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Harvest Haven Certified

Posted on January 02, 2019

winter sunset for newsletter

He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter. John Burroughs

Harvest Haven Certified

Over the past two decades, we've had many people ask us if we're "certified organic." We've also had many tell us that we should get "certified." We've even had people look at us skeptically when we tell them our food isn't technically "certified organic" but our standards are much higher than is required to be certified.

We have absolutely ZERO interest in paying an organization with lower standards than ours, to put their stamp of approval on our product. Particularly when that same stamp is put on products that are grossly inferior to ours. If our customers don't trust us, they should be shopping elsewhere.
What does Harvest Haven Certified mean?

Harvest Haven Certified means that when you walk into our store, you can pick up any product and know it's safe to eat or use. We've done the research into the products we bring in and will not carry anything that has GMOs or strange chemical concoctions, nor do we carry "organic" products owned by companies that support GMOs or chemical-based agriculture. We don't want to support any of these operations that are just doing organic for the bottom dollar and are okay poisoning consumers with chemical-laden foods.

You can be assured that Harvest Haven Certified requires standards higher than "certified organic." For example, certified organic requires "access" to the outdoors for poultry but doesn't mandate that birds actually go outside. Whereas, our poultry (layers, broilers, turkeys) enjoy fresh air and sunshine even when they are small chicks and spend most of their lives on pasture eating bugs and fresh greens. Even in the winter months the hens are scratching in wood mulch and dirt OUTSIDE and converting all the spoiled and surplus food on our farm into beautiful food.

I once visited an organic layer operation where they were having a problem with their hens prolapsing when they laid their eggs. They contacted an expert who told them their hens were acutely deficient in vitamin A and D. The birds simply weren't getting enough sunshine. Their solution was to supplement the water supply with "organic approved" vitamins. Don't get me wrong, I'd still rather eat such eggs over those from a conventional egg operation, but I can tell you right now that replacing sunshine with synthetic vitamins is anti-Organic.

Another seldom considered aspect of organic growth is the farm's water supply. Absolutely all aspects of our operation, livestock, fields, and gardens have Grander Living water for better growth and optimum health. Don't underestimate the impact that clean living water has on your eating experience, and it's not just limited to veggies. Egg quality, for example is hugely affected by the hen's access to cool, clean, vibrant water. With that said, did you know that it's not against organic standards to water your animals with chemically treated city water?

I didn't write this up to foster any kind of cynicism towards organic agriculture. My goal, instead, is to renew in people's minds a vision of what organic should be. Organic agriculture is "back to basics." It is solemn recognition of the glory, splendour, and perfect design of creation.

If you can comprehend and honour the subtle particularities of a laying hen and go out of your way to provide for her unique needs, then she will cluck with joy and bless you with her treasure. But if you just treat her like an egg machine, organic or otherwise, sickness and death will follow shortly after. Think about it. Do you really think a hen who is on the brink of dying from malnourishment, is at all capable of nourishing you?

Organic isn't a label, it's a way of life!

You can come talk to us, as many of you have, and ask us what goes into producing a "garden carrot," or how to raise a tender, grass-fed steak, or why the eggs taste so good. We're more than willing to share with you our experiences from twenty some years of farming according to our rigorous standards.

Harvest Haven Certified means we back what gets our approval with our lives. By God's grace, we live what we preach without compromise. May it always be so, for all our sakes.

Martin Van Popta


harvest haven certified logo


Closed Mondays for Farming and Construction

Now that we have a show of winter, farming has slowed a bit to keeping the livestock fed, warm, and dry, giving the guys time to focus more intently on construction and equipment servicing.

Martin is putting in long hours applying the clay plaster to the walls in the new store. It's looking sharp.

When the doors finally open, hopefully in May, people may be too busy looking at the features of the building to think about groceries. That'll be okay. There's lots to see and lots of little interesting details.


clay wall office

Oso Negro Coffee


Martin and Jeannie will deny it, but they are "coffee snobs." They want coffee that tastes "really good."

When they tried Oso Negro, they loved it.

Oso Negro is located in Nelson, BC where they roast organic and ethically sourced green coffee beans from around the world. Virtually everything is done by hand maintaining the freshness of the coffee and the highest quality.

When they receive our order, the coffee is roasted that day and shipped the next. We order in small batches, so the coffee is always at peak freshness.

There's nothing like the aroma of fresh coffee wafting through the house.

coffee 2

On Sale...

Ground Beef- Sale $6.99/lb for 3 or more lbs Reg. $7.49/lb

Chicken Drumsticks- Sale $5.79/lb Reg. $6.99/lb (See Recipe Box)

Turkey Wings- Sale $3.99/lb Reg. $4.79/lb

Leeks- Sale $3.99/lb Reg. $3.49/lb (See Recipe Box)

Brown Basmati Rice, 700 g -Sale $7.49 Reg. $7.99 (See Recipe Box)

Organic Fair Orange Soda Syrup, 250 mL- Sale $9.99 each Reg. $10.99 each (See Recipe Box)

Farmhouse Organic Kraut Krisps, 142 g- Sale $6.49 each Reg. $6.99 each

Down on the Farm

Konstantijn Loves Her Sheep

During the summer, Konstantijn heard about the 4-H program for young people interested in raising and showing sheep. One aspect of the program, which peaked her interest was learning to do public speaking.

When fall came, Konstantijn attended the first two meetings, expecting to learn about sheep and how to give a public presentation. She was sorely disappointed when most of the time was spent playing games and popping balloons. (She's a lot like her dad, Martin – serious and inquisitive about matters of importance.)

Martin told her that instead of going to 4-H, he would spend a few hours each week instructing her on sheep and she could take over the responsibility of feeding them morning and evening. Konstantijn was happy about this development, but still wanted to pursue public speaking.

Her mom Jeannie suggested K write up what she wanted to talk about and give a presentation when we had company over the holidays, which she did. And she did well for her first foray into public speaking.

We don't have a video of her presentation, but here's her written work.

Sheep – My Favorites

My favorite animals are sheep, and here is why I think there should be more of them in the world.

For starters, they can be easily integrated into cattle grazing operations without any need for extra land. In fact, you can normally add two to three sheep for every one cow on the pasture without increasing your need for acreage. The reason this is possible is because sheep prefer weeds, forbs, and brush while cows are very partial to grasses and legumes. This isn't just a thrifty use of pasture resources, it also serves to make sure the grasses and weeds have equal grazing pressure, which eliminates the need for herbicides on pasture land.

As a natural parasite preventative measure, cows won't feed anywhere near their dung or on any grasses tainted by their hooves. But since parasites are species specific, the sheep don't mind a bit to cleanup around the cow pies and make sure perfectly good forage doesn't go to waste.

In other words, two or three sheep can live off the leftovers of your average cow with the added bonus of a healthier pasture.

Another big advantage of sheep is their size. Because sheep are much smaller than cattle, they can easily fit into backyards, and don't require large or heavy-duty shelters and fences. Their small size also means that children can look after them safely and handle them when necessary.

One of the best things about lamb is that it tastes great, but not only is it tasty, it's been found that lamb is healthier than beef. For example, a grass-fed lamb has a significant amount of omega-3 fats, a nutrient that reduces the risk of heart disease. It also contains more conjugated linoleic acid than any other clean meat.

Linoleic acid is a nutrient with health benefits that have been puzzling researchers for years. The average North American adult consumes too many omega-6 fatty acids in comparison to omega-3 fatty acids. It's also a general rule to consume as little trans-fats as possible, yet, CLA is made of these two fats and has been found to have health benefits, such as reduced inflammation and body fat. CLA is also particularly good for women.

And finally, my personal favorite things about sheep:

One, they can be friendlier than other livestock if you shepherd them.

Two, their young are cuter and more playful.

And three, sheep all have very individual personalities. (Not all of their personalities are that great!)

I hope you found this information useful!


k with sheep for newsletter


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