The Sunworks Blog
Being Certified Organic is one of our family’s core values. We raise certified organic animals and make certified organic products because we want to eat certified organic food. We believe that being organic is the best way for us to take care of the land that we have been given the privilege to be responsible for. We believe that eating organic is also the best way to take care of our bodies and our health. We raise all our animals to the Canadian organic standards and the BCSPCA standards because we believe that this is the best way for animals to be raised. We raise all our own poultry and now process all our own birds in our certified organic processing plant. Despite some of the bad press recently we still believe that we can put our faith in the organic system. We will still buy organic products because they have consistently been shown to have less chemical/pesticide residue. We will continue to buy organic products because of the research showing the reduction of pesticide levels in children when they eat organic. We will continue to buy organic because of the environmental benefits of certified organic production. We can change the world with our food purchases and we believe that by supporting certified organic we can positively affect the environment of the world around us.
Ron and Sheila Hamilton
Farmer/Owner Sunworks Farm
Our chickens are moved daily onto new pasture. They are slowly pulled forward by the tractor while someone walks behind the shelter to communicate with the driver. The person walking behind also moves the waterline forward. The chickens water is pumped fresh from our dugout to the chickens in the field. The chickens feed is made of certified organic grains and legumes. It is made onsite at our own certified organic feed mill.
There is not much grass available for them to eat as we are in desperate need of rain. The ground is extremely dry and the grass is not very plentiful. The chickens still like digging in the dirt for bugs, grubs, and roots. We are hoping that the rain forecast for the end of this week is true. All the animals would like to enjoy the fresh new grass that would grow with a few days of rain.
After 14 months of construction our organic poultry processing facility is finally open and up and running! It was a relief that the first days of processing went smoothly because this was a complex construction process involving a multitude of trades persons all working to comply with stringent government regulations concerning the building of our poultry processing plant. The farm now grows all of our poultry and are processed, cut and packaged on site. The chickens are l…oaded at night from the outside shelters in the summer and the barns in the winter. They are gently loaded by hand by our employees in the dark to help them remain calm and stress free. They are then taken on the short 2 minute drive across the farm yard to the new processing plant where they are brought into the loading bay to stay overnight. Here they are protected from the elements such as rain and thunderstorms in the summer and snow and cold temperatures in the winter. First thing in the morning they are then processed, cut and packaged. This has been a big and stressful undertaking but we are excited to see the dream of our own poultry processing plant become a reality
The laying hens were moved outside to their summer shelters last night. There is not a lot of grass yet so it did not take them long to eat most of the new shoots. The hens still love pecking and scratching in the dirt to look for roots, bugs and grubs. The hens will be moved every day onto fresh grass from now until October.
On our Label you will see the words Free Range. It is a phrase that is tossed around a lot in the meat industry. Different industries have different definitions as to what this means. This is what Free Range means to us.
Free Range: All our animals are given room to move and exhibit their natural behaviors. All our animals are given access to fresh pasture late spring to early fall. If the animals need shelter indoors in the winter they are given lots of room, sunlight and fresh air. All our Poultry (chickens, turkeys and laying hens) are never caged. As chicks they are given lots of room in warm barns with lots of fresh air and natural light. In the summer when the chicks are old enough they are moved outside into shelters that are moved daily onto fresh grass. Here they are given lots of room to dig for bugs and grubs. In the winter they are moved indoors where they are given lots of space and natural light. Our Pigs are raised without the use of farrowing crates and always given lots of room outside to roam and wallow in the dirt. Our cattle are not raised in a confined feedlot. They are out on pasture during the winter and the summer. In the summer the cattle are moved daily onto fresh pasture so that they are always receiving lots of fresh new grasses to eat. In the winter they are fed lots of hay and are always given lots of pasture to roam.