The Power of Knowing Your Farmer

The Power of Knowing Your Farmer - Pet Grocer™ Blog

There has been growing interest in reconnecting with the sources of our food. Whether feeding their pets or their family people are increasingly concerned about where their food is coming from, how it is grown, and the impact it has on the environment and their health. As a result, the movement towards "knowing your farmer" has gained significant traction. Getting to know your farmer emphasizes the importance of developing a closer relationship with those who grow the food we consume. 

By doing so, you can make informed choices, seeking out farms with natural, regenerative, and organic practices while contributing to a more sustainable food system that supports a healthier environment and planet.

Sustainable and Regenerative Practices

Choosing farms with natural and regenerative farming practices can have a significant impact on environmental sustainability. Unlike conventional methods that prioritize high yields and often rely on significant chemical inputs, regenerative farming focuses on rebuilding healthy and fertile soil through techniques like cover cropping, crop rotation, and minimal tillage. Regenerative farms will also incorporate livestock as part of their farming practice. For example, chickens and ducks are wonderful at controlling insects. Cows, goats, and sheep enjoy eating grasses and weeds. All of these animals also assist in fertilizing and maintaining soil quality. Such practices promote biodiversity, reduce erosion, enhance water retention and protect against climate change.

Regenerative farming goes beyond sustainable farm practices. It's a commitment to renew soil health, revitalize the nutrient density of food, and restore rural communities with reverence for the land.

Promoting Organic Farming

Opting for organic farms is another way to support sustainable agriculture. Organic farming eschews the use of synthetic pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and chemical fertilizers, promoting ecological balance and biodiversity. By understanding and supporting the organic movement, consumers can actively contribute to reducing their exposure to harmful chemicals while supporting farmers who prioritize the health of their ecosystems.

Community Building

Knowing your farmer goes beyond just understanding the production methods. It allows individuals to foster meaningful connections within their local community. Visiting local farmers' markets or participating in farm events enables individuals to meet and interact with the farmers and other like-minded individuals who share a passion for sustainable food. By supporting local farmers, consumers contribute to vibrant local economies, preserve agricultural traditions, and foster a stronger sense of community and belonging.

Health Benefits

Choosing farms that prioritize natural, regenerative, and organic practices offers a range of health benefits. Studies have shown that naturally grown produce tends to have higher nutrient content and better flavour compared to conventionally grown counterparts. Furthermore, avoiding synthetic pesticides and GMOs can reduce the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals, benefiting both humans, pets, and environmental health.

So how do you find great farmers?

One of the simplest ways is venturing out to a local farmers market. These markets bring together so many great food producers. You can often enjoy superior freshness and great pricing, and you also get to strike up a conversation and learn more about their farming practices. In addition to farmers markets, many grocery stores and independent markets will feature seasonal local selections. In our case, Pet Grocer also features local products produced by local farmers.

Many farms also have a website and social media profiles. These are great locations to read up on their farming philosophy and receive updates when your favourite crops and meats are available for purchase. 

In a world where food production practices are often hidden and disconnected from consumers, the importance of "knowing your farmer" cannot be overstated. By choosing farms with natural, regenerative, and organic practices, individuals can reclaim their connection to the sources of their food. Such choices contribute to a more sustainable food system, protect the environment, and promote healthier lifestyles. So, let's meet our farmers and actively support those who work tirelessly to provide us with nourishing and sustainable food.

At Pet Grocer we are proud to supply the following local brands of foods for both pets AND humans. (*And don't miss our August Sale beginning 8/14/2023)

Bennington Hills Farm 

Bennington Hills Farm believes in land use that supports all living species - human, animal, plant, and microbial - and values each contribution to the larger ecosystem. By allowing nature to be nature, more space is created for regeneration of soil life, for restoration of plant and animal biodiversity, and for reconnection with the earth and all her inhabitants.

Pet Grocer is proud to offer Bennington Hills Farm - Grass fed Beef

Bennington Hills Farm believes in calm, quiet, respectful handling of animals, which ensures stress free interactions. Reducing stress in animals contributes to overall health and to enhanced taste and tenderness. They rotate cattle to new paddocks daily ensuring consumption of a variety of grasses at peak nutritional value. Hooves on the ground help to incorporate uneaten plant matter and manure nutrients thereby fertilizing soil and stimulating plant root growth, creating even more nutritionally dense pasture. Cattle enjoy winter rotational grazing and eat stockpiled perennial grasses, cover crops or by-products from a harvested crop. Raising cattle in this manner greatly reduces the need for fossil fuels used in haymaking and compost handling. This decreases their farm’s environmental impact and increases overall sustainability of raising annual crops and livestock. Practicing kindness and humaneness in all they do is of the upmost importance. They handle all their animals with care and believe calm interaction contributes to their overall health and happiness as well as enhanced taste and tenderness. Animal welfare and producing safe, wholesome products are among their top priorities as regenerative farmers. August 2023 SALE* - All Bennington Hills Farm Stewing Beef is 10% off

Magnetic Hill Farm - Pastured, Naturally Raised - Chicken & Quail

Lovingly run by Pet Grocer owners Jennifer & Sean Newark, they started growing their own meat birds for their family so they could have the healthiest chicken they could find - raised on fermented, organic feed and left to pasture freely during the day. Their friends and family saw how the birds were being raised and asked if they could buy some - and their small hobby farm was born.

Magnetic Hill Farm chicken and quail owe their exceptional flavour to carefully planning on how and what is feed to them, the organic spice mix they enjoy in the fermented food, and the time they spend outside free ranging and foraging around naturally. 

The Magnetic Hill Farming Philosophy believes in staying in tune with nature. Regenerative farming and organic principals are paramount. Working with nature instead of against it. Magnetic Hill Farm is proud to be a Certified Naturally Grown livestock farm. August 2023 SALE* - All Magnetic Hill Farm Chickens are 10% off

Willow Brook Waterfowl

Pet Grocer is proud to supply chicken eggs from this wonderful family farm. At Willow Brook Waterfowl they are focused on the preservation of rare breeds of waterfowl with an emphasis on breeding to the Standard of Perfection. In some cases in which breeds have not yet been accepted into the Standard, the focus is in producing stock for new breeders in hopes that these breeds one day can also be recognized. Their chickens are pastured and roam the beautiful farmland daily. 

Most if not all breeds kept are comprised of imported quality stock from around the United States as well as from top breeders in Canada.
Their birds are afforded spacious grazing opportunities during the summer months to ensure top health beginning at an age of three weeks. Willow Brook's Chicken Eggs are part of our August Newsletter's SECRET SALE (newsletter will be sent on Aug 14th, 2023). If you are a subscriber, don't forget to share the code with our staff between Aug 14 - 31, 2023 and receive 10% off your egg purchase (limit up to 4 dozen per customer)

Grand Valley Quail Pet Treats

Grand Valley Quail is a small town family run business from Grand Valley, Ontario specializing in high quality pet treats.

Their passion and love for animals is what led them to creating delicious healthy treats. They started off creating Dehydrated Quail Egg Treats for their dogs because of their allergies. Knowing what it's like to struggle with the challenges of feeding your pet they wanted to help other pet parents who were facing similar problems.

Raising Coturnix Quails on their farm they use the eggs to make treats. Grand Valley Quail offers a variety of other great treats and chews for your pets to enjoy with ingredients sourced locally from reputable Canadian farmers. All Grand Valley Quail treats and chews are single ingredient and 100% natural. They contain NO chemicals, NO additives and NO food colouring. Pet Grocer is proud to carry a wide selection of GVQ treats and fresh Quail Eggs. August 2023 SALE* - All GVQ Products are 10% off

Breedon's Maple Syrup

Breedon's Maple Syrup is a first generation, family owned and operated business. They are a modern maple syrup operation and are located South West of Alliston at the edge of Hockley Valley, in Simcoe County. Breedon’s has been producing quality pure maple syrup since 1995.

Breedon’s currently taps about 5000+ maple trees. The sap is collected using about 40 miles of tube networking throughout the bush. With the use of a wood pellet fired evaporator, stainless steel tanks, reverse osmosis system, filter press and a semi-automatic bottling unit, they are proud to run an operation that is extremely efficient while proving to be environmentally responsible. August 2023 SALE* - All Breedon’s Maple Syrup is 10% off

Innisfil Creek Honey

A Family Run Apiary located in beautiful Innisfil, Ontario, Canada. Innisfil Creek Honey is not a large faceless corporation like so many honey producers. They work their hives and handle the bees, as well as harvest and bottle their own honey.

Innisfil is in an area of mixed woods, vegetable fields and mixed agriculture. The area provides the perfect environment for bees to thrive on.  They work their lives harvesting nectar and pollen to pollinate our crops and produce the sweetness of their labour which is the Honey they provide.

Innisfil Creek Honey is un-pasteurized and contains all of the goodness that nature intended it to have. August 2023 SALE* - All Innisfil Creek Honey is 10% off


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