Urban farming takes root in Wetaskiwin

Pigeons and rabbits and chickens, oh my! Canadian Heritage Breeders urban farm sale is coming to Wetaskiwin for the first time.

Pigeons and rabbits and chickens, oh my!

Canadian Heritage Breeders urban farm sale is coming to Wetaskiwin for the first time.

The sale will be held at the Wetaskiwin Drill Hall on June 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The urban farm sale caters to acreages, farms and urban communities by selling a variety of items including vegetables, heritage plants and livestock, antiques, flowers, hatching eggs, chicks and pairs of breeding birds.

Eighty per cent of the sale will be birds.

“Heritage birds can be loose in your yard. They’re also better when it comes to predators; knowing where they are,” said Liz Munro, organizer and show director for Canadian Heritage Breeders.

“The main thing we’re doing is getting the heritage livestock going, they’re getting extinct,” said Munro.

A wide variety of birds will be on show and for sale. From russet-colored chickens of varying breeds to both fancy and racing pigeons. Between the two groups of pigeons there will be more than 50 breeds.

There are many differences in breeds of chickens, pigeons and other fowl, affecting their appearance and uses, which stem from their phylogeny.

Vegetables at the sale will include heirloom tomatoes and purple carrots, plants from the ‘40s and ‘50s era that are more resilient against pesticides.

Flowers will include delphiniums, lilies and shrubbery, including dogwood.

Antiques present will include seeders, quilts, books, butter churns, paintings, folk art, figurines, and saddles and tack.

Munro says the annual sale started out strictly for poultry, but after the homesteader’s movement, when people began putting a greater emphasis on self-sufficiency, it expanded.

The sale, normally held in Red Deer, was relocated to Wetaskiwin after venue prices became too expensive.

There will also be Canadian Heritage Breeder displays all across Alberta in Peavey Marts for the next 12 months.

By Amelia Naismith