Huber’s Wildwood Farm is located just outside Holland Centre, Ontario. It’s managed by Olivia and Nick Huber and includes sheep, pigs, bees, and more. Using intentional care practices to honour the needs of the animals and land, the Hubers farm with passion and dedication which is obvious in the products they offer. The farm is growing and changing every year and I’m excited to see where their journey takes them next.
Can you give me a little history on Huber’s Wildwood Farm? How did the farm come to be?
I have always wanted a farm. I grew up on a hobby farm and always enjoyed the lifestyle and animals. After Nick and I started dating in 2011, it quickly became a dream for both of us. We worked hard and saved for about 10 years in Alberta, and we were finally ready to try to make it a reality. Nick is from Kitchener so we wanted something close to it, but affordable, so we ended up in Grey County. We first got pigs in 2018 and it’s been growing and a lot of learning ever since. The ‘Wildwood’ part in our name is an ode to the previous owner of our farm.
What kind of food are you growing and producing on the farm?
We have pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys and bees. We also have a permaculture orchard and garden, but they are still a bit of a work in progress.
What’s different or unique about how you farm compared to conventional agriculture?
We feel quite strongly about giving out animals a natural healthy lifestyle. Our pigs are raised in a boggy, forested area which they absolutely love. They have lots of room to roam and wallow in the mud, and stuff themselves in the fall on all the apples from the wild trees. We have three very large areas we rotate them through to ensure the land gets a break and to keep them happy and healthy. We also feed our pigs a GMO free feed that we get from a local farm.
Our sheep are a unique breed called katahdin, which are hair sheep that shed their wool. This quality means they don’t get that ‘mutton’ flavor that a lot of people don’t like and their meat is mild and delicious. We rotate them through our pastures to a new spot every week which mimics the natural migration movements of herbivores, and equally benefits the land as much as the sheep. They are totally grass fed (and hay) and enjoy browsing all the different forage in our fields.
Each year we do a couple batches of pasture raised chicken and turkeys too. We feed them non GMO feed as well and move them every day, twice a day when they get bigger, to ensure they have nice fresh areas to eat and scratch on.
A lot of thought and time has gone into everything we produce. We eat no other meat besides what we grow ourselves, and we want quality for ourselves and for our customers.
Oh and I almost forgot we also have honey! We have four hives that we got last year and we are really enjoying learning about the fascinating and complicated life of bees. Our honey is a flavorful blend of wildflowers such as clover, alfalfa, vetch, trefoil and flower blossoms such as apple and willow. We use no sprays and have a lot of wild land so the bees really thrive here.
Where can folks buy your products?
Directly from us, either picking up from the butcher or our farm. We usually sell our lamb and pork in whole or half quantities but have cuts available so you can try it out.
What are the pros and cons of farming in Grey County?
Pros: affordable land prices, at least back in 2016 when we bought the place. The beautiful colours through all the seasons, especially the leaves in the fall. We have a lot of great things around us that aren’t too far away either.
Cons: Selling our products. We don’t really have any local customers and it’s hard to reach new people. Most of our customers are from Collingwood or south toward Toronto. The weather can be a bit wet in the spring and it’s hard to get the animals onto the pastures as early as we’d like just because of all the water moving through our property. Also there’s always a frost around May long weekend that tries to kill all my plant sprouts haha!
What’s your favourite recipe of the moment featuring your products?
Easily lamb roasts. Any type of roast can be cooked this way and it is so tender and delicious:
1 roast 3 lbs or so
1 large onion
4 celery stalks
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
4 cups broth, beef
2 cups water
Roughly chop veggies. Sear meat in a large Dutch oven with a generous amount of olive oil. Take roast out, set aside, and saute/brown veggies. Add other ingredients, scraping bottom of pot, bring to a simmer. Add roast back in, it should be mostly covered with liquid. Put the lid on. Bake in the oven at 300F for 4 hours. Flip roast every hour or so, possibly add more water, it shouldn’t be less than half of what you started with. Take roast out of the pan. With remaining vegetables and juices, use an immersion blender, standard blender or food processor, to make a delicious gravy. Serve with potatoes or rice. Enjoy!
Location: Sideroad 60, Holland Centre, ON