A Year to Remember,
It’s Windy Outside, & Blackview Who?
The sharp looking waiter placed the dishes of “art” in front of the waiting guests. “Blackview Farm Pheasant. Enjoy!” he says. Prior to that was “Blackview Farm Duck”. The people receiving the plates accept it with awe, anxiousness, and curiosity. Maybe they were thinking, “How will this taste, I’ve never had duck before”, or “This dish is a work of art, hats off to the chef”. But I am sure some were wondering, “Who on earth is Blackview?”. I was thinking the latter.
It’s not that I am terribly humble or that I can’t accept compliments. It simply caught me off guard to hear our Farm name spoken of in that manner. A mix of pride, astonishment and appreciation came to mind. Then I took a bite and my taste buds were blown away.
I love watching and learning how other farmers operate. I follow their twitter accounts, their websites; when I hear their names, I relate to them. But this night, it was our Farm’s name.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. The real reason I chose to raise my animals naturally, on grass and without chemical fertilizer; was because I didn’t want to spend the money on chemicals, corn and vaccines! In my mind, I thought that there had to be a way to do this more simply without the inputs, without sacrificing quality, and even enhance it. Dare I say – more “sustainable”. .
It wasn’t until I listened to Mark Schatzker at a Beef Symposium in 2012, that I realized I probably could learn to do this. But it would take some “paradigm shifts”. It would take a different way of thinking and doing.
I then signed up for Holistic Management Courses, I starting making friends of farmers who I found are doing similar practices. I also started to read more and for you who know who Joel Salatin is, you know that his books are empowering.
Have I got it all figured out? Not even close – but I’m better than I was. My grandpa said to “Never Stop Learning”, and to me that is an exciting statement.
I guess the reason this all applies to the restaurant , the pretty dishes, the Farm name being announced as something special; is that the more I thought about it, I realized that this farm is truly a group effort. I wouldn’t be here without my family & friends that have helped me along the way. Those friends that when you give a sample of meat too, you know they will say the truth about what they think. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the chefs, photographers, the web designers and Scientists that have helped promote the farm and it’s values. It’s also the families that buy from us and depend on our farm as a source for tasty and nutritious food for their kids. So this is to say, I am enjoying this community of people who have been directly linked to what we are trying to accomplish.
This does sound cliche, and as you wipe the tears from your eyes after this beautiful story, remember it is true. When you and I hear Blackiew, it is more than me.
But it did get Windy!. Without going into great detail and length (mostly because it happened 3 months ago and it’s “old news”), it got windy one night here. Real windy. F2 Tornado windy.
After spending the week hauling hay and baling straw, a Sunday night in August brought in some storm clouds. I was in the house video taping the black sky when Michelle went to the basement with the kids. I locked the front door and just then 4 windows blew into our dining room, across the house and glass found it’s way to the basement. I made my way downstairs to wait the storm out.
Long story short, when I saw that our shed was blown down and round bales in the front yard, I knew I would be needing a lot of help.
Here we are now, thankful for our community, family, and friends that helped us get back on our feet. Another bunch of people that need to be added to the Blackview name.
As I write, I am actually going on week #3 of a farm injury that has kept me in the house. You could say that it’s the Year to Remember, because 2015 is the year I am relying on a lot of people to help me and things are “out of my control” at the moment. With that said, I am Very appreciative!
Lets look at some of the cool things that happened this year. We started attending some local Farmers Markets. Michelle has commited to taking on the task going to the Wellesley and Milverton Markets weekly to make sure you have access to Grass fed meats.
We also started a family Buying Club. It was started as a means to keep our lives a little more sane – we can organize our inventory better, save some driving time; as well as keeping your freezer stocked in an easy, drop off fashion. Without a financial commitment, you can sign up to have a monthly meat drop from our farm to your house. Ask us about that.
Thanks to the tornado and insurance, we are able to put up some new sheds. Those are being built right now, by some very determined volunteers. By the time winter comes, they will be very nice to have.
If you are looking for a great read this fall, may I suggest The Dorrito Effect, Mark Schatzker. He is food writer from Toronto and has some great and realistic news on flavour and nutrition, and how they are related.
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8590 concession 3, Rr#3, Listowel, Ontario, CA