The Sunworks Blog

The Chickens are Now Outside!

Chickens May 2017The first chickens have been moved outside to the chicken shelters! Throughout the spring, summer and fall our chickens, laying hens, turkeys, ducks and geese are raised outside in movable chicken shelters that are moved every day onto fresh grass. Due to our cold wet spring the chickens were placed outside a few weeks later than last year. We closely monitor the weather in the spring and fall in order to know when is the best time to move the birds outside. The welfare and comfort of the birds is our top priority.

As soon as the spring weather is warm enough and the pasture is dry enough, the chickens are moved out to the moveable outdoor shelters. Throughout the warm seasons the chickens will be moved outside at around 4 weeks of age. At this age they are old enough and have enough feathers to keep them warm and dry during any cooler days and nights. These moveable shelters with their attached ranges are moved onto fresh grass daily. This allows them to eat the grass, hunt for bugs and worms and exhibit natural behaviors like scratching and dust bathing.

When the weather gets cold again at the end of September the birds are raised inside where they can stay safe and warm from the cold and unpredictable Alberta winters.

The BCSPCA monitors the living conditions throughout their life and inspects us annually to ensure that the birds and all animals are being raised humanely.

We feel that when the weather is warm enough the birds should have access to fresh pasture daily. We have been raising chickens outside for over 20 years and are committed to growing all of our animals organically and humanely and treating the land with respect.

Help Us Name Our New Flavour of Sausage.

WName Our Sausage 2e have created a new flavour of sausage that everyone in our family loves but we cannot think of a good name for it. So we need your help. We need your suggestions for a descriptive and enticing name for this new delicious sausage.

We will be sampling and selling this sausage at the markets over the next few weeks with the name “Sunworks Special” so that you can see what it tastes like. After having a sample or trying it at home let us know what you suggest we call it.

We will then go through all the entries and pick our favorite name. If you came up with our favorite name you will win a gift certificate for 10 packages of our sausages.

You can enter by commenting on this blog post, tweeting @sunworksfarm, commenting on our Facebook post or by paper ballot at the market. If you have lots of great ideas you can enter multiple times.

The sausages will be temporarily called “Sunworks Special” and will be available at the following locations starting on May 11 and the contest will close on May 31

The new sausage will be available at:

-Our stall at the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market Edmonton

-Our Meat Shop on Whyte Ave in Edmonton (located within the Blush Lane Store)

Southwest Edmonton Farmers’ Market starting when they open for the season on May 17

-Our stall at The Market on Macleod in Calgary

Vinesation Olive Oils and Vinegars in Camrose

We are excited to see what names you come up with!

Contest rules are as follows:

We will pick the name that we like from amongst all the entries.
That person will then win a gift certificate for 10 packages of sausages. If there are multiple entries for the name chosen. Those entries will be put into a random draw for the gift certificate.

Entries can be made on our Facebook page, website page, twitter page or by paper ballot at the market. To win the prize we must have a way of contacting you via Facebook, email, twitter or phone number.

Any inappropriate entries will be discarded and will not be eligible for the draw.

Easter Weekend Hours

We would like to wish all of our customers a Happy Easter! The following is our Easter weekend hours for all of our own locations.

  • April 14-Good Friday
    Market on Macleod- Open 9am to 5pm
    Meat Shop on Whyte Ave – Open 9am to 7pm
    Vinesations in Camrose – Closed
    Farm Office- Closed
  • April 15
    Market on Macleod- Open 9am to 5pm
    Meat Shop on Whyte Ave – Open 8am to 9pm
    Vinesations in Camrose – Closed
    Old Strathcona Farmers Market-Open
  • April 16- Easter Sunday
    Market on Macleod- Open 9am to 5pm
    Meat Shop on Whyte Ave – Open 9am to 7pm
    Vinesations in Camrose – Closed
  • April 17- Easter Monday
    Meat Shop on Whyte Ave – Open 9am to 9pm
    Vinesations in Camrose – Closed
    Farm Office- Closed

Simple Ingredients = Wonderful Flavor

sausagesWe know the importance of eating pure, clean food and that this has a great benefit on our health and the health of the environment. We believe that you should know exactly what you’re eating without having to get out the dictionary or be a chemist. For this reason all of our sausages, bacon, ham’s and deli meats contain only certified organic meat, certified organic spices and certified organic maple syrup or honey. All our specialty meats are Celiac safe and common allergen free.

deli meatsWe are proud that our products contain no nitrates, no nitrites, no sulphates, no sulfites, no MSG, zero preservatives and are dairy, nut and gluten free (no fillers). We make all of our sausages, bacon and deli meats in our own certified organic sausage processing facility. This facility is inspected by Alberta Regulatory Services Meat Inspection Division weekly. It is also inspected annually for organic status with additional spot inspections throughout the year. These specialty meats are made using state of the art equipment in our new sausage processing facility and are vacuum packed for your convenience and safety. This ensures that we can make the best and safest products for you.

cooking sausagesAll the spices that are used are certified organic, gluten free and are mixed on site. No prepackaged spice mixes are used. By using certified organic spices it means that they contain no herbicide or pesticide residues, no preservatives and no chemical (or any) anti caking agents. No nuts are used and no nuts are allowed in our sausage making facility. All smoked products are naturally smoked; no artificial or liquid smoke is used. This results in a beautiful delicate smoke flavor. We do not use binders or chemicals in the products, no potato flakes, bread crumbs, rice flour or oatmeal is used. All of our products are gluten free. Our certified organic meat and certified organic spices produce a pure undiluted taste. Truly an artisanal product and flavor.

-We do not use, Sodium Erythrobate, Polysorbate 80, Cultured Celery Salt, Sulfites, sulfates, Nitrites and Nitrates.
-We do not use artificial colors or flavors
-We are Gluten Free
-We are Dairy Free
-We are Nut Free
-We are Egg Free
-We only use Certified Organic Ingredients. This means,No GMO’s, herbicides, pesticides fungicides, or irradiation.

At Sunworks Farm we are committed to providing you with the purest, healthiest and best tasting sausages, deli meats and bacon possible.

Your Farmers
Ron, Sheila and Isaac

Summer Markets

Summer was on my mind last week. We got our start in farming by selling our products directly to the consumer every summer at various outdoor markets. Outdoor markets are where we began and we are happy to still attend some of them. There is nothing better than selling chicken outside on a warm summers day to customers that care about how their food is raised.SWEFM Sept 10 2014 2 cropped

Last week I completed my paper work and sent off applications for 3 summer farmers markets. We have been at the Southwest Edmonton Farmers’ Market (Terwillegar/Riverbend) for many years and again have applied to participate in the market for the 2017 season. The St. Albert Farmers’ Market is run by the Chamber of Commerce and I hand delivered the application directly to their office at the south end of St. Albert. I also sent an application to the Downtown Edmonton City market. This would be a new outdoor market for us if we are selected as a vendor so fingers crossed we may be able to serve the great customers at the downtown market.

The applications to the summer markets have to be made every season which is different from the indoor markets that we participate in, where you sign a lease annually. We are not guaranteed a space in the outdoor markets so we are happy to get confirmation of our acceptance into these markets.

I also filled out the forms to become a Concessionaire at the Edmonton Folk Festival. Organic Box and Serben Organic have been concessionaires at the festival and we would like to join them and serve our organic chicken to the crowds at the festival.

Indulgence, a “Canadian Epic of food and Wine” emailed us last week and we sent off the application and paid the participation fee. This is the 17th year for this event and we have participated for 15 years. The event date is Monday June 12 and is generally sold out.

Marketing and attending events are just a part of our being a farmer, processor and retailer. We are thankful we have a great crew that helps us out at the markets, on the farm and in the processing facility so that we have the time to work on all facets of our farming business.

One of the best times of my week is attending the markets so I can give the people that frequent the markets, pure, clean meat products that have been raised ethically and humanely.

Thanks Ron

Ron Hamilton