The goal of our farm is to foster a healthy, thriving ecosystem, producing food for the soil, animals, plants, and lastly, for us. We are stewards of the land.
Whole Animal Farming
What is Whole Animal Farming? It is what we do here on our farm. We have never felt comfortable about raising animals just for meat. After practicing permaculture for so many years, from front yard, to homesteading, to farming, we feel that each species we have here on the farm must perform more than one function. Our sheep not only provide delicious, delicious sheep milk ice cream, but also, lamb, wool, and breeding stock. Our ducks provide us with eggs, meat, and ducklings. Our chickens give us eggs, manure, and provide the vital service of scratching up the duck area.
We like to raise animals that are balanced in the traits they have. We believe this provides us with a hardier, and healthier animals that is more suited to our climate, and management system.
Our animal husbandry philosophy of farming is directed by the Five Freedoms.
The five freedoms as currently expressed are:
- Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor
- Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
- Freedom to express (most) normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind
- Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering
Happy animals mean healthy animals!
About the Farmers
Tim Fisher and Jennifer Osborn are the proud farmers of All Sorts Acre. A gift of two Shetland sheep started them on a journey they never could have anticipated.
Since before she could walk, Jennifer has been mad about animals. Stories from her father about the old family farm in England, and horse back riding fostered her love of the natural world. For many reasons she chose to pursue an art career from illustration to web design, but she never lost her love for animals. A random find in a Goodwill store of Bill Mollison’s “Introduction to Permaculture” put both Tim and Jennifer on a new path. It was a co-op position on an organic, bio-dynamic farm that re-kindled her love of farming, and off they went.
A trip to Thailand in his early 20’s changed Tim’s life. He returned with a determination to be a benefit to the environment. He received his Diploma in Environmental Engineering, with a specialization in composting. His career lead him in many directions, but when he began farming it all came full circle.
Both Tim and Jennifer have their Permaculture Design Certificates. Both have gone on to do additional education in the areas of permaculture, biodynamic agriculture, and regenerative design. This includes a Forest Garden Design, Keyline Design, Biodynamics, Permaculture Teacher’s designation as well as teaching with Dave Jacke.
Tim and Jennifer introduced one of the first multi-season Permaculture Design Courses in Ontario with a focus on practical permaculture design principles.