Christine Boake photo

Exploring the agricultural ‘heart’ of the region via ‘Taste of the Heartland’

Day includes bus tours, a long table dinner and a Main Street dance

A fabulous way of exploring the agricultural ‘heart’ of the region is coming up through the ‘Taste of the Heartland’ event, slated for Aug. 10th.

The day, hosted by the Stettler Regional Board of Trade, has three components to it, explained Donna Morris, project manager.

Things kick off with the Farm to Fork VIP Bus Tours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. which are followed by the fabulous Long Table Dinner which includes cocktails at 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m.

The evening wraps up with the Main Street Dance from 9 p.m. until midnight.

“This is open to families and folks of all ages,” she said. “Paul Woida is going to provide our entertainment for the evening.

“You can pick one event to come to, or you can take part in all three,” said Morris.

Ultimately, the goal of the event is for participants to, ‘Be immersed in the agricultural lifestyle with delectable food and rural hospitality right in the Heart of Alberta’.

“The Taste of the Heartland is a celebration of our agricultural industry – the products and the processes that we have in the Town and the County of Stettler,” said Morris.

The bus tours will take guests to a variety of local farms to learn about what is produced at each site.

“It’s amazing in that you learn how some of our products here actually go world-wide,” she said. “You also get a home-cooked meal!

“We have locally-sourced herbs and beef and vegetables that you can purchase here. We are showing you what you can do with all of these local ingredients. It’s really eye-opening.”

County of Stettler Agriculture Services staff along with volunteers will be onboard the bus to answer questions and showcase other areas of the agriculture industry as well.

Tickets for the bus tours are $25 which includes lunch.

Tickets for the Long Table Dinner are $60 each (which includes the Main Street Dance) and if you just want to drop by the dance, that will cost you $5.

Chefs include Brenda Brinson of Brenda’s Cozy Cafe, Chef Shania Scammell of the CCR Restaurant & Bar in Consort and Chef Steven Brochu of MilkCrate Catering in Edmonton.

The food is all made from locally-sourced ingredients as well, she said.

“We hosted the dinner two years ago and it was beautiful out,” recalled Morris. “So we are hoping it will stay that way again.” If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the dinner will be held in the Agri-plex.

There will also be a ‘CHOPPED Stettler’ portion included in the festivities, which, as the web site noted, is meant to be a fun and relaxing rivalry between chefs wanting to show off their abilities in a bit of competition.

“Chefs will receive a basket of ingredients (all known to the chefs prior to the event – special requests may be considered) to be utilized in making hors d’oeuvres for our Taste of the Heartland Long Table Dinner guests.”

Morris said they are looking for one or two more participants to take part in CHOPPED Stettler at this point as well.

Meanwhile, to attend all of the day’s functions, the cost is $75.

“My favourite part of this is learning about what we have here,” explained Morris.

“We have fish farms in our own backyard; we have pheasant, we have boar, beef, chicken, dairy — all of this right here, and that’s just on the meat side. We also have the herbs and the grains – it’s just amazing to hear about it and to see what we have.”

For more information about Taste of the Heartland, check out www.tasteof theheartland.ca.

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