Schell: Happy chickens make the tastiest meals of all

While we enjoy the effects of the local food revolution with consumers again looking to their local farmers for sustenance, small family businesses like Sterling Chicken are thankfully thriving.

Lisa and Hans Dueck, of Falkland, are producing locally raised, 100 per cent medication-free, sustainably grown chicken. Lisa says that their “brand new, state-of-the-art barn allows us to grow sustainable chicken with amazing taste and quality. All of our chickens are government inspected, and are processed one at a time by hand, right on our own farm.”

The result?  Happy chickens.

Happy chickens also equal delicious chickens.

Just this week I was watching chef Anthony Bourdain in Sicily cooking on an agriturismo (accommodation/restaurant located on a farm where meals are literally prepared farm to table).  This is old world style cooking and Bourdain emphasizes that the treatment of the animals plays a huge role in the taste of the meat. It’s not just a good conscience thing (which it obviously should be) it is dignified, ethical husbandry practice and we should be paying attention to who is following this code and supporting them. The Duecks get it.

Lisa can be found at the Kelowna Farmers & Crafters Market part of the year, but chicken lovers can order on line and meet her at a designated location for pick up.

Because they are raising their poultry humanely, the availability of the product goes in cycles as the chicks grow to maturity. So basically, you will just have to load up when you see her and then be patient waiting for the next round.

I promise that you will not see more beautiful chicken than these girls. They are big, plump, juicy and will provide an epiphany of “oh yes, this is what chicken tastes like!”

Whole chickens, wings, drums, breasts, thighs and bones for stock (make sure to order the wings—they are like none I have ever seen.) They also make Okanagan farmer sausage and pepperoni.

Lisa says: “We will be doing a fresh batch of birds every three weeks over the winter, with the next deliveries to Kelowna being Dec. 8, Dec. 29, Jan. 19 and Feb. 9.”  Call, email, or Facebook Lisa to place your orders.

250-309-2317, email, or visit

While we are talking good bird, put Mike Hamblett from Hamblett Highland Farm in Armstrong on your shopping list. Mike is that smiling turkey farmer you will find at the Kelowna Farmers & Crafters Market—sometimes he even brings one of his gobbling friends with him and in turn they get a free promotion to pet turkey.

Happy, free-run, hormone free turkeys roam his land and make for a delicious Christmas feast. The rest of the year, I am never without Mike’s other turkey products in my freezer. Ground turkey, turkey cutlets, turkey tenders, turkey breast and more. All gorgeous, all local, all sustainable.

Fresh turkeys can be ordered from Mike at or call 250-546-6322.

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