Wednesday, 21 June 2017 14:54

Fort Macleod hosts its 2nd Annual Homestead Show and Market

Written by  Demi Knight
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Rows of chickens available for purchase at the livestock market. Rows of chickens available for purchase at the livestock market. Photo by Demi Knight

The 2nd annual Homestead show and Market was held in Fort Macleod June 9-10. This agriculture homestead show and livestock market was brought back this year so vendors could work with the public to promote heritage breed poultry and specialty livestock.

One of the event organizers, Tim Romanow, says this two-day event is a great opportunity for people to interact with and learn from those in the area’s agriculture industry.
“This is a great opportunity to connect local producers, small farmers, and those who are interested in dusting off some of the old ways of being more self-sufficient the way our grandparents would have,” he says.
The event boasted small livestock sales with chickens, waterfowl, peafowl, guinea fowl, sheep, goats, rabbits, pheasants and hatching eggs, as well as co-op and supply sales. 
Western Farm and ranch home décor, baked goods and vintage barnwood re-purposed furniture were also available for purchase throughout the stalls at the all-day market.
This event was buzzing with people from all over the province, who were excited not only to chat with the breeders and confidently purchase livestock with the comfort of lineage knowledge, but also to enjoy the day’s festivities.
The homestead show and market was also host to a number of events for the whole family to enjoy including pony rides, face painting and a large range of children’s games such as a cow milking competition.
Meanwhile, the event offered refuge to adults with a ‘field-to-glass’ beer garden and stalls that featured craft beers, fruit wines and honey wines, all made with home-grown ingredients found across southern Alberta. Vendors throughout the market offered samples of their home-grown delights, with the option to purchase said alcoholic beverages.
The Bucking Horse Saloon was also a popular option for adults throughout the event on the Friday as they offered featured products for customers to sip on while they browsed.
Although the sun was in attendance, participants still had to brave the harsh Alberta winds in order to get the most out of the livestock market where a number of vendors with rare or older heritage breeds offered their knowledge along with their livestock.
“It’s a great opportunity for both farmers and acreage owners to learn about all aspects of homesteading skills that aren’t as common anymore and be able to purchase livestock directly from breeders with confidence and knowing that they’re getting the right type for their operation,” explains Romanow. “We also make the event fun for all families attending including games face painters pony rides and the field to glass beer gardens which highlights local products from across southern Alberta.”
 People were able to attend the various workshops and demonstrations offered as no extra charge after admissions. These workshops included demonstrations such as dog agility and herding demos, aquaponics and greenhouses, mountain bluebirds, heritage seeds, heritage breeds profiles and other must-know information, fiber spinning and even knowledge on working with and handling sheep.
The Midnight Stadium in Fort Macleod was the home to this special event, that worked overall to celebrate sustainable living within the province and was attended by large crowds who hoped to rejoice with and benefit from these celebrations.
“Someday, we are going to regret losing that diversity, and it’s markets like this that help connect the small flock holders that continue to keep rare breeds and bloodlines going,” says Romanow about the importance of this event to the sustainability of the province and all the rare breeds on offer.

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