Know your Food ~ BISON BASH AT TURTLE VALLEY RANCH

May 25, 2016

If there is one thing I love supporting it is businesses that operate with sustainable and humane food practices that are transparent to us so that you can Know where your food comes from.

BUY LOCAL is one of my mantras and Urban Digs Farm has been a long time favourite of mine because of their steadfast stubbornness in bringing farm life to the urban environment. We are all so detached from our food these days, it is a wonder we aren’t sicker than we are. I applaud people and businesses like these who are making a difference by BEING the change they want to see – it can be difficult swimming upstream and working to bring our food system back to the basics – these folks have put in the blood, sweat and tears it takes to be a driving force for this change.

Urban Digs is not only a local farm ( Burnaby, B.C.)  that you can visit and purchase food from, they are active in their Community and in the future of sustainable eating and living. I’m thrilled to share this event coming up for them that is a collaboration with Turtle Valley Bison Ranch and our Bison associations as well as Chef Chris Whittaker – the AMAZING chef from Forage in Vancouver.

Bison meat is one of my favourites. It’s lean, it’s way more nutritious and it is primarily farmed ethically – if you have never tried it, you must! replace your regular Beef with Bison and you will enjoy much better health, as well as play your part in doing away with the horrific farming situations surrounding the Beef industry.

Here is the event – coming soon – This June 3-5th,2016

Kaare Long

The BC bison industry is managed in a unique way here in BC and is undergoing some interesting changes. Turtle Valley Bison Ranch, Urban Digs Farm and the BC and Canadian Bison Associations are working together to put on an event that inspires producers and engages consumers in this sustainable industry.

The producer event takes place at Turtle Valley Ranch from June 3-5th in Chase BC. Consumer workshops and a ranch tour take place on Saturday.

Everyone is invited to attend and can look forward to:

  • workshops for producers and farmers with guest speakers from the Canadian Bison Association and the BC Ministry of Agriculture with a    focus on adopting new technologies & philosophies in pasture management and raising animals in an environmentally sustainable manner
  • mouth-watering meals including a Friday BBQ and Saturday dinner- a big cookout with Forage’s own Chef Chris Whittaker.
  • ranch tour and info session on the sustainable ranching practices being employed at Turtle Valley Ranch
  • update on the national Slow Meat movement with Slow Food Canada
  • discussion of the nutritional differences and benefits of bison meat
  • tips to ensure the very best results when cooking with bison from Chef Chris Whittaker

Camping is free at the ranch and other accommodations are available nearby (see list on website). More information, tickets and registration is through Urban Digs Farm.

Urban Digs, Turtle Valley Ranch - Kaare LongTurtle Valley Bison Ranch is a 5th generation ranch on 1200 acres in Chase BC. Rudi Schiebel and Laine Keyes, the owners of Turtle Valley Ranch, met playing junior hockey. Laine’s family has owned the ranch for 5 generations and after a few summers working for the family- Rudi jumped at the opportunity to buy half the ranch in 2013.

Rudi financed his half through Farm Credit Canada’s Young Farmers program. The ranch has a very sustainable farming focus. They believe the success of their farm is based on the health of the surrounding environment. They make choices for their farm that will better the land it’s on, and create a legacy of bison farming in BC for the long term.

Urban Digs, Turtle Valley Ranch - Kaare LongChef Chris Whittaker (@ChefWhittaker – Twitter) is the Executive Chef at the award-winning Forage on Robson Street. He recently opened up a second location next door called Timber. Both restaurants serve bison products from Turtle Valley Ranch. Chris Whittaker’s philosophy is simple: respect our land and water. Use local suppliers:  small farms and wild food.  Whittaker is an active partner and supporter of the Environmental Farm Plan, Ocean Wise, Eat Wild, Farm Folk/City Folk and numerous other tireless organizations all equally committed to promoting the sustainability of our food systems.

Urban Digs Farm brings responsible, whole animal butchery to the Lower Mainland. Co-founder Julia Smith raises heritage pork on pasture in the Nicola Valley and is excited to have partnered with Turtle Valley Ranch to add high quality, sustainably raised bison to their product line. Urban Digs offers free home delivery through their web store, or people can shop right at their urban farm in South Burnaby and at local farmers markets.Bison Bash - Urban Digs, Turtle Valley Ranch - Kaare Long

Bison farming, when managed appropriately, can actually contribute to the land the herds graze on instead of depleting it, building soil and sequestering carbon. In addition to the environmental benefits, bison cannot be mass produced in large commercial operations and only thrive when allowed to express their natural behaviours. Consumers are getting more involved with their food. They want to know where the meat they eat is coming from, how it was raised, and how to put it on their plate in the best way. In the face of climate change and a growing population, it is more important than ever that we ensure our local food security and that we do so in a way that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

Register now – Click HERE

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