If you have a question about growing asparagus in Alberta, Elna Edgar probably has the answer. With all the questions she gets from visitors to her Central Alberta farm, she could start her own Ask Elna column. Elna and Doug Edgar have the largest asparagus operation in Alberta and every year, thousands of people visit their farm to purchase great farm fresh food from their farm store. School children visit the farm on field trips to learn about life on a working farm and families enjoy the annual Asparagus Festival that Edgar Farms holds.
Visiting a working farm can be a real adventure and a true educational experience and there’s no better place to do it than in Red Deer. With more than 9,100 farms in the region, Central Alberta is the backbone of our province’s agriculture. Visitors to Red Deer area find friendly western hospitality, farm fresh food, and remarkable rural activities to enjoy.
Fresh from the Farm Gate
Farm gate sales have become increasingly popular over the years and many Central Alberta farms have their own store fronts that are open to visitors. Here are some of our favourite on farm stores:
Pearson’s Berry Farm: Pop by for some U-Pick Saskatoon berries or a piece of homemade pie and ice cream from the café. Their pies, butter tarts, and preserves are legendary.
- Edgar Farms: Make a stop and purchase fresh vegetables such as asparagus, peas, beans. They also sell hormone and antibiotic free Angus beef. Pick up one of their amazing pies or homemade preserves while you’re there.
- Brown Eggs and Lamb: This locally owned and operated food retailer has eggs, lamb, and farm fresh products directly from the source and around the province.
- The Farm with the Good Food: While you’re there buying your free range eggs, beef, and heritage pork you can also take time to explore their antique store, Holmehus Antiques.
- Sylvan Star Cheese: Home to some of the best Gouda cheese in the world, Sylvan Star Cheese makes their cheese from their own herd of cows on their dairy farm — so you know it’s good.
Fun on the Farm
There are countless of ways for families to have fun on a farm and Central Alberta is an oasis of it.
- The Jungle Farm: Pick your own strawberries and enjoy wagon rides, a corn maze, a petting zoo, play areas, and a Strawberry Mountain!
- Eagle Creek Farms: The SunMaze is Canada’s only sunflower maze and is built out of 100,000 sunflowers. When you’re done in the maze, you can also pick your own vegetables and flowers at the farm’s U-Picks.
- Kraay Family Farm: Home to a 15-acre corn maze, petting zoo, the famous pumpkin cannon, and so much more, families are sure to find some fun on this farm.
The happiest place to be on a Saturday morning is at a Farmer’s Market. Central Alberta’s farming community is incredibly diverse and provides millions of Albertans with quality food.
- Red Deer Market: This market has been going strong for more than 40 years. The Market is a commercial venue for farm fresh produce and a selection of other goods from homeware to fudge.
- Find a Farmer’s Market: Every town and village in Central Alberta has a market, so you can find a new one on almost any day of the week.
Innisfail Growers: Five Central Alberta growers make up this supplier with over 40 different items, from basil to beef, everything is premium quality.
Cook it Up
Farming and cooking seem to go hand and hand, maybe it’s because the best dishes are made with the freshest foods.
The Cooking Room: One of the best things about farm fresh food is cooking it at home. Not sure how to bring it all together? No fear. Join a class and learn all the best tips and tricks for preparing your farm fresh food!