Stony Mountain Farm in Squamish, BC (45 north of Vancouver and 40 minutes south of Whistler offers free-range eggs, seasonal turkeys and pastured chickens. They also have goats who, until they're bred and can become milkers, are "comedic relief." Tracy and Dan's farm is located in the Squamish Valley and, quite literally, looks like something off of a postcard. Between Tracy's career as a Registered Veterinary Technician and Dan's background in the construction industry they definitely have the background and skills to provide their community with free-range eggs and pastured meats.
What do you sell? We sell fresh eggs from our free-range mixed breed flock of laying hens (Bouvan Browns, Barred Rocks, Auracanas and Buff Orpingtons), free-range Broad-Breasted White turkeys (whole for Thanksgiving and Christmas and assorted cuts through the winter months), and starting later this month free-range Cornish Rock Chicken. We have 3 Saanen goats (Poppy, Paisley, Schwandli) who will be bred in the fall and we will possibly have kids available the following summer. Next year once the goats are milking we will be making an assortment of goats milk soap.
How do customers purchase your product? We are a regular at the Squamish Farmers Market. The summer market runs from May to October every Saturday and the winter market runs November - April every other Sunday. We have also applied for 6 dates in Whistler from June to September. We are also in talks with a local shop to have our eggs and turkey available through them (more details to come).
Why did you start farming? We bought our acreage in the fall of 2007 and I had high hopes for a horse. As we began to watch our neighbours raise their first 10 pigs for meat we began to learn more about the food industry and where our food came from. We decided we wanted to make a difference, giving animals raised for meat the best life possible, outside, antibiotic/medication free, grown slow, cared for and respected.
We added our first flock of 50 hens in the fall of 2008, building our coop to accommodate a max of 75 hens thinking we would never surpass this. Our eggs were soon in high demand so we quickly out grew our coop. I actually went back to school in the winter of 2009 for 3 years and we had to hold on expanding our farm until I was done. But while in school we continued to learn about the poultry industry and decided to raise turkeys upon my graduation. Our first flock of 100 turkey poults arrived the spring of 2012. I learned a ton from that first flock of turkey, and shed a lot of tears when they left me.
I'm still waiting for my horse.
What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever received?
- Don't take on too much at once!!!!!
- Don't take things people say too personally, continue to do what you're doing and educate them
- Your house will not be perfect anymore, let it go a little
What would you tell someone who is interested in a farming lifestyle? Find out your market and what you have a passion for, ie: vegetables, raising animals for meat, etc. start with one thing and do it well, then move on to the next. I found our first year raising turkey was more of a learning experience than anything and the next year I looked at what I did wrong, changed a few things and was way more successful the second time around.
Photo Credit: All photos are courtesy of JB Candid Photography.