Highwood Crossing is an organic grain farm and processor. Their flours, grains and oils are used across Alberta by some of the top chefs in the province.
AOTP: How did you get into grain farming?
TM: Highwood Crossing Farm has been in our family for over 120 years. Highwood Crossing refers to a shallow portion of the Highwood River that runs beside our heritage family farm. In the early days, before there were bridges or paved roads, travelers would cross at this narrow portion of the river… hence the name “Highwood Crossing”.
When we switched to sustainable organic farming methods in 1989, we were actually returning to agricultural practices that were similar in many ways, to those used on this same farm by my great-grandfather nearly 100 years earlier. This meant no toxic chemicals or pesticides; a small carbon footprint; crop rotations to help control weeds and pests; and growing our own “green-manure” legume crops that fix nitrogen and are then ploughed-down to improve soil health and fertility.
AOTP: What does your operation look like now?
TM: The world has changed in many ways since the days when my great-grandfather and grandfather lived on and worked this land, yet our commitment to growing good, clean food remains the same. Today our farm, crops and food products are organic by design rather than by default and we are still 100% committed to sustainable agriculture growing only organic, non-GMO crops such as wheat, rye, flax, oats, barley, peas, hay, and sweet clover
In 1996 we started Highwood Crossing Foods to make and distribute the organic products like cold-pressed oils, flour, oat products, cereals that we now provide to our clients.
AOTP: Highwood Crossing has won numerous awards, can you mention a few?
- “Innovation in Agriculture Award” from Growing Alberta.
- “Alberta Century Farm & Ranch Award” for 100 years of family farming on the original family homestead.
- Highwood Crossing was recognized with a “Habitat Steward Award” for our efforts to maintain and enhance the habitat for the fish and wildlife resources of Alberta.
- Catherine Caldwell won 1st Place at the “Golden Spurtle World Porridge Championship” in Scotland with her specialty porridge recipe using Highwood Crossing Food’s organic Steel-Cut Oats.
- A panel of Canada’s top chefs and food professionals named Highwood Crossing one of the “Best Artisan Food Producers in Canada” for the ACE Bakery Artisan Incubator project.
- Avenue Magazine listed Highwood Crossing Organic Granola as one of the “Twenty Best Things to Eat” in Calgary.
- Tony & Penny Marshall honoured to be named “Canadian Food Heroes“ by Slow Food Canada.
- Highwood Crossing named one of the Top Organic Farm companies in the world by Groom & Style.
AOTP: What products do you have for sale?
TM: We carry a variety of products, from organic flax seed to cold pressed canola oils to flours and pancake mixes to granola.
AOTP: Can chefs and restaurants purchase your products?
TM: Yes, we supply restaurants, cafes, bakeries, hotels, lodges and private clubs all across Alberta (and Canada). Chefs and bakers can contact us directly, by email or phone, to learn more about our products and our wholesale food service programme.