It was a windy afternoon but the rain held off until later evening at Pure Pastures Regenerative Farm (PPRF) where we hosted our first Land Social for the Central North region this past Saturday, July 9! PPRF is located Northeast of Rose Prairie (North of Fort St John) and is an available land opportunity with the BC Land Matching Program. The landowners implement regenerative agriculture practices on their ranch – running cattle on 10,000 acres and also raising a variety of small livestock, a beautiful market garden and are developing a farm coop. Our hosts, Rob and Bobbie-Jo, are some of the most incredible and passionate people you will ever meet. The afternoon was spent touring the farm, networking, enjoying delicious food, meeting new friends, reconnecting with old friends and connecting with the land and energy around us.
We started with an intro-circle and our hosts sharing all about the farm and their vision. An intro-circle is a great way for everyone to introduce themselves, hear where everyone is from, their interests in agriculture and what they were excited to learn during the land social. Rob and Bobbie-Jo highlighted their history on the farm, their current practices and goals they have set out with the next steps for the farm’s future. They touched on the importance of community and people, that they are always learning and that sharing what they have tried that did not bring great results is an opportunity to bring success.
Pure Pastures Regenerative Farm raises cattle, hogs, poultry, sheep, and goats as well as growing a beautiful market garden.
There are 2 sows on the farm (currently with 24 piglets!) and feeder pigs out on pasture. The pigs are used in certain scenarios with the benefits of their rooting, turning soil, and incorporating manure. The local community is working on a project of integrating livestock into vegetable systems, specifically pigs that are put in an area and moved when 30% of the ground is exposed. It looks at a mixed farm approach to managing the landscape.
Like their farm name states – regenerative agriculture principals are practiced on the ranch in all capacities of operations. Electric fencing is used to build temporary grazing paddocks that cattle, sheep and goats are rotated through. These ruminant species work in a symbiotic relationship with the sheep and goats consuming more of the shrubby plants that the cattle leave when moving through their grazing systems. This in turn allows for more grass growth and weed management. This grazing method mimics the natural way of bison on the Prairie grasslands.
The biodiversity of different plants and animals together, moving away from monoculture of not just crops but livestock as well, and rewilding our livestock is what has brought so much success to the farm and is a key factor in the values of the farm coop.
After our farm tour we started working on painting our rocks for the farm sign ceremony while dinner was cooked on the barbecue! The colors, designs, and stories behind the images on the rock are so beautiful and inspiring.
Dinner was delicious! Potluck style with PPRF raised burgers and sausages, a variety of salads, micro greens and veg were served with a delicious shortcake, whipped cream and haskap berry dessert. The food and company was so comforting and delightful.
The water tank in the below photo is a very special piece of art. Our hosts asked the questions that they have asked themselves in navigating the design and envisioning the farm coop. It was amazing to read the answers to these questions from the attendees of the event:
- What does biodiversity mean to you? Ecosystem
- How does resilience show up in your life? Breathe, getting rest, being open to adaptability
- What is community? Compassion, love, a shared weight of the world
- What are your core values? Patience, being intentional, kindness, truth
- How do you create connection? Collaboration, watching and listening, asking questions
Our evening concluded with readings from our hosts and a ceremony at the beautiful new farm sign. Guests of the land social painted rocks that were laid under the sign and will remain there indefinitely. The ceremony was so powerful, moving and inspiring. At one point I looked beyond our group of friends gathered at the sign to see the bulls across the road standing in a line, all with their heads up and strong presence focused on us. You could feel their energy and strength rooted to the earth through the wind during our ceremony. That is a moment and feeling I will never forget!
GOT LAND? WANT LAND?
Through the B.C. Land Matching Program, Young Agrarians offers support to farmers looking for land for their farm business, and landholders looking for farmers to farm their land. We’ve made more than 229 matches on over 9,630 acres to date! Reach out to Land Matcher Morgan if you’re in Central & Northern BC and looking for land, or have land you’d like to share with a farmer, or check out the program page to find your regional Land Matcher.
The B.C. Land Matching Program is funded in Central & Northern B.C. by the Province of British Columbia, with support from the Real Estate Foundation of B.C.