Farm Practices

We strive to bring quality products to you the consumer using good, clean and fair practises towards people, animals and the environment. We have chosen to become certified organic after farming without using any chemical inputs for years, this is the surest way to prove that to our consumers. Since it was not always possible to supply our own inputs for the end product we required the source to align with our practises. The most simple and sure way to achieve these goals was to buy from organic sources. So why not be certified organic?

How Organic Practices Affect Fairwinds Farm

We are using our own composted manures produced by the animals and crop rotation to grow the feed for the goats. The soil has amazing qualities since we have been farming this way. Lots of earth worms and micro-nutrients!

At times we are short of feed and need to purchase some. We source from organic suppliers only. Our goats are raised on organic feed and the young are raised on goat milk with their own mothers.

The goats are not induced by hormones to breed out of their ‘natural’ season. Nor is artificial lighting used to mimic seasonal changes that will induce breeding seasons to begin. We work with what we have and do experience milk shortages during the winter sometimes. The goats produce extra milk during their peak which we process into our aged cheeses. Only fresh products are made during milk shortages.

The goats have access to pastures especially in the growing season. They have ample room to sleep inside when required to be out of the elements. The resting and eating areas are kept clean and dry using organic straw. The pastures are grazed during the summer on a rotation. As the grazing season ends they will rely on hay produced from the land. These practises along with feeding proper minerals and grains give them a natural resistance to disease and parasites. No pesticides are used to control parasites. The management methods we incorporate have been highly successful. The animals are inspected by a local veterinarian periodically and are health assessed with organics in view.

Organic vs. Conventional

Conventional farming practices apply chemical fertilizers to promote plant growth and spray insecticides to reduce pests and disease. Herbicides are used to manage weeds. To prevent disease and spur growth in animals, antibiotics, growth hormones and medications are used.

Organic Farming apply natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost, to feed soil and plants and use beneficial insects or traps to reduce pests and disease. Crop rotation, tilling, hand weeding, or mulch is used to manage weeds. Animals are given organic feed and allowed access to the outdoors. Preventive measures such as rotational grazing, a balanced diet and clean housing are used to help minimize disease.

How Organic Practices Affect Fairwinds Farm

We are using our own composted manures produced by the animals and crop rotation to grow the feed for the goats. The soil has amazing qualities since we have been farming this way. Lots of earth worms and micro-nutrients!

At times we are short of feed and need to purchase some. We source from organic suppliers only. Our goats are raised on organic feed and the young are raised on goat milk with their own mothers.

The goats are not induced by hormones to breed out of their ‘natural’ season. Nor is artificial lighting used to mimic seasonal changes that will induce breeding seasons to begin. We work with what we have and do experience milk shortages during the winter sometimes. The goats produce extra milk during their peak which we process into our aged cheeses. Only fresh products are made during milk shortages.

The goats have access to pastures especially in the growing season. They have ample room to sleep inside when required to be out of the elements. The resting and eating areas are kept clean and dry using organic straw. The pastures are grazed during the summer on a rotation. As the grazing season ends they will rely on hay produced from the land. These practises along with feeding proper minerals and grains give them a natural resistance to disease and parasites. No pesticides are used to control parasites. The management methods we incorporate have been highly successful. The animals are inspected by a local veterinarian periodically and are health assessed with organics in view.

Processing Our Products

The largest part of the products we process for you are organic goat milk produced on the farm. All inputs into our products that are not produced on the farm must be approved by organic regulations. No additives, colors or unapproved substances are ever used.

Generally the processing happens Monday to Thursday. The milk is pumped from the barn into storage tanks in the processing building and is then processed into the products you enjoy every day.

Milk, yoghurts and Cheese!

Thank-you for supporting our farm

Difference between Organic and Natural?

The basic difference is that “Organic” adheres to strict standards set by an independent governing body and “Natural” does not.

The ‘Organic’ claim is regulated in Canada. All products that bear the ‘Organic’ label must be certified to the organic standard. This means that the farms and factories are inspected and actually meet the regulation. * “The Canadian Organic Regulation mandates that crops are grown with methods that restore and sustain the environment; provide soil fertility using biological means, not synthetic fertilizers; and manage pests with biological, mechanical and cultural techniques, not toxic chemicals.”

Animals must be provided with healthy, reduced stress living conditions by having space appropriate to their behavioral requirements and organic feed. Hormones and GMO products are forbidden. Antibiotics are administered when required but are not to be used as ‘organic’.

To be labeled ‘organic’ food must have been produced without the use of synthetics fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, irradiation, genetic engineering or hormones.

In Canada the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has guidelines for natural food. It is all about post-harvest handling. Natural Food should not contain food additives. Nothing may be removed except water and they are to be processed minimally, or left unprocessed. Natural should contain only natural ingredients. It does not really matter what happens before harvest, before slaughter or being made into finished products, such as bread or cheese and yoghurt which are made from, or contain a large part of a raw product. When the main ingredients in bread or cheese are utilized into a finished product “naturally” the source of the product is not considered. Natural products are sourced from “Natural” farms. The term “natural” when used in this sense does not indicate pesticide, synthetic fertilizers, hormones, GMO, or antibiotics are not in use on the farms. It just means that the plant or animal grows in its natural state; but is being grown using conventional methods.

The CFIA suggests that the word “Natural” is often misused on labels and advertisements. There is no regulation to prevent this. Manufacturers and producers may use these terms without restrictions.

Natural is not a legally standardized term. Hence there are no guarantees that products labelled are pesticide, preservatives, GMO, or hormone free. Be aware of these products although some may be better than their “non-natural” counterparts, they are not meeting the same criteria as organic products.

Eg. A producer who says his product is natural can be hormone and antibiotic free. The animals are fed a conventional ration which is all or a large part of their feed intake. There is no measurement on the amount of residues contained in their feed. If the animal is eating this then there will be a certain amount of residues in the meat and or milk. Also the impact on the environment of farming practises used in conventional methods needs consideration.

* “If we want to be sure we are getting the qualities of natural grown, handled, processed in ways that value nature and respect the consumer-we need to pass over the natural product and reach for the organic one.”