• Caitlin McAuley

A day in the life of a Shuswap farmer

Ravenwood Acres

I had the absolute pleasure of being invited to capture the quintessential farm life on Ravenwood Acres right here near my home in Salmon Valley. Ravenwood Acres is a 43-acre, small-scale family owned and operated farm dedicated to raising excellent quality Heritage Poultry, Dexter Cattle and Tamworth swine. Ravenwood Acres sells pasture-raised heritage pork, lamb and seasonal turkey/duck.

Upon arrival at the Ravenwood Acres, there is no mistaking that owners Shelley and Brent take pride in all their animals at the farm. From the wagging tails of their two livestock guardian dogs, Norah and Penka coming to check out this strange new car in the farm yard, to the grunting pigs looking for their next snack and a cool shower to escape the afternoon heat in the farm yard. This is exactly what a farm should be!

At Ravenwood Acres it is a family affair as son Chase joyfully shares with me all the names of his prized poultry. The thing that surprised me most about Ravenwood Acres was the variety of poultry and waterfowl on the farm. Some of Shelley’s favourite breeds include Russian Orloff, Salmon Faverolles, Silkies, and her flock of Sebastopol Geese. While visiting the farm you will get a sense that you are in the middle of an outdoor showcase of all the most beautiful and unique farm birds known to this corner of the world. Shelley smiled coming up to every pen, explaining to me the different breeds, characteristics and personalities of her favourite birds, even picking up the odd feathered friend for a visit.

After the birds, we were off to visit one of my personal favourite barnyard animals, the pigs! Ravenwood acres is currently home to 22 pigs, 2 boars, 4 sows and a litter of 10 piglets, which were born shortly after my visit. As we approached the pens, you could barely see anything; it was a hot dry afternoon and everyone seemed to be hiding in the shade, until Brent called out to them and got the hose out for a sprinkle in the sun. Slowly I heard that all-familiar pig snorting… then out came Jack, Ravenwood’s prized Tamworth boar. Awakened from his afternoon nap, he sauntered just out of the shade of his barn, and then sat right down as if he were posing for a picture!

After we were done with the pigs, we headed down to see the farm’s charming herd of Dexter cattle. The Ravenwood Acres Dexter herd consists of 6 members, their breeding bull Paul and his 3 cows Betty, Blossom and Delilah, a yearling heifer, and 2 calves. Although Paul and his herd were a little camera shy, I managed to get a few pictures in before they headed back off into the shade on this lazy afternoon.

Next, it was time to head back up to the top of the property where we would be greeted by horses, goats and sheep. (Like I said before, Ravenwood Acres really does have it all!)

During my visit at Ravenwood Acres I was reminded once again of the importance of supporting our local farmers. When you source your food locally, you are not only supporting a local business and contributing to your local economy, you are also promoting environmental sustainability and ensuring that you and your family are eating the freshest, most wholesome food possible!

I encourage you to check out Ravenwood Acres on their Facebook page to see all the wonderful things that they have to offer!

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