Berkshire Pork Anyone?

This week’s farm trip took us to Paisley Ontario where we met Ashley Burke at her farm Alverstoke. Ashley raises sheep, chickens and Berkshire pigs.

Ashley took us on a tour and I must say this was one of the most beautiful barns we have had the pleasure to be in. Ashley’s holistically natural approach to raising her animals is wonderful to say the least. From the food and nutrients they eat to the pastures and barn they live in these animals live a beautiful and natural life.

It was quite a chilly wet day so all the lambs were inside and baaaing away to say hi when we entered. We went over to the side where her beautiful Berkshire pigs were – if you have not seen a Berkshire before – they are the big black pigs with the 6 points of white on them (legs/feet, face and tail). We met Dobby – her boar and her 3 sows. They were a little curious to who the strangers were but mainly I think were happy to be relaxing inside on a chilly wet day.

After the barn tour we went inside and chatted about many of the great events that Ashley is involved in on and off her farm. She has even hosted chefs in training at her farm which has made her a great learner and educator of Ontario farming. Very cool.

Another great day with a great woman at her beautiful farm!


PS – watch out – those Patricia lambs are friendly but can be nippy too :-).

Go East Young Traveller…

This week we travelled East of the city to visit a few farms and markets . First up on our day plans was to visit the Found Family Farm near Oshawa where Marianne and Stan Found raise cattle and pigs. John had met Marianne at the Royal Winter Fair some weeks earlier and was compelled by her passion to take this trip out East to visit her farm and some others that she recommended to see how they operate. We met with Stan who graciously showed us around, answered many questions and sold us some samples from his freezer. 

Sam, our trusty travel companion, met a friend too – a beautiful old boy named Harley who had many tail wags for her!

Also on our travels we stopped by Ken Lamb’s farm and you guessed it… he raises sheep! We met with Ken’s father Bill who showed us around the place and told us a bit about their operation. It was a very picturesque location. After purchasing some lamb samples from Bill (that we will be sharing with some friends tonight!) we headed back West for home.

A great day meeting new people and seeing new places. It doesn’t get much better than this!


Northward along the Bruce Peninsula

My sister, who lives with her hubby, GSP and Boo kitty at the tip of the mighty Bruce Peninsula, tipped us on to a fabulous sheep farmer outside of Owen Sound. So this week’s trip was to go North to Owen Sound and then more North to Tobermory for a great family visit.

To start our trip we met up with Sheila and Jeff at Keady (pronounded K-D) market which is just outside of Owen Sound. I must say – it is worth the drive to Keady! What a fantastic market. With the smell of freshly popped kettle popcorn in the air this market was a-buzz with all types of vendors and shoppers. From the livestock auction, fresh local fruit and vegetables, local crafts/jewelry and more than I can think of, there is definitely something there for everyone!

After checking out Keady we went to meet Bill and Pam Stonehouse. Appearing in the distance as we climbed a hill leaving Owen Sound we could see the big red barn that welcomes you to Stonehouse Farm. We visited with the Stonehouse’s for a while and met their friendly horse named Dakota. That trip we bought our first 1/2 lamb from Bill and Pam and have since been back a few times to buy more. The Northern Cheviot lambs from Stonehouse has been some of the best we have tried. And if you know me – I LOVE lamb – so I have tried quite a bit.

After that we continued up to Tobermory to relax and enjoy great company, laughs and food! Fantastic! – thanks Sheila & Jeff!

If you’re looking for a day trip this summer I would recommend checking out Keady Market and then going into Owen Sound. It is a bit of a hike but to this traveller – well worth it. Keady market is open on Tuesdays throughout the summer. Google em on-line for more information, directions and hours.