Real Hornby Free Range Chicken
Published July 19, 2012
By Rachelle Chinnery
On Hornby it’s not hard to find farm fresh anything. You just have to go to the Farmers’ Market and ask the growers about produce, eggs, beef, lamb, or chicken. And here’s a short cut: free range chicken is readily available at the Outer Island B & B, which is also a small producer chicken farm.
Karen and Jed Young raise free range chickens on their seaside farm in Sandpiper. These resort-raised chickens eat a pure vegetable diet, have access to sunshine, fresh air, and room to scratch about in a protected patch of wild grasses and flowers. As members of the Chicken Marketing Board, the Youngs are required to take the birds off island to be processed, but apart from that, their operation is entirely local.
What began 15 years ago as 30-bird trial has now grown to seven flocks of up to 300 chickens per year. Farm gate sales make getting this quality chicken accessible to all who come to Hornby, and certainly to all who live here. The range of chicken products has also expanded from whole chicken to chicken pieces, sausages, ground meat and – my personal favourite – chicken pepperoni. Karen maintains an email list and notifies her regular customers when they have a fresh batch of chickens ready. This list includes a number of dedicated customers in the lower mainland, where Karen and Jed make monthly deliveries. Their dedication to the quality of life the chickens lead is surpassed only by their enthusiasm for the fine products that result from these birds.
Being a dedicated farm-to-table consumer is not a challenge on Hornby. Supporting local food providers assures that we will have sustainable quality products. And while summer is here, I highly recommend getting a little chicken for the barbecue and enjoying some of the the local bounty this island has to offer!