Blue Sky Ranch
Julia and Ludo out in the field with the pigs
Blue Sky Ranch is located just outside of Merritt, an easy 3.5 hour drive from Vancouver in the beautiful Nicola Valley.
Blue Sky Ranch started out as a 1/4 acre urban farm named "Urban Digs" in the heart of Vancouver. From there, we grew to an acre in Richmond, then to 3 acres in Burnaby where we discovered our passion for pasture-raised pigs. Raising pigs in Burnaby was great in the summer but pretty miserable in the winter and soon we realized that we needed a lot more land and a lot less rain. So we couldn't be more thrilled to have finally settled down on 21 acres in the Nicola Valley near Merritt. The pigs are ranging through woodlands & meadows and the days are mostly clear and sunny under a beautiful blue sky. It has been almost a year since we bought the property which has given us some time to get to know each other. The one thing that has been a constant theme over the past year is the big blue sky so it was only fitting that we name the place Blue Sky Ranch. It celebrates our escape from the rain and also the way we raise our animals. We hope you like it too :)
About the Ranch
Blue Sky Ranch is located just south-west of Merritt in the beautiful rolling foothills of the Coquihalla mountain range. We are completely off the grid and working hard to raise our animals in a way that is good for the land and good for our animals. We are surrounded by range-land which is home to our cattle through the spring, summer & fall as well as all kinds of wildlife including wild horses, cougars, bears, deer and an incredible variety of plants & insects.
About our Pigs
After trying most of the popular heritage breeds of pigs, we are now working exclusively with Red Wattle breeding stock and are very excited to do our part to preserve this critically endangered breed. We strive to provide an environment for our animals that meets both their unique physiological and emotional needs. For pigs, that means having plenty of room to roam around, soil to root & forage in, social groups, good food & fresh water, shade and mud wallows to cool off in on hot days and shelter and bedding to snuggle down in on cold days. We do not use any of the confinement systems found in conventional pig operations. Our pigs live entirely out on pasture except for when our sows are farrowing (giving birth) when we move them into a large, comfortable stall in the barn where she stays with her piglets until they are old enough to go outside and/or be weaned. This is in stark contrast to how most sows live. Our pigs are highly social & friendly which is a great indication that their needs are being met.
About Our Cows
Julia has been riding horses since she was a child so it didn't take long after our move to some of BC's most productive cattle country before she cozied up to the local cattle ranchers and started learning the business. She started off helping out riding on the range that surrounds Blue Sky Ranch but before long, both Julia and Ludo were hands on at brandings, and other ranchy events and making a lot of great friends. After a few years of dabbling and keeping a few cows at home, in 2021, Blue Sky Ranch added 15 bred cows and a bull to the "farmily." Our cows spend spring/summer/fall up on the range that surrounds our home then head down to the valley bottom to our neighbour's ranch where they spend the winter with their cows eating home grown hay and growing calves. Calving season starts in late March then they all head back up to the range.
Want to Know More?
We'd be happy to answer any questions you have. Please contact us for more information.
Connect With Us
Follow us on social media & sign up for our newsletter to keep in touch with us at the ranch and at the shop. We usually post updates, photos, recipes, videos & more regularly, and our newsletter a great way to connect too! Give us a call or send an email if you have any questions or to arrange to visit the ranch.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Call: 604-780-5262
Proud members of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association
Proud members of the Red Wattle Hog Association