Metabolic Farms

I had an opportunity to visit some farmer mentors of mine this week, so I took it.

Tony & Fran McQuail own and operate Meeting Place Organic Farm, a small, diversified, grass-based farm in Bruce County.  I apprenticed with them for a full season in 2008 and learned heaps about gardening, raising an assortment of livestock, and working with draft horses, among other things.

One important consideration the McQuail’s have taken in planning their farm is that of energy.  Where possible they use draft power, with the help of their team of Belgians.  Their beef cattle are rotationally grazed, intensively in a way that allows their fields of hay and pasture to become more diverse and resilient, rendering obsolete the practice of plowing up and reseeding fields to re-establish a vital stand of grasses and legumes.

What may look like “just grass” is a perennial polyculture of plants suitable to feed all sorts of animals and withstand drought conditions with proper stewardship

Instead of slowly tiring and eventually losing all vitality, their fields become more diverse and rich from year to year, as their planned grazing helps build soil and sequester carbon from the atmosphere – what a concept!

If you are looking for organic grass-fed beef, these people raise among the best that’s available.  They also offer certified organic pastured pork and pastured chicken as well as Holistic Management farm planning workshops.

Taken in early spring, these hardworking Belgians sure were happy to be out on grass after a long winter