Welcome to Little Qualicum Cheeseworks!
We hope you enjoy this little mosey around our farm. Keep in mind that certain areas may be closed off at times when machinery is operating as we don’t want to scoop you into the mixer wagon.
1. The Cabin
Pioneer Jim Lowry built this log house in 1890. It’s now a lawn ornament and is not safe to enter as it is being reclaimed back to the earth from whence it came. (Fun fact: the road we’re on was named after Jim Lowry)
2. The Farmgate Store
Here you’ll find a friendly host to welcome you and direct you to fascinating farm sites, unique regional products, and of course delectable cheese made from our own milk. Be sure to grab a delicious whole milk latte to fuel your walk about the farm.
3. The Milk Dispenser
This humble looking but exciting contraption was the first of its kind in Canada. Follow the instructions to self-serve awesomeness.
4. The Cheeseworks
Every day, the cheesemakers start in the wee morning hours, transforming fresh milk into curds. This process takes about 6 hours and, if we’re being honest, is dreadfully dull to watch. Peek through the windows in the event you might catch some action!
5. The Bunnies
Highly popular, usually the first place towards which kids make a beeline. They don’t seem to mind the company!
6. The Farmall Cub
There are two old tractors on the property which kids (and adults, who are we kidding) are welcome to climb on and pretend to drive; this one and the blue one in the picnic area. All the rest are REAL tractors with REAL buttons and are nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easyschnappen der
springenwerk, blowenfusen und corkenpoppen mitspitzensparken. Dasrubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets!
7. The Mooseum
This is the 1962 milking parlour, now a collection of memories, video presentations, and dusty artifacts.
8. The Calf Barn
Here the babies are fed their mommy’s milk plus hay and grain, until weaning.
9. The Other Animals
The place where our friendly critters hang out. You may witness an alliance between sheep and goats as they graze, sleep, and roam around together. In the drier months you can pop into their field for petting (enter at Picnic Area, #15).
10. The Heifer Barn
A heifer is like a teenager; they love hanging out in little groups and they’re full of conflicting emotions brought on by hormonal changes.
11. The Dairy Barn
Thanks to our mild
coastal climate, we're able to house our cows in a bright open-air barn so they can enjoy fresh air and sunshine even in the winter months. In a free-stall barn like this one, cows move between different sections of the barn for milking, resting & sleeping, eating, and drinking. The cow’s beds are made of sand which is both sanitary and comfortable - it’s like lying on a beach. Two large automatic brushes provide a good back scratch and help keep their coats healthy and clean.
12. The Juno
Our very own R2DMoo, rotating and beeping its way along while it pushes up the feed, every hour on the hour – even at night! Talk about food service. (Don’t touch, it’s got a zapper!)
Did you know? Cows spend an average of 6 hours a day eating.
13. The Milking Robot
This one-stall robotic milking parlour is the heart of the system, working 24/7/365. One robot will milk up to 60 cows, up to 6 times a day depending on the cow’s individual needs - a significant improvement over the previous model of milking 2x/day. The cows are given a treat and enjoy being milked, so there is almost always a line up in front of the robot. The robot treats each cow individually, giving her the amount of food and number of milkings that is best for her based on age and current milk production.
14. The Manure Pit
Yep, this is a pit full of cow poo. Manure is collected in this containment and spread onto the fields to naturally fertilize the grass.
15. The Picnic Area & Critter Corner
Visitors are welcome to enjoy their own picnic here during opening hours. Take a gander into the Critter Corner for some petting, but be sure to read the rules before entering.
This farm is home to a family of humans, 80 +/- domestic mammals, wild animals and avians, fish and swamp dwellers, and billions of soil organisms that help keep our planet habitable. Let’s all do our bit to respect life.