Burnspring Farm - The Hepburn Family
Before joining Organic Meadow, Grant Hepburn had already been managing much of his farm organically. But it was a barn tour of an Organic Meadow farm that convinced him to take the last steps to organic certification. Grant realized, "Hey, I can do that, too!" And so, Burnspring Farm began shipping organic milk in July, 2008.
Today, Grant milks about 25 Holstein cows on 170 acres of land near Vankleek Hill in Eastern Ontario. His mother still runs the farmhouse, providing food and hospitality to visitors. Pasture and outdoor access have always played an important role in the farm’s management. The majority of Burnspring Farm is in hay and pasture, although Grant is planning to grow some small grains to help offset the cost of purchased feed.
Over the years, Grant's involvement in organics has spread beyond his own farm. After taking a homeopathy course in Ottawa, he organized a similar course in his area. Grant’s brother Scott used computer mapping software to produce detailed satellite images of his farm with marked field boundaries in order to make record-keeping easier. Several other local farmers are also now using similar maps of their own farms.
In 2008, Grant organized an Organic Meadow booth at Vankleek Hill's Festival of Flavours, where he and neighbouring Organic Meadow farmers offered cheese samples and information, and collected signatures on a petition asking local grocers to carry Organic Meadow products.