Farm celebrates the fruits for summer
Agriculture: Kayben Farms to host Strawberry Festival
Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 11:33 am
Crisp, juicy and oh so sweet – strawberries are perfect for the summer.
Kayben Farms is celebrating this most flavourful fruit with its inaugural strawberry festival on Saturday, July 23.
“They’re typically harvested in the middle of summer when things are really lush and beautiful,” said Kayben Farms owner Judy Kolk. “They’re just that ultimate summer fruit you can just pick and eat.”
The event will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the farm north of Okotoks. The festival will include entertainment and events such as wagon rides, live music and cooking demos.
Of course, everything will be focused on strawberries.
“There’s just lots of fun things for people to do,” said Kolk.
The farm’s strawberry u-pick operation will also be open on a first-come, first-served basis as well.
Kolk said the strawberries are beautiful right now.
While they may be smaller than what is grown in other places, she said they taste great.
While there are limits to the fruit that can thrive in the area, she said people should enjoy the fresh fruit that is grown locally.
No festival would be complete without samplings of the feature fruit.
Strawberry shortcake maybe be a traditional favourite, however, the chefs at JoJo’s Cafe at the farm have come up with a bunch of new flavour creations using strawberries.
Every item on the café’s summer menu features strawberries in some way.
For example, as an appetizer, the café is offering a wedge of Applewood smoked cheddar with balsamic salsa and house made crackers. WHERE IS THE STRAWBERRY>>>??
The café is offering a mixed green salad with pink and yellow cherry tomatoes, herbs and strawberries from the chef’s garden along with feta cheese and slivered almonds. As a dressing the café uses Kayben Farm’s strawberry vinaigrette.
Straight from their new wood-fired pizza oven, the café is serving a strawberry glazed chicken pizza with golden tomato and strawberry pizza sauce.
For dessert, the café has a chocolate brownie topped with fresh strawberries, strawberry whipped cream and chocolate sauce. They also have a strawberry and dark chocolate scone.
Kolk had hoped to host a strawberry festival last year, but had to choose not to because the harvest was too small.
It was a situation that came from a sudden cold snap in October of 2009.
“That resulted in winter kill of a lot of our plants, somewhere between 80 and 90 per cent,” she said.
However, Kolk said they weren’t able to tell how much damage was done until the spring. As a result, they ended up with a much smaller strawberry crop last year.
They ordered more strawberry plants and planted 60,000 plants this year.
“We have some that are still good from previous years and they’re producing pretty well and then we have all the new plants put in this year that are starting to produce,” she said.
Admission to the festival is $8 per person or $25 per family. This gives guests full access to Sunshine Adventure Park as well.