They were “all natural” before “all natural” was cool. Kevin and Melanie Boldt have been giving conscientious meat consumers locally and naturally raised meat options for almost two decades. The Osler, Saskatchewan farmers have made a conscious commitment to ethically raise pasture-grazed and vegetarian-fed animals in a stress-free environment that does not include the use of growth-promoting medications or hormones.
“When we started 16 years ago we were local before local was a buzzword and now more attention to food and where it comes from is creating opportunities for restaurants and chefs and for us,” said Melanie.
Their beef, pork, poultry, lamb, specialty meats and eggs are prized by Saskatoon chefs, including Nathan Guggenheimer of the highly acclaimed Ayden Kitchen and Bar.
Guggenheimer knows that without an outstanding base product, dishes at his restaurant would not be in a class that set them apart.
“You can taste the difference when you have an all-natural meat versus something that has been mass produced. I think it has more of a game flavour from the grass.”
The Boldt farm is located on the site settled by Kevin’s great-grandparents in 1901. Kevin is the fourth generation in his family to farm the land and raise animals here. In 1998, Kevin and Melanie established Pine View Farms to diversify their existing grain and cattle operation.
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In order to get their ethically raised products to a wider audience, they opened Souleio Foods, a market bistro, in downtown Saskatoon in 2009. With the farming couple and their two sons immersing themselves in two of the most time-consuming careers, they eventually knew something had to give.
That’s when “Top Chef” winner Dale MacKay of Saskatoon connected with the Boldts and decided to turn Souleio into one of Canada’s top restaurants while sourcing meat from Pine View Farms.
“What I want people to know is that food isn’t just fuel to get you through the next things in your day. There are lots of pleasures in this world and food is one of them,” said Melanie.
“Food is so essential to our culture and in our rat race of life, we forget what it can give to you and the beauty it brings.”
The food at the Ayden Kitchen and Bar highlights the Boldts’ philosophy. The sausage platter, made with Pine View Farm’s pork, is a testament to the culinary value of using locally raised, all-natural meat that comes from farmers who Guggenheimer now considers friends. Adorned with hand-made mustards, slaws and crackers, the ordinary-looking sausage is transformed into a smoky explosion of textured goodness in flavours of Thai, Mexican and Polish.
The Boldts are thrilled to have their pork and poultry on the Ayden Kitchen and Bar menu and they are ecstatic to supply a restaurant that shares their food and farm philosophy.
“Kevin and I are really firm believers in preserving the art of farming and the art of creating good food and those two things are somewhat dying arts and we really need to preserve that and pass it on,” said Melanie.
Pine View Farms meats and products, including deli sausages, are available online, at their on-farm store and at various stores in Saskatoon, Regina and Moose Jaw. For a full listing of stores and products, visit the Pine View Farms website.