Sun, 14 December 2008
Natural Pastures Cheese Company
The story of Natural Pastures is an inspiring one, as it's a story of how one farming family was able to preserve the heritage, social and environmental values of their dairy farm by diversifying and becoming a commercial cheesemaker. Natural Pastures sources their milk from a number of traditional farms on Vancouver Island, including one farm that raises water buffalo. While most of Natural Pastures cheeses are made with cow's milk, Natural Pastures is the only cheesemaker in Canada producing a variety of cheese that uses the milk of water buffalo. Host Jon Steinman visited the facility in October 2008.
Edgar J. Smith, President, Natural Pastures Cheese Company (Courtenay, BC) - Dating back over 90 years, the Smith family's Beaver Meadow Farms eventually morphed into Natural Pastures Cheese Company. Today, the businesses uses only fresh milk produced on a number of select Vancouver Island farms, which practice sustainable farming and animal stewardship. The farms are classified as Heritage Dairy Farms.
Paul Sutter, Master Cheesemaker, Natural Pastures Cheese Company (Courtenay, BC) - Born in 1972 in Sonenntal Switzerland where he spent much of his time on his grandfather's dairy farm. In 1991 he earned his certification as a Master Cheesemaker and in 1995 responded to a job posting in a Swiss newspaper and moved to Canada to become a cheesemaker. Paul joined Natural Pastures in 2002.
Dan Thran, Farmer, DKT Ranch, (Courtenay, BC) - Owned and operated by Dan and Maggie Thran, DKT is an 80 acre farm which was purchased by Dan's parents in 1927. His parents turned it into a dairy farm in the early 1940s and the farm was passed on to Dan in the early 1970s. Since then, the farm has primarily become a beef operation along with raising pasture-raised poultry, lamb and eggs.
Harry Burton, Farmer, Apple Luscious Organic Orchard, (Salt Spring Island, BC) - This young orchard on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia is situated on 5 acres of land. Located on a slightly south facing slope, the orchard was created from scratch on land logged in 1980, with the first apple trees planted in 1986. It consists of about 300 trees of mostly apples, but also plums, pears, cherries and Asian pears. Harry helps organize the Salt Spring Apple Festival.
Other VoicesStan Hagen, Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Province of British Columbia, (Courtenay, BC)
Leslie Shann, Operations and Distribution Manager, Natural Pastures Cheese Company (Courtenay, BC)