Sustainability Resources

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Tuesday, 03 November 2015 18:18

Modern Homesteaders

Evolution of Agriculture – learning from the past to plan the future.

Individually unique producers standing as ONE. Represented by Jocelyn from Paradise Farms, Kassie from 4K Farms, Jocelyn from TK Ranch, and Nancy from Sage Permaculture.

Collectively we raise beef, pork, chicken, eggs and all sorts of fun stuff in between.


Tuesday, 03 November 2015 18:14

Fair Trade Olds

Olds was officially designated as a Fair Trade town on Nov. 9, becoming the first in Alberta.

"It’s kind of another notch in our sustainability belt and as far as Alberta goes I think we’ve got many more notches in it than any other rural town has. I think that’s really exciting," said Kristin Allan, a member of the Fair Trade Olds Committee, which spearheaded the effort to become a Fair Trade town. Allan said Olds has been a leader in sustainability and becoming a Fair Trade town is another step in social, economic and cultural sustainability of the town.

Allan said the committee believes local agriculture is extremely important to the community and supports it wherever possible. She said most of the products included in Fair Trade are not in competition with local goods because most of the Fair Trade goods, such as coffee, can’t be grown locally. "Every time we set foot in a store, the choices we make result in a rippling wave effect around the globe. We can all make better, more educated choices to ensure that those waves are helping and not harming people and our planet," she said.

There are six criteria to becoming a Fair Trade town, including that workplaces, faith groups and schools use and promote Fair Trade certified products and that stores and restaurants serve Fair Trade products.

There are currently about a dozen businesses in Olds that carry Fair Trade Products. If there are any other businesses that offer Fair Trade products, the committee would be interested in knowing who they are by contacting them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Olds became involved in the Fair Trade movement as a result of committee member and manager of corporate services for the town Nina Gales investigating the possibility.

Allan joined the Olds Advisory Group For Sustainable Living and was asked by Gales to volunteer for the committee.

"She passed the ball to me and I ran with it," Allan added, noting that one of the six criteria for becoming a Fair Trade town was establishing the committee of which she is a member.

Tuesday, 03 November 2015 18:11

Country Thyme Farms

We are Country Thyme Farm, located just west of Bowden, Alberta. We run our 40-acre farm with ethical, compassionate practices keeping the long-term health of our family, plants, animals and land in mind. Good soil, organic practices, green pastures and naturally raised plants & animals are the best way to nourish the body and the land. 

We run our farm following the Community Shared Agriculture (“CSA”) model. We sell our farm goods directly to those looking for fresh, local and naturally grown foods. By pre-selling shares of the harvest in the farm, we have your guaranteed support and you are signed up for the freshest food that we grew and raised just for you and deliver directly to your community.

Tuesday, 03 November 2015 18:02

Taste of Markerville

Taste of Markerville is a culinary tourism project designed to:

•showcase local farmers and processors and their products 

•welcome new visitors and prospective customers to Historic Markerville

•promote tourism in west Red Deer County

•capitalize on the growing interest in sustainable food production and consumption

•generate funds to support the ongoing operation of Historic Markerville’s facilities and programs.

Building on the success of a pilot food festival in July 2013 and an expanded country food fair in 2014, Taste of Markerville will present two linked events in July and September 2015, with the intention of growing the project over a three year time frame.



The Stephan G. Stephansson Icelandic Society (SGSIS) owns and operates the Historic Markerville Creamery Museum, Fensala Hall and the Markerville Lutheran Church; all these heritage buildings are designated as Provincial Historic Resources.  The Society’s mission is “To preserve and interpret history, and to promote culture and community fellowship”.  The Creamery Museum welcomes over 12,000 visitors annually, many of them elementary school children participating in curriculum-linked field trips.

Fensala Hall, built in 1903, was completely refurbished and reopened in 2006 under the management of a committee of the SGSIS.  The hall management board mobilizes community volunteers to deliver  a food service program that hosted over 2000 guests at 22 events in 2014.   The hall menus highlight local and seasonal produce and excellent relationships have been developed with local suppliers.  It is through these connections that the concept for Taste of Markerville was born.


Highlights and Successes

•strong existing relationships with local food suppliers (including Markerville Berry and Vegetable, The Farm With The Good Food, YB Quality Meats, Innisfail Growers, Bowden Farm Fresh Chicken, Nixon Honey) and neighbouring tourism operators (Stephansson House Historic Site, Danish Canadian National Museum, Dickson Store Museum)

•a professional food service and event planning record at Fensala Hall led by committed volunteers 

•support of the SGSIS board through the Fund Raising and Promotions committee

•office and bookkeeping support for administrative and reporting purposes

•existing promotional materials (websites, newsletters, etc.) can be used to market this new initiative

•ATB Financial’s graphics department designed a logo in 2013.  The domain has been registered and a website, facebook page and twitter account were used to market the initiative in 2014

•excellent print and social media coverage in 2014 can be leveraged to market this year’s event


Challenges and Opportunities

•establish and solidify links between partners resulting in increased cross promotion 

•generate a sustained increase in community, municipal and corporate support

•develop an improved tracking system that makes it easier for members to evaluate success

•need to secure ongoing / multi-year core funding to ensure project sustainability

•sustained volunteer commitment is essential to the project’s successful implementation

•this is an outdoor event and late July aligns with extreme weather risk- monitor weather conditions and incorporate all reasonable precautions


Desired Outcomes

•design and deliver a professional marketing campaign showcasing Taste of Markerville events, Historic Markerville and project partners

•attract a new audience to partner sites / operations

•50% of Taste of Markerville visitors will be visiting Markerville for the first time.  Note that this measure was exceeded in 2013 and 2014

•Fensala Hall will have one new booking within one year as a result of Taste of Markerville

•partners will note an increase in sales and/or visitation of 10% as a result of Taste of Markerville- The Farm With the Good Food exceeded this measure immediately after Taste 2014

•realize net revenue of $10,000 to Historic Markerville

•solidify Taste of Markerville’s reputation as a “gotta go!” event in visitor’s annual summer calendars

Tuesday, 03 November 2015 18:01

Cyber Seniors

When asked by a group of citizens from the Olds Institute to participate in a Cyber Seniors project, the Olds High School Interact club agreed to take the project on and recruited high school students to get involved.  Club Co-presidents Emily Vandermeer and Olivia Hughes made classroom presentations and encouraged Interact members to consider participating in this project. The Olds Connected Communities committee, a sub-committee of the Olds Institute, brought in a training video and offered four training sessions to the 16 high school students who signed up to volunteer their time.

After completing this initial training, students were paired up with a senior in our community who wanted help learning to use their technology. This is a very rewarding volunteer opportunity and students at OHS are certainly hoping they can keep it going with the help and support they have been given from the Olds Institute and particularly the Olds Connected Communities committee.  If you are interested in learning more about this project please contact an Interact member or Tane Skotheim, Interact staff advisor.

Tuesday, 03 November 2015 17:58

Mountain View Berry Farm

Mountain View Berry Farm was founded in 2004 by Rob and Helen Hammel.  Even though they had no experience in the agricultural industry, they thought they would give it a try.  After all, agriculture has been around for about 10,000 years.  How hard could it be?  They have a saskatoon, raspberry and sour cherry u-pick and have a commercial kitchen right on farm that they make value-added products.  They have sold their products from Red Deer to Carstairs and many of their customers range from Lacombe to south of Calgary.  Their focus is on customer service, hiring local talent and sharing their experiences in agriculture – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Presentation: What did we get Ourselves into:  A New Farmer’s Experience

Experiences of a city slicker couple who decided one day to try their hand at fruit farming.  

Tuesday, 03 November 2015 17:49

Kohut Korn (Health Street)

Kohut Farm is a family run farm in Didsbury, Alberta that has been in business for nearly 100 years. Rock Kohut started growing some organic corn on 4 acres of land a few years ago and though the product is not yet certified organic it is grown GMO-free and pesticide free and is joining up with other local farms together working towards the full organic standards.

Tuesday, 03 November 2015 17:46

Cocoa Tree Bake Shoppe

A sweet treat bake shoppe specializing in fantastic cake creation, cupcakes, cake pops, cookies and more! Great place to hang out in comfort, and enjoy our Free WIFI with a cup of Fairtrade certified coffee or other hot or cold beverage. Our products contain only the finest ingredients including quality chocolate, real whipped cream, fair trade products and nothing but real butter for that truly gourmet taste.

Thursday, 29 October 2015 21:07

Utility Net

The UTILITY NETWORK is a secure online and hands free service. It is somewhat similar to a private cooperative network of independent retailers who are using UTILITYnet’s data center as a centralized back-office data and invoice processing hub. The retailing system is designed to process all metered and consumer invoicing data on behalf of UTILITYnet’s retail clients and respective customers. The internet based service bureau is linked into all major Wire Service Providers in the province. Ongoing major investments are continuing to be made into the concept of “Cloud Computing”, “Energy Management Reporting”, “Paperless Billing” and “Online Banking”. But most importantly, the new retailers now have access to the same robust database and automated systems that Alberta’s major industrial clients have been using for over 3 decades. UTILITYnet has removed one of the major barriers to entry into the competitive market and encourages either municipalities and local entrepreneurs all over Alberta to seriously consider opening up their own local electricity retailing business.
Within the next twenty four months, it is anticipated that the new UTILITY NETWORK will be expanded to include 25 regional electricity retailers in Alberta.
Visit The Electricity Shop to see a complete list of our affiliate retailers.
UTILITYnet is changing the concept of retailing in Alberta.
For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Friday, 23 October 2015 00:51

Central Alberta Economic Partnership

Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP) is one of 11 Regional Economic Development Alliances in the Province of Alberta. We have 35 municipal members, 11 associate members, and 1 First Nation member. CAEP has a focus on innovative regional collaboration providing tools and resources which enable business and communities to compete more effectively in the global marketplace.

Through our  key strategies, Community Readiness, Marketing and Communications, and Regional Economic Development  initiatives, we serve as a vital partner in the continued diversification of Central Alberta’s economy. Building on our region’s existing efforts and successes CAEP is provides a relevant and solid direction for future collaboration to ensuring local and global competitiveness for our members, both urban and rural.  Through these means, CAEP endeavors to nurture both business and community realizing greater prosperity in Central Alberta locally, regionally, and provincially.