Joan Joye & Jen Joye

Perth County, Ontario

What do you grow / raise on your farm?
Joan: We raise organic chickens, along with organic corn, soybeans, oats/barley and peas, mixed grains, plus hay.
Jen: We raise organic chicken and grow organic field crops including a rotation of hay, mixed grains, corn and beans. You'll also find a few bee hives, fruit trees, sheep, beef and kids around the farm.

What is your role within the farm?
Joan: My role on the farm is quite varied. I do a lot of the barn chores, like checking on the chickens to ensure water and feed is always available. I keep an eye on the health of the birds to watch that they are doing well, and to monitor air quality in the barn. I also do a lot of the clean up around the yards, and cleaning out the barns and preparing fresh bedding. And I do a lot of the office work, like paying bills, managing orders and paperwork. So, you could say I keep busy!
Jen: I've been involved in all aspects of our farm, from field work to chicken management, though my primary role these days is on the business end of the operation. It's a great way to stay part of it all while having a young family and pursuing work off the farm.

What is most important to you about farming organically?
Joan: The most important thing for me about farming organically is that I am producing food everyone can eat without concerns about unwanted chemicals, antibiotics or additives.
Jen: I think organic farming involves good practices that could provide a stable landscape for future generations to live well. Organic is well suited to finding ways to promote biodiversity, and protect natural resources like fresh water and healthy soils. I think these are big pieces to the puzzle of sustainable agriculture.

What do you enjoy most about being part of your family farm operation?
Joan: The thing that I enjoy the most is being around the animals daily and being part of the daily farm routine. Being self employed on our farm means that I get to make many decisions, and am part of every aspect. That is very fulfilling and enjoyable for me.
Jen: I take pride in being a small business owner and love the variety of work and the lifestyle that living on a farm offers. Physical work, decision making, and balancing the books are all rewarding, as is watching our kids play and explore around the farm - discovering their potential!

What advice would you give to women interested in working in agriculture?
Joan: Advice I would give to other women is that women can do many or most of the farming activities and find it very rewarding. Start with small things and watch your results.
Jen: Agriculture can take you anywhere you like! You can apply any education to agriculture: trade skills, business & marketing, culinary arts, education, science (including water resources engineering, like me!). It really takes all kinds. I’ve noticed a growing number of women farmers in my life who are the lead on their own farm and don’t shy away from manual labour. It’s great to see.

What is your favourite chicken dish?
Joan: Our family enjoys all chicken. But whole roasted chicken would be tops. We put some French mustard, paprika, a touch of garlic and onions, plus salt and pepper. Cover in a roasting pan. Delicious!
Jen: These days chicken nuggets are a hit in our house, along with leftover breast meat for lunch wraps.

What is your favourite way to enjoy eggs?
Joan: An omelet with mushrooms, onions and cheese.
Jen: Eggs for dinner is a hit because everyone can get what they like in the same meal: boiled, scrambled or ‘dippy’ – over easy.

Our commitment to organic

When our founding farmers started farming in Ontario many years ago, they chose to grow organically because they knew it would provide the best products for their families and friends.

Our Commitment to Organic

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Yorkshire Valley Farms

Peterborough, Ontario

Tollfree: 1-800-830-7838
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