Day In The Life

These are quick updates from the Stoddart family regarding their farm.

Drizzy and the Hen

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Drizzy and the Hen

This is a pic of one of the odder couples at The Stoddart Family Farm. We came to have this drake when a predator got all a neighbour’s hens and left this poor fellow all alone. He settled right in with our hens and ducks. However, he decided this hen was his girlfriend – having always lived with hens I’m not sure he realizes that he is a duck. The hen is quite happy with the arrangement – there isn’t a rooster on the place that will come near her! We call him Drizzy (which will be meaningless unless you are familiar with Canadian rappers or Degrassi...

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We’ve been a little quiet…

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We’ve been a little quiet…

You may have noticed that it has been a while since I last posted – it’s been an eventful summer. The two big events were THE WEDDING and THE STORM. Our oldest son, Connor married the love of his life, Rebecca (yes, there is now a Rebekah Stoddart [daughter] and a Rebecca Stoddart [daughter-in-law]) on Labour Day Weekend. The wedding was on the grounds of a small pioneer museum not too far from the farm. It was a whirlwind weekend with both Silvia’s sister visiting from Australia and my sister and her family visiting from Nova Scotia. THE STORM was an unwelcome visitor on...

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Open House Tomorrow – June 13th

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Open House Tomorrow – June 13th

All 560 acres and all the cattle and sheep have been well washed and are ready for your visit tomorrow (the pigs on the other hand have been loving the rain for a completely different reason – everyone gets their own puddle!). Visit between 1 and 4 to get a guided tour of the Real Dirt. Store will be open for fibre and meat...

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Recent Pics from around the Farm

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Recent Pics from around the Farm

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Why we’ve decided to drop organic certification

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We produced a certified organic crop for the first time 17 years ago in 1998 – organic food grade white hilum soybeans. A decade later, a partner and I were running 2000 acres of certified organic land. The land on our current farm was completely certified in 2009. However, we are now at an interesting cross-roads, our land is certified organic but none of our products are since we don’t certify our animals. When we started meat production, the home farm was in transition and we were growing hay and pasture as our transitional crop and therefore our cattle and sheep...

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Spring must be coming…

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Spring must be coming…

While the weather outside doesn’t suggest winter is going to end any time soon, there are some happenings in the barn that suggest spring is just around the corner.     Triplet lambs on the mom ‘couch’ First set of hatching eggs. A bi-colour lamb (only the second we’ve ever had More piglets Hens and piglets, oh my! Lambing starts with twins Butterscotch with the first calf of...

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A Day in the Life of Our Ducks

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I got an outdoor time lapse camera for Christmas. So I set it up for a day, focussed on our duck flock coming and going from the greenhouse. Watch right to the end to see the late day sun and shadows....

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I’m featured in my publisher’s July newsletter

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I made the Iguana books newsletter this month! Here’s the link: http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c508f7edd34e289ba1946c3b0&id=33fc7f890b&e=f18540643f

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At the one third mark of the growing season

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At the one third mark of the growing season

We’re two months into the growing season with less than 4 months until our usual frost date. I took the pictures in this post today. We’re a good way through our first rotation through all the paddocks. Our cows and sheep have been eating nothing but grass for 25 days. No diesel. No machines. The other two pictures are of the soybean field across the road. If you look closely, you can see the little beans poking up. This isn’t a late planted field. There are still hundreds of acres left to plant yet in our township. Which field do you think has harvested more solar energy?...

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Spring on a Grass Fed Beef Farm

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Spring on a Grass Fed Beef Farm

Ahh, spring. Once we get the mud over with, it’s my favourite time of the year. The dull greys and browns of winter are replaced with the vibrant greens of the countryside coming alive. Late April is a time of expectation: we’re anxiously awaiting the new growth in the pastures, the first cows are starting to bag up and getting ready to calve, the first litters of pigs are already running around and our first batch of chicks is almost feathered out. Getting to Spring on a Grass fed Beef Farm This year spring has a little more “expectation,” we’re trying to stretch our hay supply to last...

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Harry is Speaking at the Central Ontario Ag Conf

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Harry is Speaking at the Central Ontario Ag Conf

      I’ll be speaking on our CSA program and The Future of Agriculture at the Central Ontario Agriculture Conference on January 3, 2013. The conference is being held at Georgian College in Barrie. Here’s the link :...

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Harry and others speaking at LifeStock

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Harry and others speaking at LifeStock

This video is a montage of the various speakers at LifeStock. I start at approx 6:47.

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Harry’s Humorous Toastmasters Speech – The topic was sheep.

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Harry explains the impact of sheep on a number of historical events. Many of you will be surprised by the role that the secret sheep society “The Brotherhood” has had in world events. Harry reveals that the innocuous, cute and cuddly sheep is in fact the most cunning and devious animal in the barnyard. Harry placed at the club level and went on to compete at the area level – this video is from the area contest.

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Harry’s Radio Interview

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Harry’s Radio Interview

This is a podcast of an interview Harry did with a blogRadio program in New York City. His interview starts at about the 5 min mark and runs for 20 minutes. Hear about our philosophy direct from Harry. Listen to internet radio with Frank Ferrante on Blog Talk...

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Text and Pictures from August Newsletter

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Text and Pictures from August Newsletter

We FINALLY Imported the White Parks I committed to purchase two Ancient White Park bred cows and a bull back in May. They finally arrived in Ontario on August 7th (technically it was the 8th by the time they were safely in our yard but we did cross the bridge before midnight). Silvia and I spent three days on the road covering over 2500km. Our truck passed the 300,000km mark just south of Pittsburg on the way home. I have learned an incredble amount about all the minutiae of importing livestock into Canada. The first stumbling block was a test to prove freedom from Brucellosis that is...

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Stressed Aquifers Around the Globe – NYTimes.com

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I’ll explore this a little more in my upcoming book but here is one more reason why I refer to our current food supply as “fossil food”. Not only are fossil fuels consumed but also fossil water. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/stressed-aquifers-around-the-globe/

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Chickens out to pasture

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Chickens out to pasture

First batch of broilers out to pasture.

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First Multi-coloured Lamb!

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First Multi-coloured Lamb!

We’ve been working for a number of years to eliminate the environmentally damaging aspects of dyeing wool. We think we’ve almost succeeded. The lamb pictured at right is the first GMO lamb successfully expressing a gene for multi-colourism in it’s wool. We isolated the gene from a bird of paradise and inserted it in the embryo of this lamb. We need to work some more on getting solid colours but this is a good start. It will be interesting to see what we get when we cross this ram with our white ewes.

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Cattle skipping into fresh pasture

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Second half of video from previous post.

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Cattle Coming When Called

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The two videos I’m putting up today were shot yesterday when I had to call the cattle out of one pasture and into another with some fresh grazing. They got a little excited for my liking as they were running by but everyone got to where they were supposed to go.

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