Shuswap Household Finds Happiness Amongst Water Buffalo – Kelowna Capital Information

Some people offer a curious look as they pass Kim Van Rookhuyzen and the Reverent Acres table at the Salmon Arm Farmer’s Market downtown.

Most of those who stop at the table either know what they want or want to learn more about Reverent Acres’ meat products and especially where they come from: water buffalo tended by Kim and husband Matt Van Rookhuyzen on their Yankee Flats Road farm .

“People out here are used to bison and not water buffalo, although the meat is similar …” Kim explained. “It’s usually a long story or they think we’re kidding.”

A customer asks for a pack of water buffalo jerky and a pack of bone broth. Another is after rib eye steaks. Burgers are also popular.

Kim explained that the animals are raised appropriately, fed grass, kept free-range, and given no hormones or antibiotics.

“They are happy, they are super friendly,” said Kim. “It’s really great because we have kids and they are super gentle animals. That way we can coexist really well. “

The Van Rookhuyzens moved from Abbotsford to the area about 11 months ago, where they leased land and looked after about 50 water buffalo, 70 sheep and other animals. When the land was sold, the couple tried unsuccessfully to find another property in the Fraser Valley. And then they found 120 acres in Yankee Flats.

“We finally found this place about four weeks after I had a baby,” said Kim. “We came to us and looked at it and were thrilled and signed the deal straight away.”

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The family dragged their animals to their new property and lived in an RV while they built a new home.

Kim said the idea for a water buffalo farm came after friends decided to start a water buffalo dairy.

“They had bull calves every year and didn’t need them, but the meat was really good, so we went with the intent of buying these from them and raising them for meat,” Kim said, explaining the taste of grass-fed water buffalo meat similar to grass-fed beef but, like bison, is much leaner.

“Matt and I were trying to figure out how we could make our lives healthier. Knowing where our meat comes from was really important. “

Kim, a former teacher, said there is a lot of work running the farm. Matt also works full time as an electrical contractor. However, she said that there are things that lifestyle offers that she would never trade.

“My kids are running around free and they love animals and they learn all of these life skills and they become helpful,” Kim said. “And what would I do in the evening? I would watch tv. There is also something for me to do to watch my animals and make sure everyone is fine and breathing. It is something that is simply good for our soul to be connected to where our food comes from.

“And my children learn about life and death and hard times and good times through animals … I think that’s very powerful for them too. They saw us stressed and happy and it is a very interesting life to live with your children. It’s raw. “

In addition to the Saturday farmers’ market in Salmon Arm, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Reverent Acres products can also be ordered via reverentacres.ca.

To learn more about Reverent Acres and their water buffalo, visit reverentacres.ca.

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Matt and Kim Van Rookhuyzen run the Reverent Acres water buffalo farm in Yankee Flats with their children Nolan and Bentley.  (Alpine Wildbloom Images Photo) Kim and Matt Van Rookhuyzen with their children Bentley and Nolan enjoy spending time with their water buffalo at Reverent Acres Farm.  (Alpine Wildbloom Images Photo)

Matt and Kim Van Rookhuyzen run the Reverent Acres water buffalo farm in Yankee Flats with their children Nolan and Bentley. (Alpine Wildbloom Images Photo) Kim and Matt Van Rookhuyzen with their children Bentley and Nolan enjoy spending time with their water buffalo at Reverent Acres Farm. (Alpine Wildbloom Images Photo)

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