What do you farm?
Tim grows crops on his land, as well as on his father's land that is adjacent to our land. He grows wheat, soy beans, corn, and sometimes oats. These crops are sold to a local holding company called Big East. Big East is a cooperative that we are a shareholder in. This company would sell these crops for feed production. We also have a wheat storage tank. Tim has the capacity to store his wheat crop and can mix the raw wheat into his pellet or mash feed. This method of feeding the chickens results in the same average growth, or better, at a reduced cost. But when we're broke, we sell the wheat.
Was this Tim's family's farm?
No. Tim's parents owned the farm across the road. That farm is now owned by Tim's sister Lori. Tim's Dad had his eye on this farm for years, and had made this known to the previous owners, Richard and Carol Sutton. One day in May, 2000 a real estate agent delivered a property sale notice to the original homestead. Tim and his dad looked it over. An offer was made, rejected, reoffered, sealed and delivered within a couple of days. Tim was entering his last year at Dalhousie, finishing his Bachelor of Engineering degree.
Do your chickens live in small confined spaces?
Our barns are wide open spaces with plenty of straw for bedding, 24 hour access to food and water, and are on a lighting schedule that mimics their natural environment, improving their quality of life while increasing our financial return.
The barns with the small cages are for egg producing chickens, or Layers. That is a very different operation from what we do. We grow broilers... These are sold as small whole birds.
How do you know the chickens are happy?
We closely monitor the chick's weight, water consumption, air distribution, and temperature. We can tell, based on the standards of these indicators, that the basic needs of the bird are being met. When a bird is distressed, poorly handled, or its conditions are below standards, the mortality rate and disease rate will start to increase. Nobody wants that to happen. It is in our best interest to treat our inventory well.
Angela, are you still selling cloth diapers?
No. I created and built Valley Cloth Diaper Company after the birth of Caelin. It was a slow and challenging business to grow but by 2009 I had achieved great success and was very pleased with the outlook for the future of the business. Unfortunately, I became ill that year and was unable to maintain the business during recovery. In order to rebuild the business I will need time and capital. Neither of which are plentiful in my life right now. I continue to work towards supporting families with young children by Facilitating the essential training program, Stewards of Children.
What is the cost difference between reusable versus disposable diapers?
The cost of using disposable diapers from birth to toilett trained for one child is usually over $2,000. It can be much more. Some people cite figures as high as $4,000. It depends on consumption. Some people make an effort to save on diapers, changing them less frequently. Other people find prefered brands that may cost more or less than the average diaper.
The cost of using reusable diapers from birth to toilet trained is anywhere from $300-$700. Many people enjoy and are as successful with the lower cost diapers as they are with the more expensive diapers.
If I consider that I probably would have spent $3,000.00 diapering each of my 3 kids, I would have forked out $9,000.00 over the past 5 years. I would estimate that at retail value, we have spent about $2,200.00 on reusable diapers. That is $6,800 savings.
Where do I park when I attend an event at the Coop?