Let me tell you that I had been looking forward to this Earth Day visit to Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary like a science loving child is excited to go on a schooltrip to the Science Centre. And that child really likes science, a lot!
I stayed over at Jamie and Jared’s place so that I could be ready bright and early for the day ahead of me. I had my rainboots, jacket, veJEWtarian tee (that I created the design for and Jamie so lovingly ironed on to the shirts), and other such attire that I didn’t mind getting dirty. We gobbled down our vegan breakfast sandwiches prepared by Jared, scooped up two cartons of blueberry muffins Jamie baked the night before, and were out the door to pick up the other members of veJEWtarian along the way.
It was about a 2 hour drive up to the sanctuary, but the long drive was worth it. Upon arrival, we were welcomed warmly by Peter Poole, husband and co-owner of Cedar Row with his wife Siobhan. He introduced us to more than a few members of the Cedar Row Farm family: Zebrah (the hen), Charlie (the cow), Chickpea (the cow), two lively and inseparable baby goats, and the newest addition to the group: Little Pig!
Photo Cred: Sasha Rae Arfin
Our first task required us to shovel dirt and old hay out of a small barn, wheel-barrel it around to the back and dump it behind the barns. Pete showed me what the pile we were creating would soon become — good quality fertilizer/manure which they sell called ‘compassionate compost’. One of the most fun tasks we did all day, in my opinion, was breaking apart a haystack and spreading it around the yard for the animals to nuzzle, settle into and enjoy! My sister even said to me, as we watched the animals get comfortable in that fresh hay: “Isn’t it great? We get to see the immediate results of our hard work!”
Photo Cred: Janice R. Janetakes
We broke for lunch and shared our food with the Poole family, their kids included! We munched on Jared’s jerk tofu wraps (homemade jerk tofu, vegenaise, sriracha sauce, tomatoes and lettuce), Janice’s lovely berry salad, and Siobhan remarked that Brandon’s first ever vegan brownies were the best she’s ever had! While we ate, Siobhan shared with us the story of one of their cows, Charlie. She found him as a calf running on the side of the road in the cold of winter, and she was just on her way to Cosco for a coffee! She struggled but succeeded in getting Charlie into the back of her van so that she could bring him back home to safety! He is now fully grown and enjoys hanging out with his other cow companion, Chickpea.
Photo Cred: Sasha Rae Arfin
The Poole family are immensely generous and extraordinarily kind people who have created a really special place — a rather hefty undertaking — but truly a labour of love. I think that love for these animals inspires all who visit and all who volunteer. It certainly did me.
You can make a donation to Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary here or sponsor an animal here. 100% of your donations will go to the animals. Last but not least, visit their website and like them on Facebook!
Photo Cred: Sasha Rae Arfin (taken with Instagram)