frequenlty asked Questions
At Lepp Farm Market we do our best to educate our customers about our market, meats, produce and products we carry. Read below for some of the most commonly asked questions and answers about our market.
Lepp Family Raised Meats
Q: From what your staff has said, I presume that Lepp Farm Market sells only good quality meat. And also, where do you get your chickens from?
A: Our chickens comes from our farm (Lepp Farms in Abbotsford). They are not given any antibiotics ever. There are no animal by-products in their feed, and they have more than twice the living space as compared to a conventional farm. All our animals are processed at small, local plants. We only raise enough animals for what our market needs.
Q: Is your meat (beef, pork and chicken) organic?
A: In order for us to be classified organic, we would have to feed all our animals certified organic feed, which makes their production considerably more expensive. We have chosen instead to focus on raising our animals humanely, and doing it as “cleanly” as possible, and supporting local agriculture in as many ways as we can.
Q: You don’t give antibiotics to your animals, but what if they are sick?
A: If any of our animals do get sick, they will be treated with the appropriate medication or antibiotics. These animals are then tagged and sold in the conventional marketplace.
Q: Your brochure says your cattle are fed grasses, grains and silage. Can you tell me the approximate percentages of each of these? Are they mostly pasture (grass fed)?
A: Our cattle are grass fed on a ranch in Cache Creek until they are approximately 800 lbs. At that time, they are transferred to a small feedlot in the Ashcroft area, and barley and grass silage are added to their diet. As they finish up to approximately 1300 lbs, the percentage of the rations changes until they are fed about a 50/50 ration of barley to grasses. Our cattle are not fed any corn, as is common in the US. Also, our cattle are not given an artificial growth hormones or antibiotics, and there are no animal by-products in their feed.
Fruits & Vegetables
Q: Which produce comes from your farm?
A: Lepp Farms grows snap peas, cucumbers, sweet corn, green and yellow beans, green and yellow zucchini, winter squashes and pumpkins. At our orchard in Osoyoos we grow cherries, peaches, apricots, nectarines and 5 kinds of apples. When our own fields aren’t producing these items, we source them from other local growers during our growing season.
Q: Who are the local growers that you get your other produce from?
A: The advantage that we have at Lepp Farm Market is that we are a small, independently owned farm market. We are able to connect with local growers that do not have the volume or means to transport to the big stores, and many of them show up at our back door with their offerings. We are able to pick and choose the products that we sell based on our experience and relationship with the grower and we have been amazed at the amount of great produce that is grown right in our area. For example, our raspberries come from South Alder farms in Aldergrove. The owner, Harvey Krause, and I both grew up here in Abbotsford on raspberry/chicken farms a few miles apart. During the year we sell frozen Bergen Berry Farms berries, and he is my cousin. The blueberries come from our neighbour just down the road. You get the picture! Having been farming in Abbotsford for 30 years, we have many agriculture connections, and we are developing relationships with farmers and orchard growers in the Okanagan, where our own mixed orchard is.
Q: Please could you tell me if any of your produce is grown without the use of pesticides and chemicals?
A: The short answer is unfortunately no, we do not grow any crops without the use of pesticides and chemicals. The long answer to your question is that many people equate the term “organically grown” with “no sprays, pesticides or chemicals”. That is largely not true, with the possible exception of the dedicated home gardener or the very rare, small scale grower. We do carry some organic produce, and it is all clearly labeled as “certified organic”. My caution to you would be to be very wary of the cardboard signs you see on the side of the road that claim “no sprays”, as that is something that’s almost impossible to do. Only buy from a farmer that has an organic certification verified and regulated by the government. At Lepp Farms, as do many of the local farmers, we practice something called Integrated Pest Management. That means that the practice of blanketing the field in pesticide to kill a certain bug is not done just because the calender says it’s time to do it, but rather only when we see an infestation that can’t be dealt with any other way. We spray our cherries with calcium, as do all the organic farmers, to build up the skin of the cherries to ward against the skin splitting from too much rain.
Q: What does the cooking class include?
A: Our classes typically start at 7:00 pm and usually end between 9:30 and 10:00 pm. There are usually at least three courses of food, and most people leave full after the meal (some even take extra food home).
Q: Are the cooking classes hands-on or demonstration only?
A: Typically our classes are demonstration only as our studio kitchen is set up to have a chef in the kitchen and he/she demonstrates to the guests who are seated at the island and high-top tables. The camera over the stove shows a closer view of what the chef is doing on the two TVs (although you can see the chef from any of the seats). We have offered a few hands on classes but as we have limited space for each person to have counter space, these class sizes are limited and are only feasible for certain types of classes.
Lepp farm family rewards program
Q: What if I forget my card but I want the monthly special?
A: If you’ve forgotten your card, don’t worry, our cashiers are able to search for member numbers by last name!
Q: Do I have to be a member of the Lepp Farm Family to get the special prices in the store?
A: Most of the specials we offer throughout the week are for every shopper, but each month we have at least one special discount or offer for our Family Members. Some examples of the Lepp Farm Family specials we have offered are a free pumpkin with a $50 purchase, or one free 1L of our own Apple Juice with your purchase. Anyone is welcome to join, for free, at any time, so even if one was travelling through the area and doesn’t expect to visit again, they can still quickly join the Family and receive the discount immediately.