Friends to the rescue
Natalie Rowe’s and Gordon Campbell’s Bee Meadow Farm, home to a happy menagerie of over 100 rescue animals, welcomed close to 300 people Saturday for the second annual open house and farm day to raise funds for the non-profit’s collection of rescue animals.
It was an idyllic sunny day down on the farm, and families from Cornwall, Ottawa and Québec found themselves having animal encounters with an astonishing mixture of species. There were goats, ponies to ride, a ham rooster who likes nothing better than posing for a photo with you, pot-bellied pigs, ducks and chickens, and sweet little chirping quail.
Ms. Rowe says the farm has 12 pot-bellied pigs, four ponies, a donkey, 17 goats, 17 cats, three dogs, and Monty the Maremma, a livestock guarding dog and an assortment of fowl.
“The birds are the only ones who bring any kind of income to the farm to pay for their grain consumption,” she says with a grin.
The farm sells eggs that on Saturday sold out quickly, leaving some people disappointed when they found the coop fridge empty. “Not a problem,” said Natalie, who offered to “pull some more out from under the chickens.”
The farm also sells ribbon-winning honey from the couple’s apiary. Among the visitors were Nelly Leonidis and her mother Lilia, from Ottawa. Nelly Leonidis discovered Bee Meadow because of a 2014 post on Twitter. “I read about a pig named Ophelia and I thought, that’s the best name ever for a pig,” said Nelly. “I started following Natalie on Facebook and Twitter and our friendship further developed over visits and tea. I’ve been following the progress of Bee Meadow ever since and I get my eggs and honey here from people I know are doing great things,” said Ms. Leonidis clutching the last two dozen eggs to be had.
The fundraiser featured a used book sale and a silent auction with over seventy items that had visitors bidding furiously for works by artists and artisans including painter Laurie Coté who donated a beautiful acrylic painting of a quarter horse. Many items were from artist friends who support the rescue.
Core to Bee Meadow Farm is a “Sponsor a Rescue Animal” program to pay for an animal’s monthly feed, shelter, and veterinary care costs.