Heather and Patrick met working at OWL Rafting in the beautiful Ottawa Valley. The farm is named after a rapid on the middle channel in the Ottawa River. Their passions and interests vary, but their love of being outdoors, working with their hands, and eating delicious food has led them to farming and baking. Together in the spring of 2013 they started Little Trickle Farm and Heather’s Hearth.
Heather grew up on a hobby farm with chickens, horses and a small garden. In 2010, she spent nine months as an intern on a farm that produced vegetables and raised animals. After this experience, a few months in culinary school and another season spent on a grass fed beef farm, she knew she wanted to fuse farming and baking. Heather mainly takes care of the bread business and garlic growing.
Patrick grew up canoeing, camping, guiding, building, fixing — all activities done outdoors. He is now the farm jack-of-all-trades and the main tender of the livestock.
The combination of different skills has allowed Heather and Patrick to maintain a diversified farm business to provide real food to the surrounding community.
How We Farm
There is no definitive or short way to answer this question! We believe in self-sufficient and sustainable farming. By sustainable we mean environmentally, economically, mentally and physically. We want to foster relationships with our customers and community therefore giving them a chance to get to know us, ask us questions directly and visit our farm. Through this sense of community people can then get to know how we farm. We encourage questions and will answer any as best we can.
Saying all that, there are a few things that can be stated about our methods:
As non-certified organic farmers we do not use any pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers on any of our crops or fields and we only give organic, GMO-free feed to our poultry. Antibiotics are avoided in our livestock, unless treatment is absolutely necessary. Because of the way we manage our cattle and poultry by rotating them to new pasture frequently the need for antibiotics becomes almost unnecessary. Growth hormones of any kind are avoided completely.
We believe in low inputs, and recycling fertility on the farm. There is no way (yet!) that we can avoid some inputs such as chicken feed, but when we do buy we try to purchase locally and from other people that have the same values as we do.