What does it take for chickens to be happy? Sylvia and Paul Bennewies seem to have found the right combination of ingredients at Naturnah-Farm. There, chickens are free to roam on green pasture in sunshine. They are protected from predators such as foxes and raccoons by Sarah, the guard dog. They are provided with supplemental grains and laying mash (although they do love to eat all the grubs and insects they can find). And they have a cozy chicken coop to settle into at night. The right ingredients for happy chickens and the right ingredients for nutritious eggs.
Naturnah means “close to nature” in German and Naturnah-Farm, is just that. Located north of London at Whalen Corners and operated by Paul & Sylvia Bennewies, they offer grass-fed beef and eggs from pastured chickens. Although their seven acres are not certified, they have not used any spray since purchasing the farm seven years ago. Sylvia comes from a farming family in Switzerland where she assures me that real milk is available from vending machines and, by law, the cows must receive pasture every day! Homeopathy was the preferred medicine if treatment of the cows was ever necessary. Paul, too, has a farming background, having farmed here in southern Ontario and studied at University of Guelph. He’s also a skilled photographer and you can catch his photo greeting cards or framed photos at Shakespeare’s Artisan Market through the season. Look for the Eye Was Here Photography booth.
Sylvia and Paul have a flock of 54 chickens free roaming on green pastures. Some of the hens were rescue birds that arrived with very few feathers. After several months of pasture and sunshine, the feathers have grown back in shiny and healthy, and they have become regular layers like the rest of the brood. This is a great testament to the healing power of sunshine and nourishing food! Even during the winter, the hens are free to roam outdoors, although chickens naturally do not like to get their feet in the snow. They do, however, like to bask in the sunshine! Thanks to the patrol of Sarah, the collie, there has never been a fox in the henhouse. Eggs are available at the farm gate stand in summer or by appointment in winter or for large orders. Stewing hens available in the fall or early winter (great for nourishing broths).
Assisting Sarah in her guard duties is the herd of beef cattle which also roam the farm on pasture. The steers are Red Angus or a cross of mini Hereford and Scottish Highland. The grass-fed beef is sold by individual cuts and is available by appointment (preferred) or by chance.
Naturnah-Farm is at 41673 Squire’s Road, R.R.#1, Granton, Ontario (but you’ll need to put “Woodham” in your GPS instead of “Granton”). Phone (519) 229-8556.
So, stop by the farm gate for fresh eggs, or phone ahead if you have your menu planned around a specific cut of grass-fed beef. Family barbeque anyone?
Check out Naturnah-Farm and support your local farmers!