The Sunworks Blog

Why Being Certified Organic is Important.

canada-certification-logoWe believe that being certified as organic is very important, for ourselves and for the consumer. Over the last two days we have completed our yearly organic inspection. The organic inspector is an independent auditor who verifies through physical inspection of the land, buildings, animals and paperwork that we are following the Canadian Organic Standards. These are the same standards that every organic producer must follow in order to be certified as organic. These standards are not open to interpretation by individual farmers, producers or manufacturers. They are the consumers assurance that you are getting what you are paying for and that you know by what rules and regulations your food was grown and processed.

The inspection is a three step inspection. Yearly we submit our documents and information to the certifying body. This paperwork is then examined by an initial reviewer to look for any non –compliance issues that are visible in the paperwork that is submitted. The inspector then reviews the paperwork before making the physical inspection of the farm. The physical inspection includes all the land, buildings, equipment, ingredients and animals. The inspector is looking for any non-compliance issues and will also perform several paper trail audits. This is where the inspector takes a random product and examines the paper trail (bills, affidavits, sales records etc.) from the start of the product through to the sale of the product to the consumer. The inspectors report is then sent to a review committee that looks at all the documentation from all steps of the inspection process and then issues the final decision as to whether a certificate can be issued to that farmer, producer or processor. The initial reviewer, the inspector and the review committee are all well trained in the requirements of the organic standard and in the ability to detect issues of non-compliance with the standard. They are members of IOIA (International Organic Inspectors Association).

We buy certified organic products because then we are assured as to how those products were raised, grown and processed. We buy certified organic products because then we know that no chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or chemical fertilizers were used on the land or on the product. We know that the meat was raised without artificial hormones, antibiotics, or animal by-products. We know we are not eating genetically modified foods. We know that the products have not been irradiated or treated with chemical preserving agents or fumigants. We also know that the processor has processed the food in a way that maintains the integrity of the organic status of that product.

We buy certified organic products because we believe that they are better for our health, the animal’s health and the health of the environments. We want the assurance that when we are spending our money for a superior product that we are getting what we expect. Buying products that have been certified as organic is your assurance that what you are purchasing has complied with a set of strong standards. It is the only certification that covers both non-gmo and chemical herbicides and pesticides. We have been growing certified organic animals since 1997 and have been eating certified organic products since before then. We strive to provide the consumer with the best certified organic meat available at a fair price to the farmer and the consumer. We want as many people as possible to have the option of eating certified organic.

To view the Canadian organic standards please follow this link.  http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ongc-cgsb/programme-program/normes-standards/internet/bio-org/principes-principles-eng.html

Almond Butter, Jam and Banana Egg Sandwich
Author: 
 
Are you tired of the everyday ordinary scrambled eggs, poached eggs, hard boiled eggs or omelet? Here is a delicious way to spice up your egg routine! Make sure you head to the Farmers Market this weekend to pick up Sunworks Certified Organic & Free Range Farm eggs to make this delicious egg sandwich!
Ingredients
  • 3 sunworks farms eggs
  • 1 Tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp almond milk
  • ¼ cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 organic banana , sliced
  • 2 Tbsp organic raw almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp organic sugar free jam
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, almond milk and salt. Whisk until combined.
  2. Heat a medium sized cast iron skillet and add ghee. Pour in egg mixture, making sure it covers the entire bottom of the skillet.
  3. Cook for 4-5 min or until eggs are done. Fold egg mixture in half and transfer to a serving plate.
  4. Spread almond butter and jam in the middle of the egg “sandwich”. Add sliced bananas.
  5. Fold together and sprinkle with additional cinnamon and nutmeg if desired.
  6. Enjoy!

 

Christmas Turkeys

IMG_0822 cropedWe are now accepting orders for Christmas Turkeys!

Our turkeys are an Orlopp Bronze turkey. This is a Heritage Breed that are a cross between a Wild Turkey and a broad breasted white bird. They are “black-feathered” birds which will cause some of the pin feather holes on the skin to look like little ink spots. The meat is a light caramel color and boasts a very rich flavor. These turkeys are very popular and we have a limited quantity so please order early.

To order your turkey or for more information about turkey pick up days and locations please call the farm office at 1-877-393-3133 or visit us at one of our markets. When you order we take a $10 deposit per turkey, this reserves you a turkey but not a specific size. If you would like a specific size we recommend that you arrive at your pickup location early in order to have the best selection of sizes available. The deadline to order turkeys will be December 15th at 5:00pm or when we sell out of turkeys, whichever comes first.

An Update on the Processing Plant

             IMG_3923An update on our certified humane poultry processing plant. The processing plant is well underway and has changed dramatically since the last update and the Family Farm Day in September. All the doors, windows and exterior is finished and work is focusing now on the interior of the building. The water holding tanks are in, the boilers and many of the larger pieces of equipment are in place awaiting hookup. Floors will be going in right away and then the smaller pieces of equipment will be added. We are hoping for a finishing date of end of November with the first flock of chickens being processed beginning of December. We are very proud to watch this building grow and develop and are excited and anxious to see it get finished.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here is an article about the processing plant by ALMA (Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency).http://alma.alberta.ca/News/index.htm?contentId=AGUCMINT-374421&useSecondary=true ALMA “is a IMG_3932provincial government agency established to help advance the Alberta Livestock and Meat Strategy (ALMS) – a roadmap designed to drive positive change within Alberta’s livestock and meat industry.” They provided some funding that helped make this project possible

The Blue Dot Tour

Sheila and I were among the 1500 people that attended David Suzuki`s Blue Dot Tour at the Winspear in Edmonton on Tuesday night. The evening was filled with music, poetry and testimonials with the highlight of the evening being a speech by Dr David Suzuki. We have seen the passion that David Suzuki has for the environment and social justice on television and in podcasts but to see him live will be a highlight of our life.  As an elder his overview and knowledge of the state of the environment is breathtaking. He is like a father or grandfather that can use plain and simple language to deliver a powerful message.

                The message that Dr Suzuki gave to us was “There is nothing more important than the right to breathe clean fresh air, drink clean water and eat healthy food“.  This is the basis of life and without these we will not be able to survive as a species. Since Sheila and I have moved to the farm from the city these have been overarching goals for us. We truly believe that every acre of land that doesn`t have herbicides and pesticides dumped on it, every acre that has biodiversity, every animal raised organically and humanely will make a difference. In our polluted environment it is sometimes hard to believe that we can make our world better but we have to try. We have to try to leave our land that we are borrowing from our grandchildren in a better state than when we were given it. One of the basic principles of organic farming is to look after the environment. By being certified as an organic farmer we can prove, through the third party audit, that we are providing clean healthy food and that we are protecting our environment.

                With our health challenges and allergies we know that clean air and healthy food will make us well. David Suzuki wants the right to breath clean air, drink clean water and eat healthy food enshrined in our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We applaud the millions of Canadians who are working to have this amendment to the Canadian Charter of Rights adopted. 

                Please join the Blue Dot Movement as every voice counts. To get more information go to www.bluedot.ca

                Thanks Ron