All about Bee Meadow Farm
We used to be ”normal” people with a couple of dogs and few cats. Then we thought, ”Hey, chickens sounds like fun. Let's get some laying hens so we can have our own eggs instead of buying them from the store!” Nothing unusual about that; we were living on a farm with plenty of room, a large granary and a big bank barn. So we bought 13 chicks from our local feed store in July 2009, then added a few more chickens and our first roosters in 2010.
All was quiet except for the occasional crow until the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry OSPCA called us in February 2014 to ask if we'd take in a pig. ”Sure!" we said, ”How much trouble can a pig be? We just need to whip together a pig pen.” Little did we know that the innocent-looking pot-bellied porker we adopted and named Ophelia would surprise us with a litter of adorable piglets on Easter Sunday in 2014. Suddenly we had seven pigs. Things grew from there.
Bee Meadow Farm is run by me, Natalie Rowe. We're located near Apple Hill in eastern Ontario. My husband Gordon and I were both born in Toronto, and have lived in four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. We moved to the farm in 2007, a year after crossing Canada for the second time with a Mazda Protege full of pets. I said I got all these animals so that we would never be able to move again! I also keep bees and sell honey from the farm.
The farm was founded by "Big Angus" McDonald over 150 years ago, and was sold out of the McDonald family when we bought it. The majority of our animals are rescues (except Roo and Sandy the horses, Monty the Maremma, and some of the chickens, ducks and quail) and they are ALL pets. Most of our rescues were adopted through the Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry OSPCA in Cornwall, but some were adopted from other places, or were dumped here. We do NOT encourage dumping of animals!
Please note that we don't consider ourselves a shelter, and we have limits on the number of animals we can keep (and we're almost at those limits!) However we do have two rooms for foster felines, and we foster and adopt out a small number of cats and kittens on an ongoing basis.
We are also proud supporters of the OSPCA and volunteer our time with them. If you have an animal that needs to be re-homed, they are a good place to start. We want to complement the work the OSPCA does, and we view our farm as a place for people to learn about and love animals. Everyone should know that pigs love belly rubs and goats love chin-scritches.
Here's who we currently have in residence: seventeen cats, three Jampups (rescued Jamaican streetdogs) named Chloe, Dodger and Gigi, a livestock guardian Maremma dog named Monty, three ponies named Esme, Finney and Jimmy, a Quarterhorse named Roo, a Fjord horse named Sandy, one donkey named Saul, oodles of chickens, many Muscovy ducks, one Saxony duck, two Runner-duck crosses, two Guinea fowl sharing one brain, two Narragansett turkeys, seven Coturnix quail, thousands of honeybees and twelve incredibly awesome rescue pot-bellied pigs named Ophelia, Olivia, Cordelia, Dahlia, Button, Luther, Jersey, Rudy, Henry, Gertrude Swine, Patrick and Gracie.
And let's not forget the 23 rescue goats (Boer, Nubian and Boer/Nubian crosses): Genevieve, Daphne, Bambi, Kevin & Geoff, Annabelle, Rosie and Luc, Bambi's kids Pierre and Emmeline, and Genny's kids Debbie and Hawkeye. Bert, Cindy, Harry and Diego, Pepper and Salty, Lloyd, Lillian and Olive, plus Olive's kids Else and Anna.
I grew up with many animals; Gordon grew up with a budgie. I have succeeded in bringing out Gordon's inner animal-lover. She once made Gordon a pillow with a very apt Nora Ephron quote stitched on the front:
You enter into a certain amount of madness when you marry a person with pets.
Gordon has embraced the madness.
Welcome to our wonderful, pet-filled world! We hope you'll share the feelings of amazement and love we have for our furred and feathered friends.
PS: Our whimsical logo was designed by our talented graphic designer friend Sarah Elder, who kindly donated her services for free!
Check out this beautiful aerial video of our farm and the animals, made by our friend Lloyd: