Maple Bay Farm - Frequently Asked Questions

What does GMO-FREE mean and why do your GMO-FREE eggs cost more than the others?

We are often asked what GMO-FREE means when people are considering purchasing our GMO-FREE eggs so here is a short explanation. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) have had their genes (DNA) altered to act in a way that doesn't happen naturally and/or contains genes from other plant-based organisms.

The 4 main GM crops currently grown in Canada include canola, soybean, corn and sugar beets (white sugar beets for sugar processing). Besides being in the grocery stores as processed food ingredients, they are widely used in animal feed. These crops are engineered to be either insect resistant or herbicide tolerant, and many now carry both traits.

Because a member of our family was having increasingly severe reactions to eggs, we decided to change some of our chickens to GMO-FREE, organic feed to see if it would make a difference. We wondered if the reaction might have developed because as soybeans have become more and more modified, he has developed a sensitivity to them. We were right! Since making the switch to GMO-FREE feed, he is once again able to enjoy our eggs. 

GMO-FREE and organic feed costs considerably more than regular feed and this cost difference is reflected in the price of the eggs.

Why does product availability fluctuate from time to time?

Chicken Eggs

We have over 350 ducks, so there are always duck eggs available Chicken egg volumes are affected by a number of factors. One factor is the current chicken egg licensing system that limits the number of chickens we can have unless we purchase a license. There isn't any such regulation related to duck egg production and is why we can have as many ducks as we want and need.

Another factor is molting. When chickens molt they stop producing eggs so we make sure that we stagger the age of the birds to try to plan for this time. but the impact on the overall volume produced is still there. 

Beef

We are committed to sustainable farming and this means that we cannot raise more cattle than our land can sustain. Unlike larger farms or feedlots, we usually only have up to 25 head of cattle at any one time. Limiting our herd to such small numbers results in us having to wait until the end of each birthing season to see how many bull calves are born. All our calves are left with the herd so that they are with their mothers until they are 2 years old. We keep the heifers because we want to ensure that we have a strong breeding stock and know the lineage of our herd at all times. When we say that our beef is produced locally, we literally mean that we have developed our breeding stock and do not bring in feeders that have been raised elsewhere so we know exactly how they have been raised, what they have been fed and can confidently say that they have at no time been exposed to medications or growth hormones. The only feed other than our grass or our hay that they eat is organic barley from a Vancouver Island brewery. Instead of the barley being wasted, we use it for our cattle and they love it.

Why does the price between cuts vary so much?

The price of beef is influenced by the amount of fat present in the cut. The more marbling that it has the more tender and flavourful it will be and that is reflected in its price. However, when you have meat that is a product of cattle being grass-fed, raised in a non-stressful environment (not in a feedlot where they can't graze and are jammed together), and butchering takes place at the optimum time, the less expensive cuts are exceptionally good. Though it may sound like 'marketing', cuts such as chuck and stew that come from farms such as ours aren't tough or lacking in flavour. Many of our customers who have taken a chance based on our word have been coming back to buy the lesser known cuts time and time again. Ask us for more information when you are next at the farm.

Who is your butcher?

Our butcher is located right here in the valley and is government certified. In addition, he only butchers once a week to enable a government inspector to be present during the process. We are committed to protecting our animals from stress and to ensuring the most humane treatment possible. We have chosen our butcher because of his commitment to the same values.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept cash and internet transfer payments. We do not accept cheques, debit or credit cards. When paying cash, please be sure to have exact change as we are not present at the time of purchase so no change is available.