Foothills Agritourism - a culinary adventure

Posted on: Jul 28, 2021

The Foothills are home to a long legacy of farming and ranching. Cattle have long been at the heart of our industry and continue to be a way of life for so many who call these hills home. The Foothills continue to provide. So many new agricultural ventures have sprung up over the years to complement the beef industry. From wine and spirits to garlic, preserves and teas – it’s not just cattle country anymore. The agritourism industry in booming in the Foothills and you are invited to experience this culinary adventure.
 
Eau Claire Distillery – where they grow and harvest the grains that go into their award-winning spirits. Sample their wares at their headquarters in Turner Valley and keep an eye on their web page and social media to volunteer for the harvest.
 
Forage & Farm – set on a hillside west of Millarville with a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains, this breath-taking farm produces garlic, garlic and more garlic. If garlic can be processed, these producers know how. There is scape pesto, fermented black garlic, garlic in honey, garlic chutney, garlic hummus and of course bulbs. Farm tours, culinary classes, harvesting hands and visits are all on offer.
 
Full Circle Adventures – these hills have been providing for ever. Meet Julie Walker, a foraging force. Every plant has a use and a perfect time to harvest and Julie knows them all. Join her on a walk through the meadows and forests of the Foothills and absorb the lore and knowledge that Julie is happy to share.
 
Hartell Homestead – here’s where you find the famous Foothills beef. Hartell Homestead is a newly opened farm and farm store. The owners have Highland Cattle, chickens and two lovable goats and are more than eager to share their knowledge of the land and livestock with visitors. The farm store is stocked with local meats, honey, art and fresh produce. Stop by and say hello to their best gal, Queenie the queen of the pasture.
 
The Saskatoon Farm – a decades old dream has turned into a perfect Foothills escape. Thirty some years ago, a family dreamed of living and working in the Foothills. See what 30+ years of hard work gets you – multiple greenhouses filled with plants flowers and tortoises; an old-fashioned street with shops filled with treasures; a restaurant and outdoor patio; a seasonal farmers’ market with local and organic veggies for sale and an annual u-pick for you guessed it Saskatoons and more.
 
Spirit Hills Flower Winery – you do not have to leave Alberta to go on a wine tour. Tucked up against the eastern slopes you will find a terroir to rival any you could visit the world over. Taking inspiration from the wildflowers and dandelions, Spirit Hills is the taste of the Foothills. Tour their stunning grounds and buildings, learn all about the wine making and harvesting process and taste all the Foothills has on offer.
 
Millarville General Store – this general store has long been a mainstay for locals. A long history. Today, new owners Tim Babey and Deb Elliott and have turned this space into a showcase of local products. From spirits, wine, beers, produce, preserves, arts and crafts, honey, socks and jewellery this place knows the Foothills.
 
Preserved Foods Boutique – this Bragg Creek storefront is filled with the flavours of the Foothills. The owner partners with local producers to preserve and intensify regional fare. Garlic scape chutney and Gin Jam are an absolute must to try. Forage & Farm as well as Eau Claire Distillery are long-time collaborators, and the Millarville General Store carries a huge assortment of their products.
 
Tender Living Farm/Bertie’s – Co-owner of this sweet shop is a forager extraordinaire. Tender Living Farm makes the best teas, bath accoutrements and self-care lotions and potions all from local and hand-harvested flora. Try the After Dinner Tea to settle your tummy after consuming way too much of the Foothills’ best flavours. Find all of Tender Living Farm’s wares at Bertie’s Store in beautiful Black Diamond. 
 
The Hive – if there ever was a name that fit the bill perfectly, it would be The Hive. This Nanton storefront is a buzz of activity and community. With more than 200 local vendors all under one roof, The Hive describes their space as a hub to support small business and help them showcase, expand and succeed. They are home to four local restaurants as well, you can’t miss out on a visit to Nanton and The Hive.
 
Burgardt’s Butcher – this family-run butcher shop in downtown High River is exactly what the Foothills are all about – ranch raised beef, homemade sausages, high standards, community and family. At Burgardt’s they are proud to partner with local producers and stand behind their consistent quality. Home cooked meals are also on the menu so stop in and grab some meats straight out of their smokehouse.
 
Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage – located just east of Nanton, this 160-acre, 100-year-old property is a plant lovers paradise. Once owned by Dr. Jim Coutts, the Coutts Centre is now under the care of the University of Lethbridge. This unique property enhances the student experience as a living classroom. With 18+ perennial gardens, walking trails and repurposed historic outbuildings, there are so many reasons to come check out this prairie paradise.


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