Melissa Schur wants you to know where your food comes from.
Schur, a fourth-generation farmer at the Glen Park Holstein dairy farm in Leduc, along with her husband Matt, have been coming up with different ways to connect Albertans to the family farm. Schur’s parents Rudy and Karen Gengler own the family farm.
The most popular (and delicious) way they’ve been able to do that is by hosting farm dinners in the loft of their converted 1950s Old Red Barn.
“People are asking questions like ‘where does my food come from,’ and we want to give them those answers with a farm experience,” Schur says.
“It’s exciting to see Albertans really engaged and wanting to know more about our industry, farming, food, and it’s a really good feeling to give someone the answer to the questions.”
Although farm-to-table dinners are held at the Old Red Barn several times throughout the summer in partnership with local chefs from Chartier and Kitchen by Brad, their Open Farm Days event, in particular, will also feature tours of the dairy farm that is home to over 100 milking cows. The farm uses two voluntary milking machines as well as a new robotic system.
“We can show guests the old way of farming as well as the new way of farming,” Schur says.
“It’s a little scary to open your doors to everyone, but it’s important for people to see it.”
Opening their doors, inviting Albertans to experience what the farm has to offer, and educating consumers on the farming industry, are just a few ways Schur plans on keeping her father Rudy’s farm legacy alive.
The family is open to diversifying the business, as we’ve seen so far through farm dinners and say they are working their way to eventually hosting farm weddings too.
It’s a labour of love, the family farm, and connecting Albertans to it is a part of the job.
“When Albertans see the cows, they don’t realize how big they are or how much milk they produce. People find it 100% astonishing,” Schur says.
“You can see the spark in their eyes. They get excited. It’s really encouraging.”
Open Farm Days will take place August 15 and 16, 2020. Farms offer tours, some host culinary experiences, others may offer activities like petting zoos. Learn more and plan your day at www.albertaopenfarmdays.ca.
Guest Writer: Linda Hoang is an Edmonton-based food and travel blogger, and one of Alberta’s leading social media strategists. She is a passionate food lover and small business supporter, and loves sharing her explorations with others. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival and Instagrammable Wall Photo Walks of Edmonton