Grocery stores are big business. The vast majority of food they sell is grown far from where we live by people we'll never meet. It's anonymous and its history uncertain. Why would anyone want to put that in their mouth or feed it to their children? At Urban Digs we are farmers first, and it takes one to know one. We supply families and chefs with trustworthy pasture-raised meat and eggs. Our collective humanity is reflected in how our food is raised and nurtured. We help people know their food so they can make informed choices that reflect their values.
First time here? Here are a few good places to start:
- How It Works: Explains the basics of where, when and how you can buy from us.
- What Does Sustainable & Ethical Mean To You: We lay out what these words mean to us and help you define what they mean to you.
- Tips for Buying Sustainable, Ethical Meat: To help you navigate the rough waters of the Greenwash Sea.
- Farmer's Choice Beasty Box: A great "first product" to try if you want a nice selection of what we have to offer.
Blue Sky Ranch grew out of a family garden in Vancouver. Raising two active boys, Julia had become more interested in both the quality of the food she was serving to her family and the impact her choices had on animal welfare and the environment. At the time, she was studying Earth Science at the University of British Columbia so she decided to take a Permaculture Design course at UBC Farm as a directed study. Permaculture is a system of sustainable agriculture that strives to understand and mimic the inherent resiliency and efficiency of natural ecosystems. She loved the idea of producing food in a way that integrated organic farming practices with ethical livestock production in a way that was regenerative, rather than destructive and could produce top quality, healthy food for her family. Things moved pretty quickly after that and before she knew it, Ludo was hooked too and a backyard garden growing veggies for her family had grown into a network of neighbourhood gardens complete with backyard chickens & rabbits. Before long, the whole family moved to a 3 acre farm in South Burnaby. Julia and Ludo were both working full time on the farm and ducks and pigs had been added to the mix.
In 2015, Julia met Rory at a Slow Money conference. Julia and Ludo had taken the business as far as they could on their own if they didn't want to compromise their values/standards. Rory really understood the value of what they were trying to do so the three teamed up and bought a butcher shop where they could butcher enough animals to keep up with demand without sacrificing quality and allow the farm to grow large enough to be financially sustainable. Drop by the shop to meet our butchery staff and the rest of the team!
Urban Digs soon outgrew the 3 acre farm in South Burnaby and moved to Blue Sky Ranch in the foothills of the Coquihalla mountain range. You should come up for a visit!
Media & Speaking Engagements
We've had the privilege of sharing our story through a number of well-respected media outlets and speaking engagements.
Connect With Us
Follow us on social media & sign up for our newsletter to keep in touch with us at the ranch and at the shop. We post updates, photos, recipes, videos & more every day, and send the newsletter once a week so it's a great way to connect! You can always reach us on social media and you are welcome to drop by our butcher shop or come see us at a farmers market. Give us a call or send an email if you have any questions or to arrange to visit the ranch.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Call: 778-379-5262
A Few Words From Our "Farmily"
"I showed up at Urban Digs through word of mouth and that's the day, I got to "meet my meat." From that visit forward, I was able to expand the relationship to my food. The high quality products are a priority; the value is many times the price and the taste is incomparable to standard store fare. Not only do I savour the nutrient-rich food, I got to learn how to butcher a pig! At the butchery workshop, I learned even more about the intense production process behind getting dinner to our plates. The Urban Digs team is a dedicated group of people who have made a difference because now I know the possibilities." - Natasha Wainwright
"I initially heard about Urban Digs from a friend, and loved the idea right from the start. Local, ethically raised meat and eggs, and fresh in season veggies, plus delivery to my home? Say no more, I was hooked. Their products are consistently excellent, and their newsletter and blog are full of helpful and tasty ideas. I feel great about supporting Urban Digs, because they make it easy to eat responsibly. Every year there are new products to try, and I can't wait to see what they do next." - Meaghan Jones
"We buy food from Urban Digs because we are confident we are getting high quality meat from ethically raised animals. The end result is great tasting food that we feel good about eating."
- Saska Muller & Cornel Peana
"Urban digs has been feeding my family and I the highest quality food for well over a year now. I was initially drawn to this small family owned farm because they were local, organic and ethical. Buying local and supporting businesses in our community has become a top priority for my family over the past 2 years. For me, eating well and buying from companies that operate with the highest level of integrity is essential. Julia and Ludo are such amazing individuals and their dedication to their animals, the land and their community is inspiring. In an era where it is increasingly difficult for companies to maintain a consistent product without sacrificing their values; urban digs has managed to do so while creating community. Urban digs is our farm grocery store and my family has been incredibly lucky to have such a treasure in our backyard." - Ibby Omole
"We are devoted consumers of Urban Digs pork because it is simply the most delicious meat we can possibly put on our table. We are accomplished cooks and we care about our food. We demand high quality. We also choose to eat food that is raised healthily, sustainably, kindly, and locally. Urban Digs is an exemplary producer and their product is second to none." - Mark Jacobs & Yoo-Mi Lee
"I grew up on a small hobby farm where we always treated our animals with kindness and compassion. Having lived through the Canadian beef crisis of the early 2000's, I understand first hand the impact that supporting your local farmers can have on families and the local economy. I have seen friends, families and neighbours close up shop as there seemed to be just no way to make a living. When I first came across Urban Digs farm, I was excited to become a member and support the little guy. I know where my food comes from, I know the animals had a high quality of life and I know they haven't been pumped full of god know what kind of substances to increase their yield.
And the taste - it's beyond comparison. I have no problem eating less, but better quality meat. (True story: I recently had a last minute bbq for about 8 friends. I had a bunch of Urban Digs hamburger patties in the freezer so quickly thawed and served them. I never thought to mention that these burgers came from the farm, it was simply what I had on hand. Everyone RAVED about how good the burgers were - said they were the best they've had in a long time. I let them know afterwards that they were local, organic and ethically raised!)
The folks at the farm are doing a great job running the place, always looking for ways to improve their products and the customer experience. They answer emails and phone calls promptly, will try to customize your order on request and deliver right to your doorstep. I'm excited to come home on Thursdays to see what I got that week!" - Katrina Kelly
"Two years ago I saw a Facebook ad for Urban Digs Farm. I did not know then how much it would truly change my life. I have always been a shameless carnivore, but lately the factory farm horrors, I had been made aware of, were nagging at my conscience. I hate farmers markets and could not bring myself to attend any regularly enough to make it my main meat source. Urban Digs DELIVERS!!! I could shop online and pick it up or have it delivered… what a breakthrough! At first I aimed to spend about 50% of my grocery budget with them. As a single mom of a rather large boy, living in the ridiculously overpriced city of Vancouver I have to be careful with my money. To be honest the prices at Urban Digs were a bit shocking to me at first.. but I was determined to support this movement that I so strongly believe in. I got to meet Julia and Ludo and instantly fell in love. These amazing, hardworking, genuine humans were definitely the kind of people I wanted in my life. In one conversation you can see their passion and dedication to their animals and to providing a healthy, accountable food source. Remember when ground beef was recalled and it came to light that most of the meat in Canada came from one place? That’s terrifying when you really think about it. But I had nothing to worry about as I knew where my ground beef had been. Long story short (because I could go on for days about these folks and their farm), I now buy ALL my meat from them, as well as eggs and dog food, the price is well worth it and when I think about what I am really getting, it seems cheap. Knowing where my food comes from, who touched it and that it was well cared for is invaluable to me. We who are not super rich and/or high ranking politicians have very little power in this world. One of the only things we can do as individuals is to choose carefully where we spend our hard earned dollars. I choose to spend mine with Urban Digs, they are creating the kind of world I want to live in." - Lucy Land
"Melissa and I enjoy hosting dinner parties for friends. Lately there have been two hot topics the dinner discussion surrounds. One is, of course Trump and the concern of the potential Trumpocolypse, and the other, much more interesting, is where do we get the meat that we serve for dinner.
Interesting to me is that our guests notice a distinct difference in the quality of the taste of the meat we serve. Some of that may be accounted for by the preparation and cooking (he says modestly), but that doesn’t explain the whole story.
The taste provides an entry point for us to tell them about your farm and the products we get from you. We get to tell them about our desire to eat animal protein from animals that lived their lives with the opportunity to exhibit behaviours that are natural for their species. In fact, they live a happy life! The fact that there are fewer, if any additives and hormones is a plus. Our final point is that we often purchase off-cut pieces to ensure that the whole animal is being used. They nod, state how interesting it is, and then go back to the taste!
We support so much the work that you are doing, we are happy to share the “word” with all of our friends. We have seen gaining interest from the folks we talk to and we find this exciting. I think the first step to increasing consumption of animals raised in this much more preferable way is always increasing awareness. Accessibility to the product seems to be the next obstacle mentioned by our guests. Convenience is big. Finally, they bring up the issue of cost. Cost, for most is the least important when they realize that pound for pound, they don’t need to eat as much to get the same satisfied feeling from the meal.
Anyway, I want to encourage you to keep on the good fight! We will continue to be voices you can count on to reveal our conversion to, as much as possible, consuming the kind of product you provide.
Thank you!" - Rick Fabbro
- Gordon Kwan & Mary Trinh