Standard of Living and Quality of Life are Not the Same Thing
by Betty Hamm
How we farm is not rocket science, but it is Intentional.
Hello again my friends.
It’s been five years since our last excerpt in this wonderful publication, and so much has changed around here, including a little bit of the way we farm. You have all been so supportive and we can’t thank you enough for your continued support.
Do you ever ask yourself this question:
Why do many local farm-to-table ranchers/farmers have a background in CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations)?
Many who used to work in beef feedlots, massive pig barns, and chicken barns can answer that question very quickly, including my husband and several of my fellow farmers. Their conscience bothered them by disturbing scenes of living conditions and the way the animals are force fed. They eventually decided, “There has to be a better way to raise livestock and I can do better.”
Our customers tell us all the time, “There is a difference in the taste and quality of the meat and eggs.”
So... Yes. The way we grow our crops and raise our animals is definitely “Intentional.”
We still raise our animals humanely and organically, feeding them our certified organic feeds, in fresh air and sunshine in spacious pastures. We raise happy animals.
Our intention is for our animals to have only one bad day.
We have changed up our cattle genetics a bit by adding Galloway bulls to our breeding program. These bulls, mated to our Speckle Park/Angus cow herd, have allowed us to offer the superb flavour of Galloway beef. Galloway beef has ranked top in flavour and tenderness in worldwide studies for several years in a row. Here in Saskatchewan, we have brutal winters and the hair coat of Galloways (typically raised in the Scottish highlands conditions) keeps our herd warmer, reducing high volumes of feed. A cost saving to us and our customers. A smaller carcass allows customers to put a nutrient dense half beef in their freezer at a more affordable price. The Galloway carcass has a higher meat-to-bone ratio as well. And they taste amazing!
We still raise the highly sought after pork that comes from our purebred Berkshire Pigs. People don’t know there is a difference in flavour between grocery store pork and farm fresh raised in better conditions. They also don’t know there is a difference in the taste of breeds, until they taste Berkshire Pork. Then they have an “aha“ moment.
We still raise A2-A2 milk cows and have them for sale for the homesteaders who want their own milk, cheese, and butter.
We still keep a small herd of sheep. We are using a new breed there as well. We have introduced some Clun Forest genetics. And our customers are very happy with the flavour and quality.
Rotational grazing for our pastures has gotten us through three years of drought and allowed us to keep putting nutrient-dense food on Saskatchewan tables.
We grow Red Fife wheat in our fields, which is new in the last four years. And we have also managed to stock some Red Fife flour for you. Red Fife wheat has a more tolerable gluten content and was a staple in Canadian fields and bread bakers’ cabinets till the 1960s.
The changes we make are all made with the intent to have a more nutrient-dense food for our families and our customer friends.
Some of our field practices have changed a little, using a more holistic management approach to put back into and create healthier soils.
We bring all this bounty to the Saskatoon Farmers Market every Saturday year round at the 2600 Koyl Avenue location.
We implemented an online store on our website: Catherwoodorganics.com.
We also have an on-farm store where you can come and purchase products directly from us and see where your food is raised. And for a small fee we do door-to-door delivery.
So many have asked if they could come see our farm, so we had a small farm tour for our email list subscribers. That is the best and sometimes only way to find out when special events are happening at Catherwood Organics. Contact us via our website (catherwoodorganics.com) to get signed up for that.
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook at Catherwood Organics.
The future looks bright for us and our customer friends.
Many have asked if they could come be a farmer for a day or just hang out in the calm quietness of our little farm.
We heard you. We will be offering farm stays in our little off-grid cabin retreat.
Other future plans include a farm-to-table dinner featuring all of our own products grown here.
More tours are planned, including school tours in the fall and special tours for special needs kids.
Keep following us and sign up for our emails to catch the happenings and updates.
Les and Betty Hamm and family own and operate a certified organic farm 45 minutes west of Saskatoon at Catherwood, Saskatchewan. They have been certified organic since before it was cool; they stopped using chemicals in 1997 and were Certified in 2000. In the last 10 years, they have been sharing the health and wellness of nutrient-dense food, such as pasture-based pork, chicken, eggs, grass-fed lamb, and beef. To contact them, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also see the display ad on page 10 of the 29.3 September/October issue of the WHOLifE Journal.