Our ranch and all the animals are certified by AWA (Animal Welfare Approved) as AWA and Certified Grassfed by AWA since March 2016. Before that is has been certified organic from 2004 until 2014 by the Pacific Agricultural Certification Society and since 2006 we apply Bio-Dynamic Preparations on our land.
An organic farm should be like a living organism where everything is in balance and the nutrient cycle is complete. That is only possible with animals in conjunction with the land.
Animals should be able to express their natural behaviour and allowed to have access to the feed they were designed for. A ruminant was never meant to eat grain!
In our view, an organic operation is holistic and sustainable in itself. When you look closer at comparisons between organic and nonorganic food and the result is not in clear favour of the organic, it is because this organic food, even though it is certified, was often produced in monocultures or systems raising animals in concentrations. Organic meat from grain-fed cattle, for example, does not give you all the nutrients your body needs.
Despite that, we spend a considerable amount of time and money to remain certified because we believe that this really important movement needs every possible support. Only with strong numbers will it be possible to fight threats such as Genetically Modified Organisms, for example. Did you know that the modifying of genes is accomplished by using a virus?
Organic production should be local. The input of fuel and other fossil energies (industrial fertilizers are manufactured from natural gas) for the production and distribution of food should be minimized. It takes 435 calories of fuel to bring a 5 calorie strawberry from California to British Columbia, Canada. That is not sustainable. We are aware that the majority of our meat sales to the Lower Mainland are contradictory with that belief. However, there is not enough room available in that region to raise all the animals needed in a humane and low stress manner. Another advantage here is our clean air and water, which is really important for the health of our animals and subsequently the people who eat them.
With the sale of meat, nutrients are taken off the land. To replace those nutrients, we use kelp, diatomaceous earth and rock salt. Fortunately, over 80% of the animals’ feed is already recycled back to the land naturally by the animals.
For the completeness of our farm we used to have bee hives from a Williams Lake bee keeper on our land. Florians wife Stefanie is developing a new bee colony, but we have not yet any honey for sale. We also encourage mason bees for pollinating.