Alberta Open Farm Days takes place this weekend, Aug. 13-14, and more than 100 farms across Alberta are participating.
Chatsworth Farm, located east of Edmonton near Vermilion, is one the properties opening its doors to visitors.
Started in 1994, the farm is run by seven family members who are dedicated to making sure Albertans have farm-to-table quality food with every purchase.
Driving into the farm yard, people are greeted by a massive garden growing almost every vegetable imaginable in Alberta.
Chatsworth Farm is a mixed farm growing crops and raising livestock, including cattle, sheep, ducks, chickens, geese and two horses. And no farm is complete without some barn cats!
Charlotte Wasylik, the family’s only daughter, helps out as much as she can on the farm, including running their social and media handlings.
“We have beef, we have lamb, and we have poultry and eggs — those are some of the things that we sell farm-to-table, so directly from our farm to customers,” said Wasylik.
All the animals, from the cattle to lambs — even their turkeys — are born or hatched on the farm. Once they hit their desired size they head to the butcher, she said.
“We just take them either 15 minutes to Vermilion or to our other butcher, which is 20 minutes south of us and they do everything — they cut, they wrap all of our meat,” she said, adding the beef is then dry aged for an average of 21 days.
“Then we go and pick it up, we label everything and deliver it straight to our customers.”
And when it comes to preparing the eggs, it’s an easy process, according to Wasylik.
“They get laid over in the hen house. We bring them here, they get washed and take them straight to our customers.”
The Chatsworth Farm doesn’t sell just any eggs — they offers a rainbow blend of eggs, the colour of which comes from the chicken’s genetics, Wasylik said.
“Some lay olive, some lay a deep dark and crimson color, blue — sometimes even a purple tinge to them.”
“That is something a lot of people really love and when the hens are laying well it’s really hard to keep them in stock.”
As part of Alberta Open Farm Days, the public is invited to visit the 2,000 acre farm this weekend.
“There will be a BBQ, which is new this year. We also have machinery demonstrations, an expanded farmers market and we have guided live stock tours,” she said.
“We have a lot going on and we are really excited to welcome everyone here to the farm again.”
A unique feature to the BBQ are the family’s own beef hotdogs.
“The beef itself is sirloin, chuck roast, cross-rib roast and round roast. We also have our beef fat in there, so it’s our beef and our beef only.”
Washrooms are on site and a golf cart is available for those with mobility issues. There are also many shaded areas for those looking to hide from the sun.
If Chatsworth isn’t close to you, there are many other farms you can check out.
“There is probably a farm close to you that’s participating and we would invite you all to come out and have fun at the farm.”
Open Farm Days launched in 2013 and is a collaborative, province-wide, two-day event that gives Albertans an opportunity to experience the farm and understand where their food comes from.