Oliver's Farm at the Placentia Junction, the St. John's Farmer's Market
Oliver’s Farm, out around Whitbourne, with Hereford cattle, pigs, turkeys (wild and domestic), chicken, geese, ducks, and lamb is one of the few livestock farms on the Avalon. In summer they also grow root veg and have been partnering with the neighbour farm Rushmere Farms to greenhouse grow Spinach, Bok Choy and Chards year-round.
Their farm is the type of place that comes to mind when you think of the family farm. Del and Dave Oliver are the farming team, and they’ve been involved with farming one way or another their whole lives.
They started Oliver’s Farm together around years ago, and it’s been a steady go. Their workday starts at 5 am and often doesn’t end till 11 pm, and even then a baby monitor intercom connects them to the barn. Dave says, “When a cow is calving every cow in the barn is calling - what a ruckus. You’d hardly need the monitor, but when we arrive they all calm down.”
The cattle live in the pasture, except for winter when they are turned out every day. Wild turkeys, ducks and geese have free-range from a repurposed bright yellow school bus. Del says, “When school kids visit they always get a charge out of the chickens on the school bus.”
The approach Del and Dave bring to farming reflects their views on the relationship between health and the environment. They take pride and comfort in the fact that their animals are not tampered with - no chemicals and no hormones - and they are pasture and grain-feed which does not pass health concerns on to their customers.
Del and Dave have seen many changes in farming over the decades, and are happy that interest in the ‘local farm’ is catching on, and are enjoying the new ways - like the year-round greenhouse farming.
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