We really want to meet you!
You can register for a Sanctuary tour, or to join us for a volunteer workday! The full 2019 schedule is now available!
Sanctuary tours last about an hour and then there's plenty of time after to wander around, visit with the residents and check out our store!
Volunteer work days
Are you ready to get your hands dirty and your heart filled? Don't worry if you're not up to the "heavy lifting" jobs, there's always so much to get done around here, we can find something fun and helpful for everyone to do!
We wish we could rescue them all
Did you know...large animals like our cows, Sir Denver, Pouty Face and Jasmine, as well as our horse, Escalade and our donkey, BJ need, on average, 2 acres of land each on which to run, graze and live? To ensure that they always have quality grazing land available, we rotate our big heads through two pastures. That's why it breaks our hearts, but with five "big head" residents living at HEEFS now, we are currently at capacity for large animals.
Special Bonds: Sammy and Kate
When asked to describe Sammy, regular HEEFS volunteer, Kate, immediately said, "Perfect". She recalls the first day she met Sammy and she couldn't believe how small he was. She had never met a piglet before and he immediately touched something deep inside her. "The first day I met Sammy I couldn’t believe how small he was," Kate remembers. "Sammy looked so sad and scared, and I could only imagine the horrors he had seen and endured during his first few months of life." Kate instantly felt a connection with him and knew that he needed to feel love, and to be loved. She started slowly, just sitting with Sammy, getting to know him and helping him feel safe and secure. But there was something always in the back of her mind..."I told myself not to get too attached because we didn't know at the time if Sammy would be staying at HEEFS, or if he would be moving to another sanctuary." Thinking every cuddle with her special boy could be her last, Kate couldn't help but grow attached to Sammy. Very attached! She spent a lot of time with him often hanging out after her volunteer shift was long done playing with him and giving him what she called a "kindergarten snack" bowl of apples... cut up into very small pieces.
A mother of three, Kate has very strong mama-bear instincts and she noticed that Sammy wasn't sleeping as much as the other pigs. To help him, she would often go in his stall so he could crawl up on her lap and have a nap. "He is a funny little pig," Kate muses. "He certainly does not like it when you tell him no. He can have a temper tantrum just like a little kid! Of course, I think it’s pretty cute!" The happiest day for Kate came when she heard that her sweet Sammy would be staying at Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary forever. "He deserves to grow up happy and healthy and surrounded by love, after such a rough start in life."
Sammy hasn't yet been integrated into a herd, so he has his own private stall at HEEFS. "I'm usually at HEEFS around 7am to help feed the residents their breakfast," says Kate. "Sammy lets me know that he wants out of his stall from the minute he is finished his morning meal. But now that it’s cold he doesn’t want to go outside, he wants to be running around in the barn. So, often, when most of the barn work has taken place, we let him out to become, “barn piggy!" Sammy takes that role very seriously, checking every corner and helping with cleaning the stalls. "I like to say that I have him in training for barn cleaning when tour season starts!"
When asked about special moments with Sammy, Kate tells us, "I’ve been fortunate enough to have had many special moments with him. He’s too big to crawl up on my lap now, but when he was little that was pretty special. He can sit for a treat and he will follow me around the barn. He’s just a sweet perfect little guy. I love it when he comes up for a belly rub and lies down beside me. In my eyes he’s perfection." In our eyes, too, Kate.
Something yummy from Esther's Kitchen!
Sausage Poblano Potato Chowder
Yields: 8 bowls
2 large poblano peppers, roasted at 425F for 18 minutes with drizzled olive oil, remove skins and seeds after roasting, roughly chop the peppers
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
4 Beyond Meat Sausage links, uncooked and casings removed from sausages or other 14 oz package Esther Approved sausages
2 lbs yellow potatoes, unpeeled and diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
32 fl ounces vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste at the end
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, adjust to taste
1 (13.66 fl oz) can light coconut milk
1 cup cilantro, stems and leaves chopped
1. Roast the poblano peppers.
2. Add the olive oil, onions and garlic in a soup pot. Start sautéing the onions and garlic over medium heat until the onions turn translucent. Add the sausages. Break up the sausages into chunks with a spatula and cook with the onions and garlic on medium-high heat for 3 minutes.
3. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, vegetable broth, salt, oregano and black pepper. Place the lid on the pot and turn up the burner to high. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat and lightly boil for 5 minutes. Cook until the potatoes are tender.
4. Once the potatoes are tender, stir in the light coconut milk, cooked poblano peppers and cilantro.
NEW from the HEEFS store!
An eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags, this reusable custom tote bag is made from cotton. One side features a natural colour, “Be Kind to all Kinds” with our HEEFS logo. The other side features a soft black colour with the HEEFS Fairy Pig.
The tote measures: 14.75”W x 16.5”H
Get your tote and check out all the other great clothes, jewellery and bath products available only from the HEEFS store!