The soil feeds the plants, the plants feeds the animals, the animal’s manure the land, the manure feeds the soil, the soil feeds the plants…..
Our philosophy is to raise animals, treated with respect and a stress free and as close-to-natural lifestyle as possible.
At Harmonytree Farm, our animals and vegetables are all raised / grown on our 20 acre sustainably run farm, just south of the town of Uxbridge. In 1998, we started off with some day old chicks to amuse our (at the time) three small children. This grew into where we are now:
- on farm licenced micro dairy producing artisan cheese and other dairy products for sale locally.
- raising milking goats and British milking sheep to supply the micro dairy and home use.
- taping our own maple trees for syrup.
- small fruit and nut orchard.
- growing shitake mushrooms.
- over an acre of fruit bushes,herbs and veg production.
- pasture-raised heritage pigs, turkeys, meat chickens,lamb,goat.
- multi-coloured eggs from our heritage laying chickens.
- topbar bee hives for pollination and honey.
Each year we strive to be more self-sufficient/sustainable while enjoying all the fruits of our labour.
This is definitely a labour of love for us. We believe everyone deserves to have the best quality of safe food possible, which is what we strive to produce, while also keeping a balance of work, life and family.
All our animals are naturally pasture raised, without the use of antibiotics, chemicals or growth hormones. Although they are slower to raise to market weight, the taste and quality far outweigh the wait. All of our fruit/vegetables/nuts are grown clean without any chemicals involved and fertilized from the on-farm winter compost each year.
Sustainability to us means having a farm that works as a whole, unified and connected in a way to produce a self sustaining system. The animals self fertilize the pastures that then produce the food for them the next year. Using less carbon footprint/energy on the farm as the animals are doing the work naturally. It is our responsibility to enhance the land each year in order to be good stewards. Without healthy land we wont have healthy animals.
Because we are a smaller farm, using intensive grazing methods we are able to control parasites in our animals in a natural way rather than the need for chemical use. Our animals move to a new pasture approximately every 7 days and are followed by our free range chickens and turkeys who do a great clean up for us and naturally add nitrogen to the soil.
Other ways that we are being sustainable are the pigs that we raise for pork are living in a 7 acre forest in their natural environment and rotated each year to a different spot to let the forest rejuvenate/rest. They are fed all the waste whey from our cheese making operation and left over vegetables from our 2 acre vegetable patch.
Having a system that is continually giving back produces higher density of nutrients in the meat, produce and land. We preserve/store more than half of our vegetables, provide our own meat, and put away more than 500 mason jars of various foods for the coming year.
Each year has been trial and error, but we are finding that there are a lot of resources out there and other sustainable farmers willing to give advice. With taking seminars and courses regularly, we are continually moving forward to a better cohesive system. Over the next year or two once we feel we will have a system that is working well for the animals and the land, we will start to work towards becoming organically certified.