Saturday Farmers’ Market Vendor Feature: Aurora View Farms
This week we are featuring Aurora View Farms, a third-year vendor at our market! Aurora View Farms is a farmily- run, certified Organic ranch that provides 100% grass-fed and finished beef. We recently had the pleasure of chatting with co-owner, Liz L’Heureux, to find out more.
How long has Aurora View Farms been around? How did you get started?
This is our 4th year of farming. We decided to make a lifestyle change and go ranching for our children. Matt (my husband) was working away from home and we have 5 small kids. I found it difficult having Matt away all the time so we wanted to start something that we could do together and with our kids. We also had bought a side of beef from a local farmer and tasted the difference immediately. We sold everything and bought a working ranch and cattle. We hadn’t even driven a tractor beforehand.
What are the three most important things you think people should know about Aurora View Farms ?
- We are an organic ranch.
- Our cattle are 100% grass-fed and finished which means they only graze on various grasses in the summer and eat hay we produce ourselves in the winter months. This means our cattle grow slowly and the beef is very lean and very flavourful.
- Our cattle are also free-roaming where we rotate them on numerous pastures (average size of 80 acres).
You grow all your cattle’s feed yourself, what are the benefits of this compared to purchasing food?
Growing our own feed allows us to be completely in control of what goes into our cattle. We also focus on soil health because healthy soil produces healthy grasses and feeds our animals. It’s a full cycle and we want our farm to be there for our grandkids. Producing your own feed is also environmentally stable- we know exactly how many animals our land can sustain.
You had are certified organic, would you minding telling people what this involves for ranching?
- Only cattle born on our farm are certified.
- We only use organic fertilizers on our cropland.
- We only use organic seeds for planting.
- We don’t use any pesticides, hormones, steroids, or products that are not approved by the Canadian organic standards.
- Our farm and its practices are inspected annually.
- Our herd is a closed herd- meaning they do not interact with other cattle.
What is the main difference between free- roaming and conventional cattle rising methods?
Conventionally cattle are fed and live in feedlots. This allows feedlot operators to fatten up the cattle in the shortest amount of time possible. Average animal is ready for butchering at 18 months of age.
Free roaming animals- are given larger areas to live and graze. It is a slower growing process, for example we butcher at about 30 months of age. However, the beef is leaner and healthier and we feel confident that we give our animals the best possible life. Allowing them the grow the way nature intended.
If you could only have one cut of your beef for the rest of your life which one would it be?
Ribsteak any day of the week. But we have been enjoying experimenting with different more unknown cuts of beef such as shank, skirt steak and oxtail. Matt loves beef tongue sandwiches.
Why did you choose to come to the UBC Saturday Market specifically?
We wanted to start selling in the Vancouver area and we loved the farm feel of the UBC market.
What is your favourite part about being a rancher?
My favourite part is the time we spend outdoors as a family. Having the ranch during COVID has been such a blessing. The kids spend so much time with our animals and helping with regular day to day activities. We move our cattle by calling them. Even our 1 year old knows the call “Here Moo cows!” and the cows just follow us to the next pasture.
Where else can customers find you? And is there anything else you want them to know?
We also sell at the Vancouver Farmers markets and online. People can order packages online and we offer free home delivery. Follow me on Instagram if you wanted to see more of our ranch life and updates. I would also like to thank all our customers that continue to support us on our crazy adventure! We really appreciate it.Market Dates| Facebook Page | Instagram | Website