A “science, practice and social movement…that mimics ecological functions”
Article by Valerie MacDonald News Now Network
Northumberland’s Evermeadow Farm was highlighted this month during a research symposium hosted by Guelph University and the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare.
Researcher Sebastian Nicholson’s study was focused on using a “one welfare” lens to see potential in an agroecological approach to both an animal’s and farmer’s needs.
Nicholson describes agroecology as a “science, practice and social movement…that mimics ecological functions, regenerates resources, seeks a socially and environmentally just food system…and based (is) in Indigenous Ways of Knowing.”
Evermeadow Farm, located at 3989 Macintosh Street north of Cobourg in Cold Springs is a “regenerative, pasture-based farm” whose owners, (Josh Noiseux and Janet Wiersma) raise chickens, eggs, heritage pork and lamb in an “ethical” and ecologically-focused way that increases biodiversity and productivity of the land.
“Approximately 3.75 lbs., our chickens are fed certified organic feed and raised on pasture where they forage for bugs and plants and express their natural chicken instincts. The resulting meat is astoundingly moist and tender,” states their website (evermeadow.ca)
The same approach is taken with their laying hens improving their welfare through this agroecosystem approach, Nicholson explained during the May 10 symposium.
This is a post from Evermeadow Farm on its Facebook page accompanied by a photo of a mobile chicken coop: “The Ovolisk (eggmobile) Rides Again!
Wow it feels amazingly good to put animals back out on the land for the first time this spring!
These hens first job of the season is to attack and destroy a patch of unwanted and invasive (+ toxic to herbivores) ferns while shifting the fertility and soil composition in favour of the grasses…we want for our fields. Once the hens have blasted this ferny section of the field, we will reseed with a super diverse mix of grass…and legumes.
In the meantime, we have eggs!”
The 15-acre Evermeadow farm was also featured in the spring edition of the locally-produced magazine, in which Josh states: “Our hens scratch up compacted soil and spread seed and fertile manure. Our sheep mange the grass, distribute nutrients and disturb the soil to prepare for re-seeding pastures and our broiler chickens bring fertility into the farm as they move daily across the landscape.”
There are also Ontario farms practicing “tree” range rather than “free range” pasture for their chickens which brings even more dietary variety and nutrients to their diet, researcher Nicholson told his virtual and in-person audience at Guelph University.
His was one of about half a dozen research reports heard during the annual research symposium.
#evermeadow, #farming, #northumberland, #agroecological, #regenerative