Stillmeadow Farm Presentation to Tom Henry from ICC and Slow Food Vancouver Island

Stillmeadow Farm
Presentation to Tom Henry from ICC and Slow Food Vancouver Island

Present in photo from left to right:

Steve Walker-Duncan – Camosun Culinary Program Chair and VP ICC
Brooke Fader – Wild Mountain Dinners and Slow Food Vancouver Island chair
Cory Pelan – Whole Beast and Board Member ICC
Tom Henry – Stillmeadow Farm
Joan Athey – Slow Food Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands Board Member

We all know that working together within a community is a much more effective practice than trying to make it on our own in this world. This rings very true in the food, farm and restaurant business, where it takes a lot of collaboration, support and looking out for each other to keep things running smoothly and effectively. It warms my heart regularly to see this happening consistently on this little island of ours, and this story is no exception.

Cory Pelan – owner of The Whole Beast, co-owner of Village Butcher and board member of the Island Chef’s Collaborative (ICC) invited me out to Stillmeadow Farm in Metchosin to visit Tom Henry and his bevvy of pigs. Of course, I couldn’t say no, because…well…piglets. And good company. And the chance to learn more about Stillmeadow and Tom and his compassionate and commendable pig-raising practices.

Due to some changes in housing for his pigs back in 2017, Tom was suddenly left without a place for them to live. After months of searching for a new location, a lot of planning and the availability of a beautiful piece of land close by, Tom was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Cue the aforementioned community support and a new home for the pigs, and their babies would become a reality with the building of a brand new 14,000 square-foot barn.

As all mamas know, babies make you tired and maybe a bit foggy-brained. While pigs are commonly good moms, it is not uncommon for them to accidentally squish their tiny babies when they are getting up and laying down, and the little ones are consistently attempting to feed. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this; however, it does not come cheap. With the help of the ICC and Slow Food VI, Tom was able to acquire some facilities for the new barn that accommodate mama’s movements and keep the babies safe. Without this, he would continue to lose several of the piglets per litter, amounting to dozens throughout the season. A heartbreaking concept and one that is definitely not good for business.

Visiting Tom and his collection of both heritage and pink pigs was eye-opening. A kind man who clearly cares about the way they are bred, raised and cared for, it was an honour for me to witness the kind of support he has received. Keep it up, Vancouver Island. It is a lovely thing indeed.

Written By:

Having lived on the West Coast all her life, Rebecca made the move from Vancouver to Vancouver Island in 2004 to pursue her love of fine food and expressive portraiture. A food and lifestyle photographer, her work can be defined ...

Comments are closed.