How We Farm

“We do not inherit the land from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.”

This is the philosophy that motivates how we interact with the land, forests, and soils here on Foot Forward Forest Farm.

Every system, every animal, every field and forest is managed with an eye of improving it from one year to the next.

In practical terms, the best practices of Regenerative Agriculture and Permaculture form the foundation of how we interact with the land and grow and raise our food.

The prevalent industrial food model treats the planet, and its soils, water, fields, forests, and wetlands, as a limitless resource. The unfortunate result of this mentality is soil degradation, destruction and erosion, aquifer depletion, and a growing addiction to destructive chemicals including pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, all while producing increasingly nutrient-deficient food.

Foot Forward Farm strives to turn this industrial food model on its head. We strive to implement the best and most regenerative practices possible in the food we grow and raise for our family and community.

Regenerative Farming

Regenerative farming in its purest form comes down to the Carbon molecule. Excess Carbon doesn’t belong in the atmosphere in the form of C02, or the world’s oceans as Carbonic Acid. Rather it belongs in the soil and in living organisms. Soil becomes healthier and more alive when its carbon component increases. Increasing soil carbon results in soils teaming with a greater diversity of life. This life is what feeds and keeps our plants, grasses and trees verdant and healthy.

At Foot Forward Farm, year after year, we use all of our animal systems, along with a variety of composts and compost teas, to build soil by sequestering carbon. This not only makes our plant life healthier, and our food more flavourful, nutritious and climate friendly, it also increases the farm’s drought resistance.

Animal Husbandry

Every species of animal at Foot Forward Forest Farm is raised in a way that allows it to express its natural characteristics. There are no cages or small pens, only open paddocks and free-range grazing and browsing here on the farm.

From the day they are born, to their last day on the farm, everything is done to allow every animal to find its niche and play its natural role in our farm ecosystem.

Which brings us to the fact our animals do have a last day, but we are lucky enough to be able approach the last day differently than many farms.

No Bad Days

Most farms are able to provide a great life for their animals but have to admit to one bad day.

We like to say that our animals have no bad days.

As we are considered to be a remote community here on Quadra Island, we qualify for and have been certified and licensed as a Class D slaughter facility.

This license means that our animals have no bad days. Every breath, every step, and every bite of food our animals take happens here on the farm. There is no stressful transfer to a distant slaughter facility or inevitable waiting period in confinement before processing.

At Foot Forward, an animal’s final moments are spent getting a special tasty treat in the very fields in which it has spent its life. No transportation stress, no new environments, just a simple walk enticed by a bucket of its favourite food before being thanked for its service and life on the farm.