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Much ado about Organic Chickens

Virginia and Jens Jacobsen are pretty much my new favourite people. They own and operate Polderside Farms which specializes in…

By Mike Green , in Local Fare: From the farm to the restaurant , on March 17, 2010 Tags: , , ,

Virginia and Jens Jacobsen are pretty much my new favourite people.

They own and operate Polderside Farms which specializes in ethically producing — they are BC SPCA certified — heritage chickens and ducks which come from France.

Virginia with her award for Producer/Supplier of the Year from Vancouver Magazine and a photo of her famous Redbro Rooster taken by Daniel Boulod's official photographer.

My girlfriend and I went for a visit to their farm on Saturday and ended up spending the better part of the afternoon with Virginia just talking about food, chickens, farming and life in general.

Admittedly I wasn’t holding on to all of my  journalistic principles that day.  When we arrived we discovered that Virginia was waiting for us and had baked some damn fine cookies to go along with organic coffee and goat’s milk.  We then sat down to a lunch of wok fried chicken wings which Virginia had marinated overnight in soy sauce.

Virginia said that there was no way I could write about her and her farm without tasting the product.  I was happy to oblige.

Wok-fried Polderside wings

The meat was rich and had a depth of flavour which you cannot find in other poultry.  This has been key to the success story behind Polderside Farms.

Even if you are skeptical about the merits of organic farming, your skeptisism would be curbed by the taste.

Jens and Viriginia know this and it has been the driving force of their business.

Virginia directly attributes much of her success to local chefs who have been drawn to her product for years.

It started when Virginia sparked the interest of chefs like Jeff Van Geest, formerly of Aurora Bistro and David Hawksworth, formerly of West.  Robert Belcham of Refuel and Campagnolo has since become one of Virginia’s favourite clients as he only uses Polderside Farm’s poultry in his restaurants and has now called dibs — so says Virginia — on all the lamb (also organic and ethical) the farm will raise this year.

Celebrity chef Daniel Boulod once stood at Virginia’s kitchen counter and ate roasted chicken and duck, which Virginia had prepared simply with salt and pepper.  (He was looking at local farms to source for DB Bistro Modern and Lumiere.)

I asked her what it was like to have such a world famous chef eating birds she raised.  She replied that the most pressing memory she had of that day was that chef Boulod didn’t wait to be served at the table.  Instead he and his associate simply stood at the kitchen counter and picked away at the two birds with hands and forks.

Such is the taste that even the French forget their manners.