It was a fabulous evening for locavores and foodies alike. Where else can you go to try roast goose with balsamic berry sauce and quinoa, or beef sliders and homecut fries? Maybe your tastes lean towards lamb curry and homemade artisan bread? Or perhaps bison tacos with homemade salsa? We can’t forget the Chicken Dum Gai and wild rice. The vegetable selection was amazing with borscht, split pea soup, beet salad, roasted pumpkin salad or spaghetti squash with parmesana sauce. The grand finale was Very Berry Crepes, with sour Saskatchewan cherry, haskap or strawberry filling. There was also sheep cheese for appetizers and a beverage station. We were so disappointed to not have local wine this year from the Living Sky Winery at Biggar, but it is really a good news story as they had sold out.
The purpose of the Lloydminster Harvest Feastival is to showcase local producers and provide a venue for consumers to connect with them. There was great support from the County of Vermilion River to help achieve this goal. Amanda Amundrud of the soon to be open “The Root, Community Emporium” was another strong supporter, and our local producer group continues to expand. Back again this year was John Acton’s Lower Shannon Farms from just north of Lloydminster. They provided the beef for the sliders. Their greenhouse will soon be up and running and next year we are hoping for tomatoes and cucumbers from them.
The Cheesiry from Kitscoty brought their artisan sheep cheese to Feastival again this year. Last year they had just started their enterprise and this year they recently had two new additions to their family – twins! A baby boy named Koss and a baby girl named Soffeah. It’s clear that Brian and Rhonda Headon of the Cheesiry are very busy, but as well as being our cheese contact, their other enterprise ‘Hedge Haven Farms’ supplied the chickens for Feastival as well.
Another great young couple were new to Feastival this year, Alex and Veronika Magdanz of Trinity Farms. They grow many animals and vegetables on their farm just south of Lloydminster. The roast goose, pumpkin and spaghetti squash came from them. Trinity Farms also has a vegetable box delivery program in Lloydminster. How easy is that? It comes right to your door! Veronika also baked the fabulous artisan bread which was made from grain grown in our area.
Jason and Julie Anderson of Kathy’s Greenhouse, north of Kitscoty, expanded into vegetable production this year and provided potatoes, beets, carrots and onions. The bison came from Elk Valley Ranch, Frank and Donna McAllister from Kitscoty. The lamb was raised by Chris and Rob Hooper at St. Walburg. The berries for the desserts came from Emjays Prairie Berries near Andrew, AB and from the Flying Rabbit Fruit Farm which is south of St. Paul, AB. So much can come from so close.
Of course there is no way we could do this without the fabulous chef at the Lloydminster Exhibtion – Rob Hofer – and his wonderful staff; Bernice, Bev and Anne. An added bonus for us this year was actually having the opportunity to work in the kitchen with them. Nothing like whipping up 500 sliders, or making four types of berry sauces, not too mention the crepes from Grandma’s special recipe. And that is just what we helped with.
We are also so grateful for the skilled and entertaining celebrity chefs and our other volunteers who kept the food coming and the tables cleared. It was a great evening where people could wander around eating, drinking and visiting. Truly our favorite kind of event.
“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces—just good food from fresh ingredients.” Julia Child.