Anthropomorphism? I don’t think so. Dudley the pig is definitely smiling in the sun on this spring-like day at Andy’s Animal Acres on the Naramata Bench.
I don’t blame them. If I was a critter I would want to live on Andréa Buyan’s little farm at 1154 Three Mile Road on the way to Naramata. I hesitate to call Andy’s a petting zoo. It’s more like animal nirvana. And it’s place for parents and children to learn respect for farm animals. “Kids spend so much time in the virtual world and there is such a disconnect between people and the source of their food that I feel I can help,” says Andy. Many of her charges are rescues, all like Wilbur will not end up on a dinner plate and she works with many young volunteers who find the experience therapeutic. Lots of wins there. The animals come first with opening hours limited to four at a time and lots of fresh air, sunshine and room to roam at the farm.
I was particularly taken with the chickens. I feel I should name this series of photographs: Portrait of a Rooster, one, two and three.
Andy learned her animal husbandry skills during a 10-year stint at Maplewood Farms in North Vancouver. She turned her property from weeds and dirt to home for more than 60 farm animals over a period of eight years, opening to the public in the spring of 2013. A labour of love, it costs her more than $900 a month to feed all the critters and insure her business. Then there are vet bills, heating lamps, equipment….and “constant, constant, constant labour.”
There are some great rewards though.
And a whole lot of love on the farm.
It’s all fun and games until a goat jumps on your back.
Opening again soon on weekends, you can find out more by calling 250-809-5122. I’ll leave you with a few more photos.