We are woofing at the Happy Pig Organic Farm since nearly one month now. WOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms and is all about living, learning and sharing organic lifestyles For those who want to know more about WOOFing, please come this way :)
The Happy Pig Organic Farm is situated in the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako in the beautiful Bulkley Valley surrounded by the spectacular Coastal Mountains scenery.
Marlene and Paul were both foresters before they decided to get into farm business. Their stories about working in the bush are really amazing.
The farm is one of only two Organic livestock farms in Nothern British Columbia (BC) and has a size of 320 acres which means it is really big!!! It’s located in the the middle of a Grizzly Bear and wolve corridor. In the beginning I was really scared having my smoke outside at nighttime, but not anymore! You get used to it and you just start to appreciate being in an environment where humans and wildlife are sharing the same territory.
The property has huge forests and back fields which are hidden in the woods. A wonderful creek runs through the land and serves as a water source for the whole farm. You’ll find beautiful lakes all over for canoeing and fishing. The mountains invite for hikes as well as mountain biking and skiing in the winter. Those guys go for skiing, hiking, hunting, etc. on their own property! That’s so crazy!!!
The livestock that’s raised here are pigs, cows, turkeys, sheep, Alpacas, goats and chickens. Marlene told us that many people thought she is mad to raise cattle here because of the wildlife surroundings.
It’s true that they had a time when a Grizzly came back again and again to chaise and kill cattle and got really dangerous. So unfortunately, they had to getting action to get rid of the bear. But it was the only time so far.
It’s nice to wake up in the morning in our trailer with a wonderful view on the land and the Coastal Mountains in the back. We start the day with driving around with the Quad saying „Good Morning“ to all those animal fellows. Especially „Obi“ the old wise pig and the always complaining Ram are very lovely. We are responsible for feeding and watering them. Then we usually take a break with a good coffee and an omelette made of the dozens of eggs the chickens give us every day. Afterwards there a countless projects to do, which includes moving cattle, rock picking, prepairing farm land, construction work, fence building, etc.. In exchange we have delicious organic food every day and we love our cozy trailer, we can use canoes, the truck, fishing gear, bikes and the most important thing: get to know nice people and what it’s like to live a life in Canada with Canadians.
Getting an insight view in the life of a couple that’s putting all its energy into maintaining land and livestock and making a living out of it is very valuable for us and makes us reflecting a lot.
What we have learned is that being an organic farmer and making a living out of it means much more than just being a farmer: you have to be a businessman, a salesman, a networker and an educator. Making people understand that organic production means: nurture healthy soil that grows healthy food, that grows healthy people, which grows healthy communities - still takes a lot of effort.
Paul and Marlene are part of the Certified Organic Association of British Columbia (COABC) and initiated a network of organic farmers themselves in order to distribute organic food boxes all over Nothern British Columbia. The delivering takes a grand part of their work. Distances in Canada are not comparable to European ones and they do a lot of driving to deliver their boxes every week. It’s like we would drive from Nuermberg all the way to Austria just to deliver food boxes to private clients. Canada = Vaste land!
The family attends the weekly Farmer’s Market in the next bigger town „Smithers“ to sell their products and offers a really nice variety of food which is prepared "on site" in their food truck.
People and animals have a good life at the farm and we are thankful to have made Canadian family and friends here.
Are you interested in woofing in Canada or at the Happy Pig Organic Farm in particular? Contact us via the contact formula - we are more than happy to help you and share our experiences with you!