Today’s Poll

Hunting for the elusive locally-raised cut of meat

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
March 23rd, 2011

By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily

The search for locally raised meat is over.

Fattoria Local Foods in Castlegar has begun offering door-to-door delivery of Creston raised, grass fed, local beef, in an affordable and convenient size, ready for the freezer or the barbeque.

Started by Nelsonite Jennifer Barclay in July of 2010, the need for the service arose when she wanted to find locally raised meat in the local grocery stores.

She couldn’t and it wasn’t long before she came up with the idea for Fattoria — Italian for farm — and began putting Creston farmers in touch with customers on the other side of the Kootenay Pass, mostly in Nelson.

“I just try to make it as easy as possible for everybody. I deliver it to their home; all they have to do is call me and order it and I bring it out,” said Barclay.

The concept of Fattoria Local Foods is to offer smaller packages of meat that are affordable — not everyone needs a side of beef — and will fit in a typical freezer.

Barclay’s first order sold out in July and she now has 120 customers, including the Hume Hotel, where Barclay pitched them the idea of a 100-Mile burger several months ago.

“Now it is their best selling burger, it is outselling all of the other burgers,” she said.

The Hume tops it with a cheese from Grand Forks and a bun from Pass Creek. It costs two dollars more than the regular burger on the menu.

The meat comes out of Creston, said Barclay, because that is the location of the only Canadian Food Inspection Agency-certified abattoir in the West Kootenay.

She was surprised with the amount of locally-raised meat in the region once she did some researching, and other people who find Barclay on Facebook or through her In the Koots blog are also surprised.

“There are so many people like myself that don’t have the connections … so I was all about making it accessible and marketing and advertising it,” she said.

“People want to eat this way but they couldn’t find it.”

For $150 people get 25 pounds of meat delivered to them by Barclay. The packages contain a mix of cuts from ground beef to roasts to steaks to ribs. It’s all grass fed beef, certified Angus-bred beef.

You can check her out on Facebook here.

Or you can join in her In the Koots blog here.

To order, call 505-7765.


Red meat abattoir update for Nelson

An abattoir on this side of the Kootenay Pass is still a ways off, says one of the long-time proponents of the facility in the area.

Food systems consultant Abra Brynne has been trying to garner support for bringing an abattoir to the region near Nelson, or in the Slocan Valley, for over five years.

Although the region has received money for a feasibility study, they have yet to find and hire someone to complete the necessary study in order to access any further money.

She felt there was still a huge need for an abattoir in the area, and that it would re-energize the local agricultural market in the rural areas around Nelson if it, in fact, existed.

The agricultural scene died when the Province introduced meat regulation restrictions in 2004 that limited who could slaughter meat for human consumption.

“A lot of people gave up because they didn’t want to be criminals,” she said. “But we need to know what kind of numbers are out there and if it is still economically viable.”

People are upset about the loss of a local meat and manure source in the local food system, said Brynne. Finding alternative sources of fertilizer for people’s soil isn’t that easy.

“Animals are a key piece of the local food system, whether you eat meat or not,” she noted.

For more information, contact Abra Brynne at


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