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 :)
Coming to the Nicola Valley was a great move for us but came with some unique challenges. We were having trouble getting our pigs butchered reliably (a very common problem for small-scale producers like us), being off-grid makes storage an issue as running big freezers on solar power is tricky, and delivering our meat could be downright dangerous on the Coquihalla highway in the winter. We were getting frustrated and discouraged so when we connected with the folks at Meatme, we were thrilled! They now help by getting our pork from the farm to our customers, and we couldn't be more pleased. Our customers love it too! Check out their website to learn more!
MeatMe now handles all our retail sales but you can still order a whole side or a whole pig from us directly. More info about that here.
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 pigs. We are surrounded by range-land which is home to lots of 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. Our pastures are completely herbicide, pesticide, chemical fertilizer and biosolid free.
About our Pigs
Our pigs are a mix of heritage breeds, mostly berkshire, large black, tamworth & duroc. We keep around 10 sows and 2 boars and raise about 200 market hogs a year. 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 on a diet of non-GMO whole grains, whey from an a local organic cheesemaker, whatever fruits & veggies we can get our hands on, whatever they find in the pasture in season and hay in the winter. Our pigs are highly social & friendly which is a great indication that they are getting what they need.
Come Visit Us!
Our customers are always welcome to come and "meet the meat." Plan on staying for a day or two if you can. There is camping nearby, a stocked fishing lake and many miles of amazing mountain biking, hiking & horseback riding trails. The town of Merritt is just 12 minutes away so you can come "get away from it all" and still get back to it all in case you need something. Order a side of pork the month before you want to come for a visit and if the timing works out, you can come come pick it up from the butcher with us to learn even more about where your meat comes from.
Please note: at this time we are only able to accommodate visits from customers. We are a working ranch and make our living selling meat, not a tourist attraction/petting zoo. Thanks for understanding!
Want to Know More?
We'd be happy to answer any questions you have. Please contact us for more information and/or to arrange a visit.
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 every day, and send the newsletter regularly so it's a great way to connect! 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