Week 25: Earth’s Harvest Farm

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Turkeys in their tractor {a moveable enclosure that allows the animals to enjoy fresh grass every day}. {Photo by Joe}

 

Hello North Grenville!

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A view of the WWOOF-er accommodations from the garden. {For more information on World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, visit: http://www.wwoof.ca/home}

How are you?  I hope all is well.  This space has been pretty quiet over the past month as I’ve had lots of writing work to keep me busy.  Between you and me, I was still able to sneak in some research throughout August and I’ve got some great new posts lined up!

Ok – let’s get straight to it!

Today I’d like to talk about Earth’s Harvest Farm, a grass-fed {non-certified} organic farm near Bishop’s Mills that is run by Luke and Liza Swale.  They raise animals that are, in Luke’s words, “as domestically wild as possible”.  Growing up in New Zealand, Luke learned to farm from his uncle.  Initially drawn to the farming world because of the motorcycles his uncle used to do chores, Luke had to learn about farming in order to keep playing with the motorcycles.  Before long, Luke found himself learning about pasture management and other New Zealand farming concepts and practices.

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Fresh strawberries in the garden!

The idea behind pasture rotation is that animals enjoy a different patch of grass every day.  Earth’s Harvest chickens, turkeys, rabbits, sheep, and cows get fresh grass (and yummy bugs and weeds) and fertilize the area they leave behind.  This makes great pasture and, because the animals are constantly moving, there is no opportunity to be exposed to parasites and disease, which eliminates the need for antibiotics.  The animals have the healthiest diet and lots of exercise, which also means that the chickens lay more eggs.  Liza explains that the meat and eggs are more nutritious and flavourful than with animals raised using more conventional North American methods.

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Beautiful sheep. {Photo by Joe}

Thirteen years ago, Luke and Liza met in a pub in England.  Liza, who grew up in a small farming town in Canada, was working as a lawyer and Luke as a dairy farmer.  Their romance bloomed and the two moved to Toronto {“I imported him!” jokes Liza}, where Liza continued her law career and Luke found work at a dairy farm.  Liza, who tackles Marketing, and making the value-added products {like soup and chicken jerky} that the couple sells at the Kemptville Farmer’s Market, keeps a fantastic blog, where you’ll discover the whole story here, here, and here.  {Hint: the origins story features the Self-Employment Benefit program.}

Before moving on, I have to say how much I love the Evolution of a Granola Girl blog.  There.  I said it!  Liza’s stream of consciousness writing is fast and furious.  She is honest and funny, and it was blog-love at first sight!

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This sunflower is taller than I am!

Luke and Liza have two children – Finn and Forrest – who live and play at the farm.  “Forrest follows Luke everywhere,” says Liza.  “And Finn is interested in the math and science behind farming.”  From living on the farm, the children have an understanding of natural lifecycles as well as an appreciation for homegrown food and healthy cooking.  In fact, Luke says the best way to get a resistant toddler to eat something green is to grow your own together.  Not only is it a fun activity that offers something for kids to enjoy every step of the way, but the results are delicious!  Indeed, when our family visited the farm, Finn and Forrest were eager to share ground cherries and green beans from the massive kitchen garden with Matteo and Leona.

Earth’s Harvest Farm has a stand at the Kemptville Farmer’s Market, which is open until Thanksgiving.  You can also pre-order beef, chicken, turkey, and lamb, and buy fresh eggs at the farm.

Earth’s Harvest Farm

http://www.earthsharvestfarm.ca/

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L-L-L-Llamas! {Photo by Joe – who says this one reminds him of Bowie.}

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7 Responses to Week 25: Earth’s Harvest Farm

  1. Elaine Bertram says:

    Love it! That’s Wayne’s kind of action – wish we were there!!!!!

    • 52weeksNG says:

      It really is a beautiful farm run by a wonderful family. I’m glad you got to experience it through the blog and maybe you can use this as debate fodder when you contemplate your next holiday. 🙂 Erika.

  2. mycmairead says:

    I have really been enjoying your blog as a new resident of North Grenville (1 year ago in August!)

    Thanks for the information on this local farm. We have been looking for a place to order meats from. Now all we need is a larger freezer!

    • 52weeksNG says:

      Hello and happy first NG anniversary! 🙂 Thanks for reading – I’m so glad you like my blog!!

      If you’re on Facebook, there are a couple of used/swap groups where you might be able to find a larger freezer to hold all the Earth’s Harvest Farm goodness. You’ll certainly need it! 😉

      Erika.

    • 52weeksNG says:

      Thank you!! 🙂 It was a pleasure getting to know Luke, Liza, Finn, and Forrest as I researched this post. I loved learning about the farm and all the planning and hard work that goes into it!

      Erika.

  3. Jim Bertram says:

    So interesting, what a treasure trove of fresh produce right in our community

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