Pastured Perfection

At Holdanca Farms, we focus on three main goals: raising free-range animals who lead happy, healthy lives; working with our environment to maintain sustainable practices; and producing healthy and delicious products for your table.

With careful management, we strive to achieve these goals through our pastures. Working with the ecosystem, forages, and soil; our unique process is how we produce perfection.

Field Notes...

November 13, 2015

The chill of November is a sign that it is soon going to be winter on the  farm.  The firewood is all stacked in the barn, and we are close to being ready for the snowfall.  There is still some fencing I would like to get done before the ground freezes, to have their field ready for winter grazing of the cows, but I need to make a few repairs to my tractor-mounted post mall.  The machine is 35 years old, and parts are hard to find. I do like the  slower pace that comes with the cooler weather, as it provides time to enjoy the farm life more fully, and to reflect on the past season’s ups...

September 30, 2015

The evenings are certainly cool on the farm now.  Last night I took the horses for a ride with my daughter to check on some pastures.  It was warm when we left, but as the sun went down, we became quite chilly.  The sunset was beautiful though.


I will be delivering into Halifax and Truro this Thursday, October 1 (Friday I am taking my kids and their animals to the provincial 4-H show).  My delivery plans for the next few weeks are as follows:  Thursday October 1, regular deliveries; Thursday October 8, deliver Thanksgiving turkeys to Truro; Friday October 9, deliver Thanksgivi...

September 2, 2015

Summer is winding down on the farm, and with it comes a change in staff.  My own two children, John Burns and Maria, have been a big part of my workforce this year. They head back to school this week, and their help will be missed. I also had some help from my nieces Grace, Emma, Rachel and Brianne, and my sisters Cathy (the videographer on Facebook) and Jenny, who have returned to their respective homes in Northern Quebec and Florida.  We look forward to their return next summer.


In addition to my family, I had three full time workers this summer. Adam, an intern from PEI, is rema...

July 27, 2015



We had a nice rain this afternoon to nourish the grass, just in time to head off a very dry summer. 


The pasture season is going well at the farm this year. For the first time in a few years we have our “menagerie” on the go again – a mixture of different livestock all grazing together. So far, the menagerie consists of pigs and young beef cattle grazing together, with the horses and donkey following behind them as clean-up crew. 


Pigs can get so much of their feed from pasture; prior to the Second World War, most of the protein in pig diets came from pasture or hay, and the...

July 8, 2015


Summer has finally arrived, and I am sure we are all glad for that! 


I have to say that the last few weeks have been some of the most challenging I have had in farming – from a broken chicken plucker requiring weeks to repair, a leaky boiler that had to be replaced, to the loss of two of my cattle in the past week requiring a lot of work with my vet to figure out what was happening, there have been a lot of added stresses to this farming year. 


However, Saturday evening I was down on the shore field checking on my cow herd, looking for new calves.  One newborn calf was slow getting lat...

June 23, 2015

So the last few days have seen me sprinting through knee-deep wet grass chasing wayward cows and sheep. Yesterday we had a 3 day old calf that got scared and bolted from the herd.  I had phone calls from 3 neighbours about it running down the yellow line on the road heading west. 


Despite looking for several hours along the road and in the grass and bushes near its last sighting, there was no sign of it by dusk.  Fortunately, sound carries very well in the evening, and the calf's mother was bellowing through most of the night. 


The next morning the little girl was re...

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