Buying directly from Alberta farmers just got easier!

It is becoming easier to find and contact local farms in your area to buy products directly from the farmer.

Alberta Open Farm Days is a collaborative, province-wide, two-day event that gives Albertans an opportunity to experience the farm and understand where their food comes from. It is a backstage pass to meet the farmer, experience Ag-tourism in Alberta and taste local foods direct from the producer.

Open Farm Days has taken place in Canada for over 10 years, starting in the Maritimes and moving West. 2020 will mark the eighth annual Alberta Open Farm Days.

In Alberta, Open Farm Day is scheduled to be held on August 15-16, 2020 depending on any Covid restrictions that may be in place at that time. Their goal is to showcase Alberta’s agriculture and tourism industry in a fun, engaging and meaningful manner to participants of all ages.

Changes in the Supply Chain

Because the normal supply chain process in Alberta and across the world has been affected in multiple ways by governmental Covid restrictions it has been more difficult for consumers to find the products they need.

According to beef rancher Rachel Herbert "There is just a greater sense of food insecurity and people are wanting to have a direct connection to their producer.  We've never seen the volume of orders come in such a narrow amount of time."  Herbert and her husband Tyler Herbert operate Trail’s End Beef, which supplies customers with a variety of grass-fed beef options in bulk.  "We expect to be sold out likely within this week," said Herbert. Many orders are coming from customers who normally purchase meat from grocery stores.

There are many ways to shop farm fresh in Alberta, from a farmers market to subscription boxes, but did you know that many farms have a store onsite or will deliver or ship food to you?  Alberta Open Farm Days has put together a page on their website to help Albertans contact local farmers directly.  There are two ways to search this information, by food type or by map!

How to use their page to find a farm to buy from:

  1. Find a farm that’s close to you using the map or by category
  2. Click on the farm's website or social channels to see how to purchase and if there are delivery methods. Although most farms do not have an official storefront, they will sell from their property or have delivery methods. Always best to check their website and or social channels for more information.
  3. If you don’t already, follow your local farm on social media.

Other options

Alberta Open Farm Days has also recently partnered with Edmonton-based online grocer Organic Box to help farmers not only solve their distribution problem but also attract new customers. The Open Farm Days box is a pilot program launched last week to offer specialty grocery boxes sourced from small Alberta farmers. On the Organic Box website, customers can choose from three new boxes: a meat box from northern Alberta ranches, a meat box from southern Alberta and a pantry box stocked with local confections. Organic Box also does home deliveries of other natural, organic and locally made groceries that can all be delivered to your door. You can order as much or as little you like without any thresholds or commitments.