Finding healthy, ethical and local foods can be difficult. We've made it part of our mission to find great producers and make their products available to you. These are more than the partners that we choose to work with. These are the producers of the food that we choose to eat and feed our family. Ethical producers who are examples of farms that are doing it right. They represent some of the best of what our region has to offer. As we continue to grow, meet new friends and find new foods we will continue to add to our community of producers to offer you even more great food. Meet your farmers….
Brylee is a family farm with deep roots in the area. Brian and Lise just celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the Maloney family farm in Thurso, Québec, just 25 minutes from our farmstead. They produce grass fed beef, meadow veal and summer lamb. They offer a a unique product that is a result of a unique method of production.
Brian is a master grazer who employs the specialized technique of intensive mob-grazing, a form of grazing management that optimizes the natural behaviour of ruminants to graze fresh perennial grasses and transforming it into protein. These are not steers that are just left in a pasture. There is a science and a skill to managing this movement to maximize the health of the pasture and the animals. This makes the difference in the quality and flavour of the meat.
Grass fed vs Grain fed
Cows are ruminants. Ruminants have a four-chambered stomach that evolved to process the grasses, clover and other wild greens that can be found in pastures. Ruminants are not designed to digest grains like corn. (And it doesn't matter if the grain is organic) Although "finishing” them on grains is efficient for fattening them up rapidly, it has a terrible trade-off in that it alters their digestive process leading to all sorts of problems including increased acidity in their stomachs, diseases of the liver and the development of bacterial blood infections that can be passed on to people through their meat.
How are pastured meats better?
The key to animal wellness is allowing them to behave naturally. Having access to their natural food and the ability to forage in a herd goes a long way towards making them happy cows. I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Maloney’s at the farm. When shifting the cattle to fresh pasture they rely on their understanding of the animals to guide their movements rather than moving them by force or by frightening the large but relatively timid animals. This results in a relatively stress free life for very happy and healthy animals.
the land and environment
The better the pasture, the better the beef. Like the other mob-grazing pioneers, Brian sees himself as more of a grass farmer than a cattle rancher. In the dynamic, symbiotic relationship of grazing ruminants, quality pasture begets quality meat. No short cuts and no cheats. The act of grazing grasslands with large ruminants builds soil rather than eroding it like conventional grain farming and actually counters the greenhouse effects by sequestering from carbon in the air just like trees. It also provides a diversified and active ecosystem for other plants and animals.
Flavour is natures way of telling us where the nutritious food is. And grass fed beef is nutrient dense. Please, don’t take our word for it. We encourage you to research the benefits of grass fed beef to find out more about the nutrients it contains and how it compares to the alternatives. See CLA-Conjugate linoleum acid, Omega 3 fatty acids, Carotenoids, other antioxidants such as vitamin E, glutathione, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase, minerals including zinc, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium.
Buying your meat from a local, ethical producer, supports that family farm, encouraging and enabling them to continue their good work. It also supports other small businesses involved in the processing. Quebec laws require producers to process their animals through certified abattoirs. Our partners work with a small, family run abattoir, located just minutes from the farm. Such small scale processors are night and day from huge industrialized processing plants. To give you an idea, the big operations can slaughter and process 400 beef per hour. Our local abattoir will not take more than 15 beef per day. These small processors are essential to slow, natural and ethical meat production. Your support means you play a direct role in changing our food system.
Family farm producing maple syrup and livestock using traditional methods, in Bristol, Québec. We offer their pork, which is raised in a forest setting on their beautiful property. Raising pigs in a natural environment produces meat that is beyond compare while respecting the well being of the animals.
Ferme Aux Saveurs des Monts
Located in Val des Monts, less than an hour west of us, raises poultry including "Chicken as nature intended". We chose to work with Saveurs des Monts because they have a high respect for animal wellness.
Their chickens have constant access to high quality feed
- lots of space (no crowding)
- fresh water, clean spaces
- careful handling
Here is what they don’t do.
- No anti-biotics
- No animal byproducts
- No growth hormones
This ensures their stress free lives and natural growth.
Sylvain’s chickens grow at a natural pace. Working with nature, rather than against it, chickens are raised to maturity over a ten-week period (70 days) while conventional chickens are raised on a just a 34 days cycle.
These non-intensive raising techniques make for a meat that is beyond compare to the poultry that is available in most grocery stores today. The tasty meat is low in fat and has a wonderful texture. To eat chicken from Ferme Aux Saveurs des Monts is to taste what chicken really tastes like.
Le Brasse-Camarade is a pillar of the entrepreneurial community in La Petite-Nation. Véronique and Fredéric are lovers of good, local foods and, of course, local brews. This makes them a perfect fit as a pick-up location for our baskets. Their store is a great place to find other local products to compliment your meals.
Sundays 10am - 3 pm
Pick up your basket or buy our fresh, seasonal produce at Aylmer's first farmer's market! There you will find local food producers, artisans and artists. For us, having a great market that is well managed and shares your values is key. Marché Vieux-Aylmer is both of these: A well run, producer-only market, with a great atmosphere where you find warm and friendly people who will proudly offer you their wares.
Contact us to order in advance
Start a Project and Become our Partner!
Collaboration with other passionate people is essential to our mutual success. We have a beautiful, healthy land and we want to share it with others. If you want to develop a project and need some land, or you would like to make your products available to our community, we'd love to talk to you about working together.
Here are some projects we'd like to add to our farm:
- Growing mushrooms in a forest setting
- Chickens (Layers or broilers)
- Pigs in a pastured or forest setting
- Bees hives
See our Internship program here
Here are some products we would like to make available to our community:
- Locally grown, heirloom grains
- Local cheeses
- Local, ethically produced fruits