Owners Sarah Hui & Gert, Rosalie & Camille Janssens
We are going much further than
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 are slowly building a uniform herd of Angus-Simmental cows. Artificial insemination allows us to use the world's best bulls. We can select the best bull for each cow. We find that Angus-Simmental cows are the perfect mothers, but for the bull, we prefer continental breeds such as Limousin, Charolais and Belgian Blue over Angus or Wagyu because we prefer beef with shorter muscle fibres and less marbling that dress out better and have more desireable cuts.
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 before their stomach is full. Therefore, we feed vegetables as well. 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!
This winter, we will use an old feed mixer to ensure that even the most timid calf gets her or his share.
We have never fed any grain or industrial byproducts to our cows or calves, because we personally feel that cows are herbivores and should be eating grass.
However, some clients are looking for heavier marbling that cannot be obtained on grass. Therefore, we decided to be open-minded about it and give you the choice: we will try to finish some Angus steers on grain (barley) by the summer of 2018 (the females will become replacement cows) and carry them alongside our grass-fed beef.
Do not worry, we will not lock up our animals, use growth hormones or ionophores or fill the animals with corn as they do in bigger feedlots.
The third (and most important) secret is frame size. We used to sell baby beef but the quality of unfinished animals is not that great. Quality really got a boost once we started measuring frame size to calculate the ideal finishing weight of each animal. Since all our calves are born in the spring at the same time as wild herbivores such as deer(no more calves with frozen ears!), we use bulls of different frame sizes to ensure a year-round supply of finished beef.
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. Many of our clients and many small farmers attack industrial agriculture. This makes us cringe, so we let our product speak for itself. We actually know some conventional farmers. Let us assure you that farmers must love their animals because it is simply not profitable enough. We have nothing but respect for the expertise of conventional farmers in producing the cheap food that 99% of consumers want. If they are busting their balls to supply what most consumers want (and using hard science to motivate their decisions), who are we to demand that they do things differently?