One of the most interesting farms we visited on the maple syrup tour was Regal Point Elk Farm. It raises elk for a variety of products, and also has a maple syrup operation tapping 1000 trees. Today I'll share some pictures of the elk, and tomorrow, some more details about the maple syrup.
How's this for a farm gate!? This long lane leads between the two elk pastures all the way back to the sugar bush, so you see the elk up close and personal as you drive in to visit the sugar shack.
The cows are in one pasture, all of them behind tall 7 foot fences.
A few were eating hay, placed beside the fence so visitors would get to see them,
But others were peacefully lying in the -5C sunshine. As you can see, we still have snow!
The male elk were on the other side, with antlers just beginning to grow. The blue contraption is part of a feeding bin.
There were some pretty handsome looking bulls in the field.
You can check out the farm's website, which tells you a lot about the elk raising; they're obviously used to people and didn't move away from the fence at all.
There was one pair of hard antlers mounted up near the gate. I was surprised to learn that the most valuable product is actually the velvet antler, which has medical benefits for both humans and dogs. As well the hard antler is harvested and sold; you can buy it in pet stores. They also sell breeding stock, and have brought in high quality bulls to enhance the herd genetics, always aiming for better antlers. As well elk meat is sold. Unfortunately they don't sell to the public; all sales are wholesale, but elk meat sounds good! It has less fat, less cholesterol, fewer calories, and more protein than chicken, turkey, beef or pork. They do sell maple syrup, and point out that it has far more nutritional value than white sugar or honey (but it's also a lot more expensive)! they're heavily involved in fund-raising for the local Rotary Club through their maple syrup events.
Quite the interesting farm to visit! Tomorrow - the sugar bush.