We’ll be at Lansdowne this Sunday Nov 22nd.  We will have some sourdough bread. Farmer grown, farmer ground, farmer baked, first in Ottawa. More importantly, bacon is back. Grilled Cheese, oats, all the flours, soap and pastured pork.

We have some turkeys left, their first “bad day” was a month ago, if you want one for sunday or monday, call us today and we’ll take one out of the freezer and put it in the fridge for pick up sunday or monday. Call or email, 821 0807 or castorriverfarm@xplornet.ca.

We are going to have a test run of 25 loaves of sourdough bread, first in Ottawa made with all our own flour. We’ll have 10 at market and 15 at our store. Our store has become a popular spot, everyone waiting for kim’s bread to come out of the oven shortly after opening.

 I want to thank everyone for enjoying Kim’s launch of the first farmer grown and baked bread in the Ottawa. She has managed to ramp up her baking to start selling bread baked right in our store. Loaves came out at 12:30 for are most wonderful egg customers who line up early to get the eggs on Sunday. All the bread and all the eggs were cleaned out in 30 minutes. When I came home from market, Kim was so excited at how well it went and in particular how much fun everyone had waiting for the bread to come out. Thank you everyone for making her bread launch a success.

Well Rodney has done it. Grilled Cheese is a hit. His sales are exactly double of mine. How does a 16 year old move more grilled cheese in three weeks than my oats have have done in 9 years. I guess I am going to have to concede that he is better than me. Problem is, Kim is now baking bread every night till midnight trying to keep up. This week I went to Montreal and Cornwall to purchase a large commercial dough hook and oven to suit. We are ramping up our bread baking. We are considering selling loaves if this works out well. It would be a first in Ottawa for an all local bread, despite what Art-is-In and Whole Foods tell you. Heather from Little Trickle Farm at the Carp Market does bake beautiful bread with our grain but unfortunately could not make more than she already is. We’ll have the only local  organically grown whole grain bread in the Ottawa Market. Growing, cleaning, milling and baking is a big stretch for us. We had wished local commercial bakers would get into local grain, but I guess we are going to have to do it ourselves. Stay tuned, there were some sample loaves last  week for customers at our store and there will be even more this Sunday.


Grilled Cheese! Rodney, our younger son, will be grilling cheese  alongside our normal booth. Starting small, he’ll need feedback on where to take this new superfood. . Kim is baking all the bread from our own organic red fife wheat. She is also suppling Rodney with her fancy Dijon Ketchup, made with no sugar, just some of our maple syrup. Whole grain flour, lightly sifted, butter (sorry cannot bring ours, silly provincial rules), St.Albert cheese, tomatoes from Amber (Ottawa’s best grass fed and finished beef farmer from Manotick Station), it is all there.

Honey is back, after a long winter, our beekeeper, Brent, finally squeezed out some honey for us from our hives. They survived the winter very well, but last year’s honey ran out over the winter. Eggs are still first come, first served. I have an interesting letter which needs your support in our “news”section. For now, here goes my rant:

We are harvesting  and like clockwork, the monster boom sprayers have come out again. But the harvest is almost ready, cannot the crop survive another week till harvest? Desiccant spraying it’s called. A topic I first learned about roughly 15 years ago. I was at a Canadian Wheat board meeting in our local town. The discussion revolved around the issue of how great desiccant spraying was. Roundup herbicide is sprayed on wheat just before harvest to kill any remaining plants as well as to burn down any weeds. This shocked me because I know that the wheat in the head of the grain is dry, dead, and ready to eat. All of the spikelets and husks channel anything coming from above all onto the wheat berries themselves. I asked the question, “Is there a minimum amount of time before harvest at which one could spray the roundup?”. Their dull stares, similar to that of a CAFO dairy cow, not our Whinnie, led me to believe they could not fathom a reason why not to spray it,  for it made harvest easier. Spray residue does not exist in their minds, but I knew it sure did in the buns of the sandwiches we were wolfing down like pigs at a free food cafeteria. Always be leary of free lunches, as Joel Salatin says, harking back to when he was courted to feed ground up carryon to his cows by the USDA which later made the CAFO cow industry a little “mad”. The difference is important, the roundup was being sprayed on ready to eat food. Sure I know, food is sprayed at every port and shipping terminal it enters, but this was different, I was being persuaded to spray it on the food I was selling direct to the consumer. At the time, I was farming conventionally, had not converted to organic yet, and believed that any spray which touched the plant at a very young stage would be almost non-existent at harvest. Later, as part of my conversion to organic, I learned that there were tests that could detect spray applied at any stage of its growth. Sure I was naive, but not stupid. Their “dairy cow” stares, frightened me.

CAFO meat is a choice, pastured is another, to test,  always ask what breed of cow your steak was from, ask what colour, what sex. If you also get a dull “dairy cow” stare from the kid behind the counter, then what can you be assured of.

Desiccant Spraying is serious, it exposes you to a whole different world of untested experimentation, which you just happen to be taking part in.

I hope you guys don’t think I go too far, I just feel, we all need to know, straight up, just how messed up things have become. Demand from your local bread baker, use organic, use local.

Thanks for listening to this week’s rant.



Our pork is different from everyone else’s because of what we do not feed. No GMO’s, no corn or soy, not even conventional corn or soy.  We feed Red Fife Hard Red Spring Organic Wheat, sprouted barley (half organic), veggies (half organic), organic bread, raw organic milk, whey. Their first and only bad day occurs 4 miles from our house. We will have all sorts of options at the farmers’ market and at our store every Sunday.

Egg production is really up now that the sun has returned. We desperately need empty egg cartons, please bring all you can if you visit the farm or our booth at the farmers’ market. Free bar of $5 soap for every 25 empty cartons.


Soap, darn beautiful Potty Mouth Fudge Soap is what Kim has in store for you now. Tasty it may look, but it is actually for bathing. She has 6 different essential oil scented soaps, 6 for $20, or 1 for $5. We like to honour bulk buying. We have no time for bows, ribbons, wrappers, and sparkles, just beautiful soap whose oatmeal exfoliates like no other. If you want real evidence, just feel my cheeks, like a baby’s bottom.

We are back at Lansdowne Park, indoors,  Sundays from 10-3, over the winter. The sunlight in the Aberdeen Pavilion streams from end to end and rotates from sunrise as we are setting up, to sunset as we pack up. There is no more beautiful venue for a market than the original market. Ottawa has been given a choice now for opting for the food of their choice all winter.  We will continue to specialize in our oats. We will have once and twice rolled, steel cut and groats. There is no simpler, cheaper, and healthier meal than a comfort meal of oat groats and a pork hock. Hocks can also be substituted for chicken. We cannot bring our pastured eggs and chicken to market, sorry. They’re both available at our store.

Our store will be open from noon to 3.  Eggs, pork loins, ribs, and chickens will be available along with our famous oats.   We have had incredible interest in our pastured eggs lately. Our hens are now producing well, we should have enough to last at least an hour this week.   Because our provincially regulated limit of hens is 100, a ridiculously low amount, we are looking into hen shares.  A program whereby, you buy the hen and hire us to take care of them and collect the eggs for you.  This is still probably illegal, if you are willing to become a co-conspirator in a righteous fight to obtain great eggs, come talk to us.  As my favourite farmer Troy Roush says “farmers are ingenious people, if you demand good food, we’ll supply it, come talk to us”, and as I add “until then….., well by the looks of the grocery store shelves, you’ll get what you are currently demanding”.   Our store is stocked up with lots of maple syrup.  No white sugar added.  Come inspect our whole syrup setup from tree to bottle.  We bottle in mason jars for your final inspection.   Remember, All Bran Cereal is over 30 percent sugar and it’s one of the healthy ones!  Never underestimate the ingenuity of the food industry to look out for their own interests.

Our new PLESSISVILLE FORANO “1920′s” grain cleaner is working well. What a job to get it going, every night for two months we have tinkered with it, new wood parts, pulleys, flat belts, brushes etc, all hand made and custom. We purchased a Carter Disc and that machine has really helped up remove weed seeds of the same diameter as grains and also separates out hulled oats from hulless.  Boy what did we do without it, when running some winter wheat through it, all of the small black seeds(you know them) fall out in the first output.  In total, we have 11 bags of cleanings before be get out finished product out, what a dream.  At this rate we’ll have our grain cleaning done in three days.  Last year, I estimate that we spent 60 days, yeah, and don’t forget its our sixth year with the old cleaner.  That represents one year of cleaning, a year out of my life.   Our farm store is open this sunday from noon to 3pm.   We need our buckets back, if you have ever purchased bulk grain from us and forgot to return the bucket we need them back.  We do not have GPS trackers on the empty buckets, but we will find them eventually. We do not want to start charging deposits. A wonderful thing has happened, the buckets are returning, and we thank you. Our store in Metcalfe will also be open this Sunday. Metcalfe is the village just after Greely in the south of Ottawa, we are 20 minutes from South Keys area and 20 minutes from downtown via the 417, exit Anderson and head south.

Trespassers are welcome – our farm is open to the public on Sunday afternoons from noon to 3pm.  We raise chickens, eggs, pigs, very limited supply of beef from one of our dairy cows and most importantly grain.  We process our grain into flour and rolled/steel cut oats right in front of you. Our animals are moved daily onto a fresh piece of grass. We hope we can help you in your food choices and can recommend other producers who “get it”. Here is a great chef who sums up how and why we farm.  “We are not farming like your grandfather, we are farming like our children are going to have to”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqOGfg3oflA  Here is our combine, harvesting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRnneMoTCSs For a laugh, watch this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtncN5PvJLY For another laugh, try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pDTiFkXgEE