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Sturgeon County Bounty Blog

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Follow what's new and exciting in Sturgeon County


Urban Agriculture at MCHS! Leanne

This blog post is written by Morinville Community High School teacher Neil Korotash. This article is the first in a series that his students will be sharing over the school year. Follow their urban agriculture adventures here!

Over the next several months, Urban Agriculture students from Morinville Community High School will be posting various articles in this space.  These students will be sharing with you some of the field trips and activities that they are participating in around the County as part of the new course. You’ll be able to see through the student’s eyes what they are learning about gardening, agriculture, local businesses, and the sustainability of our food system.

Gold Forest GrainsThe course, new to MCHS and the region, is designed to teach students in a hands-on way some of the homesteading skills that seem to be less and less commonplace these days.  Students are learning how to grow food including everything from raised vegetable beds and cold frames to hydroponics and everything in between.  These skills are then connected to Foods credits where students learn to pickle, butcher, cure, and make homemade pastas and breads.

Some of this year’s activities will include:

Wheat & Grains – We’ll be visiting Gold Forest Grains organic farm, located just a few minutes South West of Morinville and Craig Ozipko’s conventional farm just outside of Legal.  Students will be able see the differences in the farming practices, examine the sustainability of each and then using some locally grown grain, mill their own flour.  Students will then use the flour to bake bread, make pasta and bake pies.
  • Chicken – We’re very fortunate to have several students who raise chickens in the County and a visit to the Krupa farm will allow students the opportunity to kill and butcher their own animal.  Students will also be visiting Tri-West Poultry and a local egg farm to fully understand how these birds go from farm to our table.

  • Pork – Similar to the chicken experience, students will buy pigs from Ron & Karen Sobey’s Belle Valley Berkshires and visit to learn about pig farming.  Nestor at Country Quality Meats will then dress and split the pigs so that students can butcher them, and learn to make their own bacon, ham and sausage.

  • Small scale crop production – Students will continue to learn how to grow indoor greenhouse crops such as basil and mint and sell those at local farmers markets and retail outlets.  Currently, MCHS grown fresh basil & mint are available at Morinville Sobeys!

These are but a few examples and others activities will include pressing apple cider at Sprout Farms or picking pumpkins and enjoying some farm fresh ingredients at PrairieGardens!

This will be the second year for the course and we have had tremendous support from businesses and farms in and around Sturgeon County and Morinville.  Major sponsors include Sturgeon Valley Fertilizers, Champion Petfoods, and MorinvilleSobeys while the County and the Town have been very supportive as well.

We hope you will check back often to see some of the great things that are happening in the County and how MCHS students are learning all about it!

Herbs at Morinville Sobeys

This course continues to evolve and we are always looking for new and exiting ways to teach the students about their food, healthy eating, and sustainable living so if you have any ideas or suggestions, please let us know! I can be reached at MCHS by email (nkorotash@gsacrd.ab.ca) or by phone (780-939-6891)
















Dinos and Lunch and Golf, Oh My! Leanne

This week I had the pleasure of visiting two terrific Sturgeon County businesses to find out more about their exciting upcoming event on Monday, July 21 2014. Goose Hummock Golf Resort and Jurassic Forest have teamed up with Taste of Edmonton to offer two delicious and fun Culinary Adventures!

Cheff Seetoo

This year, Taste of Edmonton has added some great mini-get-aways to their already packed roster of foodie events that take place in downtown Edmonton, at Sir Winston Churchill Square from July 17-26, 2014. On Monday, you will have the opportunity to hop on a shuttle bus at Sir Winston Churchill Square and take a relaxing ride out to the country and either be a palaeontologist or golfer for the day. 

Each day also includes a tasty lunch prepared by Chef Clark Seetoo and Chef James Seetoo. These gentlemen have been secretive about what they are up to, but did hint that prime rib would be featured, along with many other fresh, local foods and ingredients.


Goose HummockThe Taste of Golf Culinary Adventure includes a shuttle to the course, a tour of the Goose Hummock facility, 9 holes of golf and delicious lunch. This adventure also gives you an all-inclusive ticket into Sip 'n Savour that evening at Taste of Edmonton. Click here if you would like to buy tickets for this adventure!

Goose Hummock Golf Resort is an excellent venue for weddings, corporate events or golf tournaments. Visit their website for more information and pricing.



Jurassic ForestThe Taste of Jurassic Culinary Adventure is a family friendly day filled with life sized dinosaurs, guided tours, fun at the playground, and a fabulous lunch. Each participant will receive 10 Taste tickets to enjoy at Taste of Edmonton after the adventure. Click here if you would like to buy tickets for this adventure!

These tours are a great way to come out and experience Sturgeon County and see the great attractions that are here! 

Don't forget to check out Jurassic Forest on August 16th and 17th, Dinosaur George, Dinosaur Enthusiast and animal behaviourist will be there to teach you all about our prehistoric friends! There will be lots happening all summer out at Jurassic Forest, take the family out for some fun! 



Jurassic Forest Gift Shop











For more information:

Goose Hummock Golf Resort
www.goosehummock.com
info@goosehummock.com
780.921.2444


Jurassic Forest
www.jurassicforest.com
info@jurassicforest.com

780.470.2446


Get a Backstage Pass to Meet Your Farmer! Leanne

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity of attending the Growing Rural Tourism Conference in Camrose, Alberta. This annual conference connects groups that have embraced innovative tourism strategies and partnerships, and those looking at how they might bring new sources of revenue and employment to their own communities. I met some great new people, collected heaps of information, enjoyed a tour of Camrose and had my imagination sparked with many new tourism possibilities!

I have been working on plans to add more events to our Sturgeon County Bounty roster. I need events that are fun, and show off all of the hard work our farmers do- from growing food, to raising animals, to operating a tourism destination on their working farm. Well, did I ever find the perfect fit- Alberta Open Farm Days! This is a province-wide two-day event that gives Albertans an opportunity to experience the farm and understand where their food comes from. As explained in the conference workshop hosted by Alberta Tourism Parks and Recreation, Open Farm Days is a "backstage pass to meet the farmer, experience Ag-tourism in Alberta and taste local foods direct from the producer." I thought this was a great description... our farmers are definitely rock stars, and who wouldn't want an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of what they do every day?!

The demand is identified: People from urban areas want to visit the country, experience life outdoors, learn where their food comes from, buy some of that fresh food, pet some animals and ask the farmers questions. Alberta Open Farm Days offers just that! The event takes place over two days, day one- August 23, 2014 is focusing on culinary events, where talented chefs will team up with local producers to create farm-to-table dishes. The following day, August 24, 2014 will be a province-wide open house for participating farms. All farms that choose to have an open house day will be listed on our website, as well as the Alberta Open Farm Days website and directory.

Last year Sturgeon County had two farms that participated, this year let's make it more! This is a great opportunity to connect with more visitors and potential customers. I will work with you to coordinate a culinary event, driving tour and promotion of your farm - call me today 780-939-8296 and get on board!


The Hidden Gems of Sturgeon County Leanne
The Hidden Gems of Sturgeon County

I had the great privilege of attending the Travel Alberta Industry Conference last weekend, and came back to work inspired and excited to put many of the ideas from the conference and discussions into action. Connect and Collaborate was the aptly named theme for this year's event, as there were many great discussions, networking opportunities and awareness that came out of the conference.

One session in particular struck a chord with me as our Sturgeon County Economic Development team works on our tourism and business support plans for 2014. This session was presented by Alberta Tourism and Parks and Recreation outlining a significant study that was done, defining the "Potential Demand for Rural Vacation Experiences in Alberta by Residents of Alberta." Although the study is 180 pages, there are several key points that I pulled out of it such as:


"A link between knowledge and impressions of rural Alberta was found. The greater the knowledge, the more favourable the impression tended to be..."

This got me thinking... if potential visitors from Edmonton or other urban areas in Alberta don't know what we have to offer or what they can expect, will they come visit, shop and experience our events? How many "hidden gems" exist in Sturgeon County that we should be telling people about? More than 70% of people prefer and trust a recommendation from a friend or social media over traditional advertising... What Sturgeon County experiences would you like to recommend to your friends? Maybe there is an amazing restaurant, a fantastic annual event, an interesting historical site, the list is endless. 

The study also showed that people from urban areas had a lot of interest in exploring rural activities and destinations, but there were a number of factors that steered them away from going rural. Some of those factors were: 

  • Lack of promotion / awareness : Is your business on Facebook? Your customers are!
  • Location / GPS availability : Urban visitors are not familiar with the area and need to rely on good directions or GPS to find you.
  • Overnight accommodation : Visitors would like to stay on a farm for a new experience, but are often uncertain as to what to expect and will go to the nearest urban center to stay at a chain hotel instead.

This website, www.sturgeoncountybounty.ca is in the early stages of becoming a hub for information. This is the spot that is featuring upcoming events, local producers and attractions, but it is only the start. There will be two Sturgeon County Bounty events next year - one in the spring and one in the fall, and we are looking for vendors to help get the word out about why local and fresh is better. We are also building a database of all the businesses and attractions in Sturgeon County to make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for. We are looking for local businesses to feature on our blog and share insight... we want to connect with you!

Please leave your comments below and share your Hidden Gems in Sturgeon County!



The Fourth Annual Sturgeon County Bounty Leanne
The Fourth Annual Sturgeon County Bounty

Welcome to our blog!

This is an exciting time, as we are ready to launch our new website, and also get the fifth Annual Sturgeon County Bounty underway at Prairie Gardens & Adventure farm in Bon Accord on Saturday, September 28, 2013!

It has been a lot of hard work and planning for the Bounty Taste Event, but it is very rewarding to meet so many producers and business owners in the Sturgeon County area and see all of the support that exists for our local initiatives. We have many things planned for the next year, and are hoping to talk with as many local producers, processors, chefs, farms and artisans as possible to find the best fit for growing local tourism and culinary experiences. 

Please join us between 11am - 3pm  on Saturday at Prairie Gardens to experience delicious dishes prepared by our local producers and restaurants. You will be served fresh food cooked to perfection, and you should come hungry because we have A LOT of tasty options to offer!  Food tickets will be for sale ($1 each) and most vendor booths are serving dishes that are between 3-5 tickets. You will also be able to get a fantastic fall family photo taken for 5 tickets!

Saturday, September 28 is also the opening day for Prairie Gardens' Haunted Pumpkin Festival, featuring TONS of great family activities such as a petting zoo, corn maze, face painting, music and entertainment, wagon rides, and of course... the Pumpkin Cannon! 

It should be a beautiful fall day, we look forward to seeing you there! 

For more information on The Sturgeon County Bounty including maps and menus, click here



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About Us

Sturgeon County Bounty is a Sturgeon County Economic Development initiative, aimed at providing local producers, chefs and processors with an opportunity to promote and expand value-added agriculture in the region. more

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9613 - 100 Street
Morinville, AB, T8R 1L9

Phone: 780-939-8367
Email: info@sturgeoncounty.ca