Welsh Hill Farm is a 170 acre property in Welsh, Ontario, just outside of Smiths Falls in Lanark County. We currently produce quality organic grass-fed beef for customers in the Ottawa Valley and Eastern Ontario. Our farming philosophy is to respect and be good stewards of the land and animals that are in our care. Therefore we follow organic and ecological farming methods as much as possible. Our goal is to produce a variety of pastured meats including beef, chicken, turkey & pork as well as true free-range eggs.
We purchased our property in the spring of 2013. It was originally a large farm, but had fallen into disrepair over the years. Since we had purchased empty land, our first big job was to build a house, which took us until January of the following year. Well, to be honest, it still isn’t quite complete but is quite comfortable even without all the finishing touches. Spring and summer 2014 was full of fence building with some farm structures built as well. We produced a small amount of grass fed beef the first year, but mostly worked on improving pastures for the following years. In 2015 we launched our website and sold grass-fed beef, pastured-organic chicken and did a meat CSA trial. Unfortunately the cost of certified Organic feed was so much that we we lost money on our chickens and we have put that product on hold while we try to develop a more economically sustainable approach.
A main focus of our farm is soil health. We improve the soil by employing several different practices including rotational grazing, free choice mineral program and introducing desirable plant species. Chemical fertilizers are not used on our farm. One thing that people often don’t realize about farming, is the amount of time, energy and money that goes into keeping your soil healthy.
Livestock health and well-being is also very important and the point that most people are most aware of when visiting the farm. All of our feed is Certified Organic from Homestead Organics. Our animals are not routinely given antibiotics, however if an animal is sick we do not let them suffer but do use antibiotics if required. Pasture rotation is a key component for the health of our animals in two ways. The first one is that access to higher quality forage keeps the animal in peak performance and therefore more able to fight infection and parasites. Also pasture rotation reduces parasites significantly, eliminating the need for typical worm medications. We supplement pasture with mineral, salt and diatomaceous earth (a natural product that helps with fighting parasites.)