The Sunworks Blog

The Hens Have Been Moved Outside For The Summer.

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.

Video of the Hens Enjoying Being Outside


Free Range

IMG_2567On 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 I-phone - May 2013 006shelters 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.

Free Range is important because it allows them to behave naturally which greatly reduces stress. This results in healthy, happy animals.IMG_3376 cropped

100% Grass Fed Beef

IMG_2568 croped100% Grass Fed Beef: At Sunworks Farm sales venues you will see the phrase “Lifelong diet of 100% grass” on our beef packages.

Our cattle never receive any grain or grain byproduct at any time during their life. In the summer months we time control graze our certified organic beef animals on our certified organic pastures. We move our animals up to 2 times a day so we don’t over graze the land and to give the cattle plenty to eat for the day. We monitor the condition of the grass and of the land so that the cattle and the land benefit each other the cattle always have enough quality grass to eat and the land is never overgrazed and overly compacted.  We mimic how the buffalo would eat all the grass in an area and then move on, yet leave enough height to encourage regrowth of the plants.

During the winter months the cattle receive high quality hay grown on our certified organic land. When the weather conditions get severe we feed certified organic alfalfa pellets in addition to the hay to help with their energy to keep warm. Alfalfa pellets are alfalfa grass that is harvested at its peak nutritional value, dried and then crushed and formed into pellets. When we purchase our certified organic hay and alfalfa pellets we guarantee that the land that was used for their production is certified organic. We confirm that it hasn’t been sprayed with herbicides and insecticides and that Round Up wasn’t used when pastures were rejuvenated. There are producers that will attempt to feed only grass but will also give their beef cattle variations of grains, such as barley sprouts or distillers grain which have been farmed industrially with the use of pesticides, herbicides and Round Up in their production. Barley sprouts and distiller’s grain come from very large malt factories (malt is used in making beer) and is an industrial process.

Beef cattle’s digestive system is uniquely designed to utilize grass and hay to provide the energy and protein to keep them alive. When animals are put in feed lots and fed a diet very high in grains with very little forages (grass, hay and alfalfa pellets) this upsets this very unique digestive system and leads to digestive tract challenges. E-coli come from a diet consisting of high amounts of grain or grain by products. Feeding beef their traditional diet of grass and hay minimizes the risk of e-coli which is the reason we feed ONLY grass, hay and alfalfa pellets to our animals their whole life.

We want our beef cattle to live healthy, happy lives and we believe that a 100% grass diet is the best way for us to achieve that goal.

Ron Hamilton

Easter Weekend Hours

April 3, Good Friday

  • Camrose Butcher Shop Closed
  • Farm Office Closed
  • Sunworks Meat Shop on Whyte. 10am-7pm
  • Market on Macleod 9am-5pm
  • Symons Valley Ranch Market 10am-5pm

April 4, Saterday

  • Camrose Butcher Shop Open
  • Farm Office Closed
  • Old Strathcona Market Open
  • Market on Macleod 9am-5pm
  • Symons Valley Ranch Market 10am-5pm
  • Sunworks Meat Shop on Whyte Open

April 5, Easter Sunday

  • Sunworks Meat Shop on Whyte. 10am-7pm
  • Market on Macleod Closed
  • Symons Valley Ranch Market 10am-5pm

April 6, Easter Monday

  • All locations return to regular hours.

Engineered Food and Your Health. GMO’s, Glyphosate(Roundup) and Their Affect On Your Health.

This is a great video that explains very clearly the links between Glyphosate (Roundup), GMO’s and some of the health issues society is facing today.  Although long, at almost 40min, it is worth taking the time to watch the whole video. There are so many good you tube videos on the internet about GMO’s and the hazards of eating conventionally raised food. However this is one of the best videos that we have seen as it clearly shows what happens when Roundup is sprayed on fields of both GMO and non-GMO crops. With the announcement of the World Health Organization classifying glyphosate as a “probably carcinogenic to humans” this video becomes even more relevant.

We personally have seen the increased use of Roundup as desiccants on all crops. When we first moved to the farm the wheat and other grains would turn a beautiful golden color in the fall. This was a natural color. Now with the increased use of herbicides – specifically Roundup, as a desiccant on crops, the fields in the fall are a dark brown. This is not the color of naturally drying wheat but a uniform dead brown. In the fall it has become hard to find fields that are not desiccated. This video shows why buying organic is beneficial to the health of all. Glyphosate and GMO’s have always been and are still banned in organic production and they are the few fields left that are that beautiful golden color in the fall.