Ferme d'ORée Farm

Our philosophy

Owners Sarah Hui & Gert, Rosalie & Camille Janssens

We are going much further than

No antibiotics
No growth hormones

Our farm is
Grass-based and local!

Our vocation is to model our farm to the romantic idea of a picturesque family farm where animals and people live a good life. This is in stark contrast to the reality of modern agriculture. The privilege of breathing the country air, working the land and caring for our animals is our reward for hard work under difficult conditions and otherwise unprofitable investment. Even though we know some fantastic farmers with industrial (family) farms, it is not what we are about.

Environmental agriculture is based on the principle that you are what you eat.
This goes much further than no chemical fertilizers, preventative antibiotics or growth hormones

Good food is natural food. Nature is our template. We let animals be animals. Our animals live outside as much as possible. Herbivores have evolved to eat grass - not grain, pigs have a strong desire to root. Sunshine, fresh air, hygienic living conditions and a natural diet make for happy animals that rarely get sick and do not need preventative antibiotics.

Good food comes from a diversified farm. Nature is resilient because of diversity. In a sense, we try to create a balanced ecosystem rather than using chemical fertilizer as a crutch for a depleted soil. Since we feed very little grain, almost all our land is both pasture and hayfield. This is much better for the soil.

Good food is seasonal food. We follow the rhythm of nature as much as we can.

Good food is slow food. With more exercise, less grain and no steroids, hormones or chemical food additives, our animals grow slower. That results in lean meat, yellow fat, and more taste. What is healthy for animals is healthy for you!

Good food is local food. Reducing transportation is better for the animals and the environment. Local food means that more money stays in our community. We sure prefer a local abattoir over a huge one. Local food encourages openness and a relationship between consumer and farmer based on trust. Local food forces farms to stay relatively small. We think that that is essential in what we do. Small is beautiful...

Good food is social food. Our food has no hidden social costs. We do not cause pollution and we do not exploit people. We try to keep our prices reasonable.

Good food is family-friendly food. Environmental farming is not just our job, it is our vocation! Our kids take pride in our farm. We hope to create a little paradise they will always return to.

Good food is community supported food. Rural communities are having a hard time as many young people leave in search for better jobs in the city. We discovered that most of our neighbours and clients in city and country alike, are really cool and resourceful people. Nothing is more encouraging than your support. We love living here and we hope to contribute to the development of our region.

Good food is not just food. In our consumption and production decisions, we chose what kind of world we want to live in. We want you to enjoy our products as you cook and eat a good, healthy and guilt-free meal together!

Environmental agriculture is grass-based farming that nurtures the original philosophy of the organic, bio-dynamic and permaculture movements. We are not certified organic. Industrial agriculture -even if it is organic - thrives on cheap grain and cheap fossil fuels. It produces cheap commodities for global markets.

Salad Bar Beef

There are five secrets to raising great salad bar beef. The first secret is genetics. We have a uniform herd of Angus-Simmental cows and use the world's best bulls via artificial insemination.

The second secret is feed. Our cows and calves have access to a salad bar on pasture. However, in winter, hay (dried grass) and silage (fermented grass) do not contain enough energy to obtain a nice finish on the calves. They just cannot eat enough before their stomach is full. Therefore, we feed grass baleage and vegetables in a total mixed ration. These vegetables are the cuttings from a small vegetable processing plant in our community. They include potatoes, carrots, beets, broccoli, onions, chard, celery and much more. This provides the cows with much needed energy in the winter and it prevents these goodies from ending up in a landfill!

We have tried feeding some grain to our calves for one winter, but it turns out that our vegetables are almost as efficient. Since you pays us a little more, we can do without grain, growth hormones and ionophores, urée, animal fat, etc.

The third (and most important) secret is understanding the relationship between optimal slaughter weight and frame size. Most grass-fed animals are butchered too young. Heavier animals taste better, but that is much harder to do on grass.

Fourth, we use rotational grazing to ensure a clean environment, cows with a full stomach and better regrowth of the pastures. Our pastures are not monocultures, but contain a variety of herbs, grasses and clovers. In winter, our cattle stay outside with access to a three-sided barn and a winter pasture. They do just fine.

Finally, we use our bud box (a low stress cattle sorting setup) to load animals and we bring them to a nearby abattoir. There the meat dry-ages for three weeks before being cut into steaks or transported to our professional clients.

Our mission is to produce very high quality beef with the utmost respect for the environment and animal welfare, and deliver our product directly to the consumer. We can do so because we have exceptional clients who are ready to pay a little more.