Urban Digs Farm ShinDig

A couple weeks ago, a party was thrown at Urban Digs Farm in South Burnaby to celebrate summer and the launch of the FarmCity Fresh Cart. Many local farmers attended and were also selling the fruits of their labour.

Re-up BBQ was on site with their smoker serving up their award winning free-range ribs and chicken & coleslaw.

Food blogger, Liam Lewis aka "The Little Locavore" was also at the Re-up BBQ truck helping prepare locally grown salad!

Steel and Oak Brewing,

Marley Bike Caffe,

Victory Gardens

and Nice Pops were also in attendance.
The FarmCity Fresh Cart. You may see it around downtown Vancouver and Westminster selling a wide range of local fruits & veggies, handmade pasta, ice cream & other tasty treats.

Guests ate their dinner under a canopy of drying garlic.

Large beautiful bulbs! 

The $10 admission fee included a drink (beer or organic fruit soda). I opted for fruit soda. I redeemed my ticket at the FarmCity Fresh Cart. They make the soda themselves! I paired my blueberry soda with Re-up BBQ's ribs, coleslaw and a piece of cornbread for $8. YUM! Ethically grown local food.

Finished the meal off with rhubarb, ginger honey & cream Nice Pop for dessert.

Julia of Urban Digs and neighbour Shirlene of Earth Apple Farm were giving tours of their respective farms and I went on both tours. I love farms and learning how they work. Here Julia is showing off their newest acquisition - a new tractor!

Urban Digs Farm started out three years ago and back then, it was crack site, full of broken bathtubs, and the land was left fallow and overgrown with weeds. Now it is a thriving site for ethically grown animals, veggies and fruits.

Julia raises chickens, ducks sometimes, and pigs. Everything is free-range and eat organic food. They avoid feeding their animals commercial feed. Here the chickens are digging through end of season pea vines. They are also fed spent brewery grains.


Young chickens. These are to be eaten. They used to have laying hens but now they trade with another farmer. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement, which lets Urban Digs experiement with more exotic types of chickens.

A pair of goats reside in the pen with the chickens to deter predators, which are less likely to prey on the chickens when there is a bigger animal in with them.

Besides chickens, Urban Digs is home to pigs! They play an important role in clearing the weeds from the land. They help root all the weeds and fertilize it. They are carbon positive!

They are so adorable! Julia tries to give as much affection and love to her pigs. Lots of folks say you shouldn't name them or get attached but her philosophy is that if she is going to raise animals, it is her job to give them the best life possible and that means having an emotional connection with them. The pigs are also spoiled on eating great food such as brewery grains, bananas, yogurt, mangos. All organic stuff. Someone onced asked her how do they finish the animals (feeding them the rich foods only at butching time); and Julia replied they are finished start to finish! And because of that, they also taste amazing!

The lazy boar and sow, and Julia giving him a back scratch. Eventually, Urban Digs will be growing more produce instead of raising livestock because the soil is just too good to be just raising animals on it. And the pigs are helping speed up that process!

Right next to Urban Digs Farm is Earth Apple Farm and they grow a lot of vegetables. Shirlene is still experimenting with how to grow some things. And they work hard at weeding and working the fields. And the bountiful harvest shows their hard work. They sometimes have to harvest twice a day!

All the garlic curing in the greenhouse and tomato plants trained to grow verticly.

The event was really fun and I learned a lot from the tours; go visit them if you have the chance!

If you missed the ShinDig, you can still visit and tour the Urban Digs Farm during their market hours on Thursdays from 1pm - 6pm and Saturdays from 10am - 2pm. They are located at 4992 Byrne Road, Burnaby.

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