Rootstock 2017 – This Saturday, August 26 at Flintrock Ranch

Rootstock Alberta organizer Kimberley Cornish says, “Proceeds from this fundraiser further the work of Food Water Wellness in advancing the practice of regenerative agriculture that nurtures a robust ecosystem and healthy soil.” Cornish who is the director of the  Food Water Wellness Foundation is leading this third annual Rootstock to support work being done, “to create an artificial intelligence tool that helps both farmers and researchers understand how soil can potentially be used to reverse climate change, increase biodiversity, mitigate both drought and flood and, most importantly, produce healthy food.”

Watch the video above to learn more about the work this event supports and read on for a sneak peak at this year’s event at Flintrock Ranch in Cowley, Alberta.

Rootstock 2017 at Flintrock Ranch

This is Flintrock Ranch. It’s owned by Bette and Dr. Phil Mitchell and covers 1000 acres in the Porcupine Hills near Pincher Creek. It’s been in the Mitchell family since 1955 and at one time when Phil’s four brothers ran it, it was 11,000 acres. Now the Mitchells, with their four sons run a grass fed, grass finished cattle operation as well as an AirBnB on the ranch. They are also hoping to open a venue for large dinner events and this week’s Rootstock for 380 guests, including a field-to-table dinner and concerts featuring four bands, will be a pretty good kick-off for that goal.

I had the opportunity to visit this past weekend for a sneak peak at the venue, taste of the food and visit with the family. The ranch sits at the top of a long wide dip in the land sloping to the Old Man River far below. You can imagine how favourable it would have been for the original homesteaders in 1905 to have a view to anyone and anything heading towards their ranch home. Despite the smoke from the forest fires in nearby British Columbia, the view from the front porch was immense and the rays from the sun bathed the valley below in warm light while the hills provided shelter from the ever present winds sweeping east off the Rockies of Southwestern Alberta.

Chef David Cousineau of The Bison in Banff is heading up the eats for the event. Barb Thomas from Love2Eat will contribute her talents for a delectable farm-fresh salad and dessert. Anne Sellmer’s Cochu Chocolates will help the meal hit all the right notes. Julie Van Rosendaal will emcee and Wintersleep, JP Hoe, Folk Road Show and Pretty Faces will provide musical entertainment.

The Eventbrite page has details on hotel room blocks reserved in Pincher Creek and campsites at nearby Cottonwood campground. Buses will transport guests to the venue. Have you seen the price of concerts lately? Where else could you get a four course dinner and four act concert for $165.00.

When I last talked to Kimberley Cornish, there were only 50 tickets left. They’ll be going fast. Summer’s shrinking but if you want our farms and farmers to grow, come on out and support this great event. Here’s some more photos from my recent visit.

Please note: All words and photos are my own and I was not reimbursed in anyway for this post. I just believe in this stuff!

It helps me sleep at night to know someone is working on saving our farms and our soil so we can all live another day to savour it all.


Leave a Reply