Foraging With Chef Chris Whittaker At Laurica Farms
Laurica Farms Free Range BC Pork
Earlier this summer we joined a group of hungry foragers in Langley for Forage Restaurant’s Chef Chris Whittaker pig roast and some foraging excursions. Out we journey to beautiful Fraser Common Farm, and Laurica Farm to tour the two farms, learn all about their practices and forage for our dinner. This event is an annual fundraiser for the ongoing educational programs of Fraser Common Farm.
Chef Whittaker is an advocate for eating local and sustainably so it was no surprise to find him out at this farm where food sources are within throwing distance. The pig for the roast came from Laurica Farms, just next door. Just three years ago Farmer Cathy Finley took over this farm and was faced with the task of taking creating soil out of practically nothing as the land had been cleared. The solution to this was rotating vegetable crops, grasses and pigs, to add nutrients back to the land. The pigs survive on a diet of spoiled food, whey left from cheese making and leftover grain from brewing, which also acts as compost, and then till the land as they stomp through the mud.
Laurica Farms is a prime example of how animals can live together in a symbiotic manner. Finley added in ducks who help keep the flies down around the pigs and there’s now cattle, lamb and poultry. The pigs live well, roaming the land feasting and rolling in mud, until the day that they are slaughtered. The free range pigs take a bit longer to raise, but the resulting meat is healthier and tastes much better. Next time you are in the market for pork, be sure to support a local pork farmer.
The resulting feast was full of fresh local goodies, and the flavours alone are reason enough to dine right from the farm.
The spread when we arrived included Whittaker’s excellent charcuterie and cheese plates; pork filled of course.
Foraging pigs and bug eating ducks.
Chef Chris Whittaker and myself (pork ambassador).
If you’d like to check out Laurica Farms yourself, Feast of Fields is being held there on September 11, 2016. Tickets still available here. We know there’s going to be some local pork there.