Organic wheat adds to farm business

Seedy Saturday vendor not only grows wheat on Vancouver Island, but also organic pigs

Bea Graf was on hand to show off her organic wheat at Seedy Saturday in Qualicum Beach.

When people think of agricultural produce on Vancouver Island, wheat isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.

However, Dirk Keller and Bea Graf at Sloping Hill Farm are working in their own small way to change that.

Graf noted the wheat they had on display at Seedy Saturday — from wheat berries to ground flour — was all organic.

“We keep our own seed,” Graf said. “The organic wheat is better for lots of reasons. The normal wheat you buy in the store is treated with pesticides. This isn’t.”

The 12 acres of organic wheat they grow on their Parker Road farm in Qualicum Beach doesn’t pay the bills, she readily admits.

That job goes to the heritage pigs that form the mainstay of their       business.

For eight years Sloping Hill Farm has allowed their pigs to roam freely, socialize and engage in instinctive behaviour such as rooting, wallowing and foraging.

The breeding animals are kept in social groups and there is no teeth clipping, tail docking or ear marking. Litters of piglets are kept together to properly socialize them, which tends to prevent fighting and stress.

All animals at Sloping Hill Farm can freely access the outdoors at any time.

Raising their animals this way is more than just humane. It’s also good business.

The sunshine, fresh air and good feed combine with a low-stress environment to make healthier animals and avoids the need for medications.

With no chemicals, hormones or medication in their waste products, the pigs help fertilize the farm — helping to grow, among other things, 12 acres of prime organic wheat.

news@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach staff moving forward with report for cinema, brew pub

Councillor makes motion to include The Old School House proposal

Annual pickleball tournament fills up quickly

Two-day event to take place indoors at Oceanside Place May 24-25

Lighthouse Country bus tour to focus on area’s tourism destinations

Business assocation wants more tourists to come to the area

Flock of spinners holding fleece and fibre fair in Coombs

Annual event raises money for Bradley Centre, supports local producers and vendors

Bowser residents protest marine sewage outfall plan

Veenhof and staff endures harsh criticisms at public information meeting

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Kootenays and Fraser River remain serious concerns

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Canadian government spending tens of millions on Facebook ads

From January 2016 to March 2018, feds spent more than $24.4 million on Facebook and Instagram ads

Most Read