… Annnnd we’re back! In Part 2 of our local food quest we headed to Karen Alexander’s farm on the edge of Elkford. Karen’s goal is for her family to eat entirely from the farm, a combination of what they grow and what they buy with the money from selling locally. Finally a chance for us to see where our food actually begins!
First stop was the laying hens where we collected eggs and learned about how to tell if an egg was fertilized or not. “This could turn into a CHICKEN?!” Then it was on to the beehives in the field. We learned how the bees stay awake in a giant bee ball all winter, cycling through the warm inside with the queen always at the center. If you are very quiet you can hear them buzzing on the inside. Karen gave us a Beekeeping 101 course, showing us samples of the inside of a hive, how she extracts the honey, and of course a much-anticipated taste of her honey. We connected the dots to Mor Jerky by heading over to see the brand new piglets. Karen talked about how it is indeed hard to send her pigs to the abattoir at the end of the summer but how she values knowing they had a good life and is able to honour them.
So many lightbulb moments as we learned about animals and realized the amount of work that goes into our food. We chatted about the differences between the local food we had investigated and the food that we buy in the grocery store and students left with more questions than they came with.
A HUGE thank you to Karen, Morris and Sharon for helping us learn that food CAN actually come from Elkford and just how much work it takes.