While the Valley’s vegetable farmers start their seeds and the last of last year’s winter veggie harvest dwindles, local foodies celebrate livestock farmers in the Valley.
This week’s food fest at the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market is featuring those local farmers raising healthy ‘previously happy’ meat for your family.
Island Bison will bring water buffalo, Cottage Farm will bring a variety of sausages, and Glen Alwin is bringing lamb and beef. Chef Laura Agnew from As You Like It Catering will turn that product into yummy samples to show off the fabulous meats available at the farmers’ market: Asian water buffalo stew, marinated butterflied lamb leg and Mennonite, breakfast and chorizo and garlic sausage.
Small-scale farms prove to be a sustainable way to grow ethically raised meat to sustain local eaters through the cold seasons when vegetables are in short supply. These farms also often raise heritage breeds, helping to maintain diversity and resistance to disease.
Cottage farm is raising happy pigs that are also helping build their soil on their recently cleared land as well as chickens for eggs. They offer a wide variety of pork cuts as well as a variety of sausage.
Water buffalo have been domesticated in Asia and Europe for thousands of years and provide excellent quality meat which is lower in cholesterol and higher in mineral content than that from cows. Island Bison is building their herd with the males born on water buffalo dairy farms.
Heritage sheep breeds have been raised at Glen Alwin Farm for more than 100 years, which also raises a small herd of grass fed beef cattle and goats on the farm. Grass fed animals have a better quality of life than a grain fed animal and they produce a much higher quality of meat.
The fact that they are butchered at Gunter Brothers Meat, mere steps away from where they are raised, makes the whole life cycle much more sustainable and humane.
The Comox Valley Farmers’ Market is hosting monthly Food Fests on the third weekend of each month featuring seasonally available, locally grown products available at the market. They are open from 9 to noon every Saturday at the Native Sons Hall.
— Comox Valley Farmers’ Market