brix content of all
their products. The Brix is a measure of the sugar, or energy, level, and the
greater the Brix the greater the nutritional value of the berries. Not only do
these growers offer berries, but they also have market garden produce as well
as greenhouse, heirloom tomatoes, and peppers. The best time to visit
this farm is Wednesday through Sunday in the late morning
or in the afternoon. Located south of Leduc you are encouraged to visit
and “taste the difference a few BRIX can make.” Go to their website at: www.brixnberries.com for
more information as well as a map to guide you to their farm.
Featured member: Staniforth Summerberry Farm
Raspberries are without doubt an all-time favourite summer fruit that are perfect little packages when fresh, delicious as jam, and delectable as preserves on a cold winter day. Staniforth Summerberry Farm has three acres of the succulent little darlings ready in August for you to pick and enjoy. Although the grain sector of the farm has been in operation since 1918, raspberries [red, black, and yellow], are quite a recent venture. In addition, the growers offer black currants and red currants; as well, a newer planting of Saskatoons will be ready for picking in 2015.
Located approximately 12 kilometres southwest of Sylvan Lake, Staniforth’s summer berries are spray and pesticide free, and u-pick only. So, wear your sunscreen and your hat, pack your picnic, and plan your family outing. For more information you can go to: www.staniforthfarm.com.
Featured member: Vesta Gardens
you always thought that growing tomatoes in the forest was impossible, think
again. The Krause family have perfected the art, and offer 100
varieties of the succulent fruit at Vesta Gardens located in
Thorhild County in the boreal forest area of the province. Their focus is on
heritage and heirloom varieties of vegetables, and establishing seed
sufficiency by 2018 is one of their goals. In fact, they plan to merchandise
seeds in the Edmonton area for the tastiest and most Alberta-hardy vegetables,
and they offer “seed-saving” sessions on site. In addition to all those
tomatoes, and the seed business, Vesta Gardens offers traditional favourite tasty, fresh
treats such as artichokes and sweet potatoes, and the market garden offers products
like dried peas as well as foraged produce. These mother-daughter business
partners have put in place a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, business
model, and state that they “grow food that [they] enjoy and think others will
too.” Go to their website at: http://www.VestaGardens.wordpress.com for access to
their blog, for pictures, or for information on seed-saving.
Featured member: Roy's Raspberries
It’s easy to see why Harvey and Lorraine Boyko
call their home a truly family affair. They are the owners of Roy's Raspberries,
located just west of Edmonton on Highway 16A. Although there have been
raspberries on the farm since the early 1970's, Harvey and Lorraine took over
the farm work in 1991 from Roy, who was Harvey's father.
"We are the largest raspberry farm in Alberta
and produce 14 varieties, including Honey Queen and Mammoth,” says Roy. “During
harvest the fruit matures at different times thereby extending our season to
Labour Day and sometimes beyond.”
“We do not spray our fruit, and work on
the farm between 7 and 8 months each year preparing for a bountiful
harvest and then trying to keep the patch maintained. We spend countless
hours pulling weeds by hand, transplanting plants and mowing grass between
the rows. In the fall after a severe frost, we cut down the producing rows since
the canes are spent. Once all the canes are removed from the field, we
will try to do most of our transplanting at this time.”
“Our greatest challenge in farming is the
unpredictability of nature. Late spring frosts, heavy winds, honey
bees, early fall frosts, and heavy snowfall all impact
our crop. We call this a labour of love.”
Make sure to swing by and say hi to Harvey and
Lorraine soon! Learn more about their farm online at www.roysraspberries.com!
Featured member: Horse Hill Berry Farm
Are you looking
for a delicious batch of raspberries to take home with you? Then consider checking out Horse Hill Berry Farm, a u-pick raspberry farm northeast of
The farm has
been open to the public for five years, although they’ve been planting on site
since 2006. “Our focus is on raspberries for now, although we consider adding
other berries in the future,” says Jackie Clark and Dave Wilson, owners.
One of the best things about Horse Hill Berry
Farm is its proximity to Edmonton, as well as its location on the top of the
ravine about the North Saskatchewan River. “I think the greatest asset we have is the location,”
says Wilson. “We have a beautiful setting.
the river, close to the city, we are a peaceful, family-friendly farm with a
picnic area. We get used to the area because we have lived here so long, but I
think many of the customers are in awe of their surroundings when they come out
for the first time.”
“We are the
only raspberry growers in Edmonton,” says Clark, who recommends heading out to
the berry patch for a unique “date night” – “get outside, chat and walk and eat