As we approach the end of the 2021 growing season we are filled with gratitude for the crew that made it all happen. From late nights catching chickens to early mornings irrigating the fields, our staff works around the clock to keep the animals happy, the forage green, the soil healthy, and our customers well-fed. We’d like to take a moment this Thanksgiving week to introduce you to the folks who put the turkey on your holiday table, and how do you really get to know someone? Ask them what they like to put on their burger!  

We asked our staff a few questions so you can get to know them a bit better…. 

STEVE & JAS
Steve & Jasmine are no strangers to Spray Creek Ranch – They worked with us in 2019, took a season off, and are now back on the farm – now married and with a baby, Ellie!  They arrived late last winter and Steve jumped right in preparing for our first batch of meat birds to be delivered to the farm.  Steve is our livestock guy; he cares for all the animals, manages the grazing and livestock rotations, works in the meat shop, and helps out with all the odd jobs that need doing.    Jasmine is our administrative assistant, and Aubyn has been so grateful to have her help managing orders and keeping paperwork in order. She is an expert order-packer, twist-tie twister, and chicken plucker, and soon will be a certified nutritionist.

If you could eat only one product from the ranch for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Steve – Eggs
Jas – Breakfast sausage is high up there on my list, but I think pork ready-to-eat sausage!

What do you like to put on your burger?
Steve – Crispy fried onions or caramelized onion, smoked cheese, fried egg, bacon, homemade garlic mayo, one single piece of lettuce, all on a homemade bun.
Jas – Homemade mayo, pickles or relish, Angela’s curtido, caramelized onion, bacon & cheese.

What animal on the farm do you identify with most?
Steve – Sam the guardian dog
Jas – The new mama cows in the Spring!

What’s your favourite farm chore?
Steve – Probably moving cows
Jas – I would say moving cows is pretty great. Watching them chomp on that fresh pasture after a move makes me happy!

Please share a message to Spray Creek customers or one thing you think they should know.
Steve – Tristan and Aubyn were in a band together in high school – Tristan Douglas Banwell & the Star Glimmer Orchestra.
Jas – There isn’t a superior meat product to Spray Creek Ranch. The water source for the animals and the pasture they graze for nourishment is incredible!

EMMO & CHRISTINE
Emmo & Christine joined us last fall.  Emily, aka, Emmo, aka, Farmer Mo, is our inventory guru and has been working on big plans for our meatshop. She grew up in the Lower Mainland and has a background in holistic nutrition and butchery. She has farmed in Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Cuba, and was the head farmer at KPU Tsawwassen farm school in BC. Farmer Mo has worked in several butcher shops, and has incredible culinary talent – I hope you’ve tried out some of her recipes on the blog! Christine grew up in Manitoba and has been farming on small scale organic farms for 6 years.  She graduated with a Bachelor or Science and Agriculture, apprenticed on Salt Spring Island for 2 years and then became an urban farmer in Vancouver. Christine works part-time for us, packing orders and helping on poultry slaughter days while also working at Green Dirt Farm down the road from us. Christine and Emmo will be getting married next year!

If you could eat only one product from the ranch for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Emmo – Pork shoulder, it is versatile and incredibly delicious.
Christine – Chicken. I could eat roast chicken and veggies with a salad every night, the highlight is that crispy salty chicken skin.

What do you like to put on your burger?
Emmo – My burger has raw or caramelized onion (depending on my mood), mustard, relish, and mayo on a slightly toasted bun. And if I am lucky, bacon & arugula!
Christine – Mayo, ketchup, Dijon mustard, lettuce, tomato (when in season) and, like, 6 pickles.

What animal on the farm do you identify with most?
Emmo – Definitely relate to the pigs most. I love food, people and cuddling up with my friends!
Christine – Pigs! Skittish yet curious and always up for a cuddle or a snack.

What’s your favourite farm chore?
Emmo – Cooking for everyone 🙂
Christine – Taking care of the homestead garden

Please share a message to Spray Creek customers or one thing you think they should know.
Emmo – Here’s the best way to prepare your Spray Creek meat for cooking: defrost, take out of package, salt all over (diamond kosher salt is my favourite because it has a less intense salt flavour), and let dry out for 24hrs in the fridge – even longer if you can, especially with our steaks. This will help create an awesome surface for searing and concentrate the meat’s flavour. Oh, and always!! let your meat come up to temperature before cooking – this will allow for a more even cook. Also, I love cooking and love talking about cooking even more, so please never hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, especially if you want to try something new!

MASON
Mason just joined our team in September, and we are so happy to have him! Mason is our ranch hand, which means he helps with everything from moving poultry houses and feeding animals, to weedeating around the meatshop. He grew up in a ranching family in Saskatchewan, and has moved to BC to study in TRU’s wonderful Applied Sustainable Ranching Program. He is interested in learning more about organic and regenerative farming practices and hopes to have a career in sustainable agriculture. He is particularly interested in soil health, loves reading about innovative farming practices, and is a volleyball star – welcome Mason!

If you could eat only one product from the ranch for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Beef burger patties

What do you like to put on your burger?
Ketchup & cheese

What animal on the farm do you identify with most?
Sam (the livestock guardian dog) is my man

What’s your favourite farm chore?
Feeding pigs

Please share a message to Spray Creek customers or one thing you think they should know.
Spray Creek has the best customers! We truly appreciate you and look forward to serving you!

ANGELA
Angela lives down the road from us and manages her own beautiful farmstead, Three Ravens Farm, where she raises poultry, sheep, rabbits, and the most beautiful vegetables I’ve ever seen. She is an incredibly talented textile artist, and makes beautiful clothing and art with fiber from her own sheep. She is also an expert eviscerator, and we’ve been lucky to have her on our poultry slaughter crew for many years now. We also owe her many thanks because she is the mother of Cedar and Sage, both of whom worked on our farm since they were young teens, but have moved on to trades now. Angela is the best friend and neighbor, and we are so lucky she makes time in her busy life to come help us out!

If you could eat only one product from the ranch for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Bacon

What do you like to put on your burger?
Everything: cheese, bacon, pickles, mayo ketchup, mustard, onions, tomatoes!

What animal on the farm do you identify with most?
A mama cow

What’s your favourite farm chore?
I only do one thing at the ranch, eviscerating, so I would have to say that!

Please share a message to Spray Creek customers or one thing you think they should know.
Buying your food from Spray Creek Ranch has all the wins: good food raised by good people doing the best work for the health of the planet, their animals and their community!

DEREK
Shout out to Derek – who traveled all the way from Ontario to irrigate our fields this summer. He returned home last month, but our healthy green fields still remind us of his hard work this season. Thanks Derek, and congratulations on graduating from University of Waterloo this fall!

AUBYN & TRISTAN
You already know all about us – many of you get to chat with us twice a month when we make deliveries! But I thought we’d answer the questions too, and maybe you’ll learn something new 🙂

If you could eat only one product from the ranch for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Aubyn – Chicken tails!
Tristan – Ooh, a good beef rib steak with Helmers’ organic potatoes. Sorry, their potatoes are my desert island food! But I hope there’s steak there too.

What do you like to put on your burger?
Aubyn – Everything, but especially mayo and caramelized onions
Tristan – As long as the patty is medium rare and we have pickles and mustard on there, we’re good. Ideally Aubyn’s sourdough buns, but now I’m getting picky.

What animal on the farm do you identify with most?
Aubyn – Sometimes I certainly feel like a turkey…
Tristan – Samsquanch. Always looking out for everybody. What a guy.

What’s your favourite farm chore?
Aubyn – Collecting eggs – It feels like such a miracle that they lay one of those beautiful things almost every day!
Tristan – Early morning farm checks while the animals are quiet and the sun is slowly rising is number one. But there’s no character limit, right? Daily cattle moves — I love happy cows and the sound of forage getting chomped. Riding the range, even though the weather hates me — it’s a joy. Moving the chickens from the brooder to pasture — imagine how excited those chickens are! And slaughter days. The culmination of so much care and hard work, in a system that is optimal for small-scale meat production.

Please share a message to Spray Creek customers or one thing you think they should know.
Aubyn – I really do celebrate every single order that comes in. We are such a small farm, and our business and livelihood are made possible one order at a time.
Tristan – Everything we do on the farm is possible because of our customers! A dollar you spend on a steak then travels to support an organic grain farmer in the prairies, or brings the next hatch of chicks to the farm, or helps us upgrade our ranch infrastructure, or funds our crew working on innovative regenerative agriculture projects. It all comes back to the people who value our work and care where their food comes from. I cannot overstate how directly your purchasing decisions impact our land and livelihoods. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s