Once upon a time, there was a farmer from Montérégie...
In a time when the speed of production dictates the quality of nutrition, our farmers in Montérégie refuse the use of synthetic chemicals and instead work hard by implementing traditional techniques to avoid diseases on crops and animals.
Our farmers at Les Fermes Valens are linked by their efforts to respect and protect: nature, animals and human kind.
A better way...
After the second world war, both my parent's families immigrated to Canada: ''The country where anything is possible!'' Both families came from a farming background. My parents met in Howick, Quebec working on the same farm. They bought their own farm in 1965, when I was 8 years old and even at such a young age I knew that farming was my true calling. In 1981, I bought my parents farm.
My first years were an attempt at conventional farming but I found that using chemicals was not always effective. I couldn't bring myself to believe that this was the only way to adequately cultivate. I was looking for answers; I knew there had to be a better way. I attended a conference in the United States on organic production in 1995, which marked the beginning on my own organic production. I now had contact with farmers who had similar visions and who had the skills to help me make the transition to organic farming. Five years later all my fields were converted 100% certified organic!
A shared vision...
It wasn't an easy start, the conventional farmers around thought we were a little crazy. There was a lot of gossip throughout the village, even my father was embarrassed to see my fields filled with weeds. Organic farming is much more labour intensive than conventional farming, but I was proud to grow healthy food and to provide sustainable soil for the future.
Today our daughter Elisha, her husband Matt and their three children have taken over the family farm and are determined to continue this healthier way of doing things, for the animals, the environment and our future generations!
A Strong calling...
In 2005, Catherine and I purchased a farm and moved to a small town to raise our family. After selling my Inn where I worked with local produce, and met many local farmers, I saw the value of local ingredients. I knew I wanted to start farming. I had already spent my summers as a teenager working in the Alps on farms with cattle. Going back into agriculture brought back fond memories and a renewed passion for working with animals and tending the land.
Catherine on the other hand grew up in the beautiful Chateauguay Valley QC and saw this as a great opportunity to combine raising a family and starting an organic farm. In 2013 we started with a few pasture-raised beef, in 2015 we started producing organic eggs and organic grains.
A New Adventure...
We love operating a diversified farm under organic management. We get to work outside, see the sunrise every morning and through hard work and with the help of Catherine’s management skills from her previous business we were able to grow it to what it is now. Today our farm has nearly 250 acres of cultivable fields, a herd of 50 cattle and more than 12 000 chickens and laying hens under the strict organic standard. We are proud of what we have built and we are proud of our customers that support us. Each day starts with the rising sun and a new adventure!
7 generations of family farming...
Sparrow farm was founded in 1823 and I am the 7th generation of the family managing it. My grand-father Adrian Sparrow converted the dairy farm to grain production in 1977. I grew up watching him do chores and looked up to him and saw him as strong and hardworking. Our farm has been using sustainable production methods since 1989! Today, it is diversifying into organic crop production and organic beef production.
My wife, Martine and I are continually looking to evolve the farm by adopting new viable production techniques; these changes require knowledge and that's why we participate in various farm groups that allow us to stay on top of the best organic production practices.
We now are a family with 3 children and we love to work and play on our ancestral home. Martine and I are active participants within our local community both in political and volunteer positions. I am presently a volunteer fireman for our local municipality and Martine is a volunteer at the local elementary school. We believe that being involved is important, we enjoy offering our time to help make a strong community for future generations to enjoy.