Aveley Heritage Sheep Ranch: My Family’s Story


Here are the sheep feasting on the fast growing spring grass at Aveley Ranch. Aveley Ranch is located in a peaceful natural setting, where hard work produces abundance from the land.


September in the alpine meadows of the North Thompson Valley.

GUEST POST by Valerie Moilliet/Gerber

Aveley Ranch was established in 1906 when our Grandfather homesteaded and remains in the Moilliet Family to this day. Situated in the upper North Thompson Valley, approximately 150km north of Kamloops, Tam Moilliet discovered the area while on a survey crew at the turn of the century. Carving out a home in the wilderness he was ready for his bride when she arrived from England. Mary braved blizzards and canoeing the North Thompson River to birth and raise her family.?On the premature death of her husband, her 16 year old son John — our Father — managed to keep the ranch going.? The Moilliet Family has always worked together, teaching skills to the younger generation, while respecting the wisdom of the older generation.

Keeping with family tradition, Grandfather?s 3rd & 4th generation continues to shepherd and nurture the flock through the seasonal cycles. Starting with a small flock of sheep in 1913, over the years our Father slowly increased the flock to about 1000 head. His son Ian, increased the flock to about 1300 head. Sheep is what we do on Aveley Ranch!

When the BSE Crisis hit in 2003, we decreased the flock size to about 500 head. In an effort to continue doing what we love — and with lamb prices so low — our family experimented with Agri-Tourism in 2005. Since we were already a destination for visitors at lambing season each spring, we began with tours of the lambing area. We included all the extra things that happen on a farm such as: hay rides, collecting eggs, and boat races on the creek. Of course, the biggest attraction is simply cuddling orphan lambs! The Solitude Heritage Cabin B&B is situated in the hub of the lambing area and is a great place to stay while on the ranch.


Moving the flock to fresh pasture.


Eight Maremma/Akbash Guardian Dogs protect the sheep from predators.

Traditionally, our sheep are a range flock. The flock grazes the high alpine meadows in the summer and domestic pastureland in the valley in the spring and autumn. The flock is fed hay produced from our own pastures during the winter months.?This adds up to succulent lamb, available each fall, fresh off the range, naturally raised. As a knowledgeable consumer you will know that Omega 3 fat is an essential fat that we require from the foods we eat. Scientific research has discovered that grass fed red meat is a valuable source of Omega 3 fat. Conjugated linoleic acid is also found in abundance in grass fed meat and dairy products. Grass fed lamb is a good choice for lamb connoisseurs concerned about naturally grown foods. If you are concerned about potentially consuming antibiotics or hormone residues, you will love our lamb!


Here are some of the heritage buildings found on Aveley Ranch.


Here are some of the other heritage buildings on the ranch. The Heritage B&B is the middle building.


This is the inside of Heritage B&B.

If you are looking for wool, our Corriedale Sheep have soft, bright wool that is easy to work with. The wool is not so itchy as some of the coarser breeds, making the wool delightful to wear next to the skin. We have raw and processed wool available for sale on the ranch including: 2 strand yarn in skeins, 2 and 6 strand wool cakes, quilt batts, lopi yarn, and roving.

We would love to show you a little piece of the North Thompson Valley that is tucked away between the side of the mountain and our lovely river.?Lambing season begins on April 1st and carries on through the month. This is the best way to discover Aveley Ranch and see sheep up-close and personal! I hope to see you in the spring!


Come visit the ranch and bring the whole family for a hay ride.


Come feed the orphan lambs in the spring and enjoy the fresh mountain air.

Aveley Heritage Sheep Ranch
Ian and Karen Moilliet, Joseph and Cadence Moilliet, and Valerie Moilliet/Gerber
2721 Birch Island, Lost Creek Rd, Vavenby, BC, V0E 3A0
T: 250.676.9574: Ian and Karen
T: 250.676.9234: Valerie
E: ian(a)smartsheep.ca: Ian and Karen
E: stump_pasture42(a)xplornet.com: Valeria
149 km
grass-fed and alpine finished lamb, B&B, ranch tours, teashop, museum, hayrides, history tours, children?s activities


Children love holding the lambs and experiencing ranch life.

Visit to the Killing Floor at Kam Lake View Meats

Yesterday I visited the killing floor at Kam Lake View Meats. I had a very interesting experience and I am very grateful to Kam Lake View Meats and the local inspector for allowing it. I was there to harvest organs and glands from three heifers from Jocko Creek Ranch. I had ordered from Jocko Creek Ranch, one grassfed two year old heifer and two grassfed veal calves. For more information on why I like grassfed veal read Grassfed Veal. If you are looking for a full service butcher, here is their information:
Kam Lake View Meats Ltd.
Ron Keely
6453 Buckhorn Rd, Kamloops, BC, V1S 2A1
T: 250.828.1015
27 km
government inspected abbatoir, slaughtering, custom cutting, smoking, sausage making, good source for local meat, run The Cutting Block in Kamloops

That day, I learned many things on the killing floor. The hides, once a valuable byproduct, are now almost a waste product. The inspector said: “we are close to the day when the customer will have to pay extra to dispose of the hide.” The kill floor manager said: “when I started twenty years ago, the hides were worth $50.00 each. Now they get $5.00 a hide.”

It makes me think about my vegetarian days, when I did not want to wear leather because I thought it was environmentally unfriendly and cruel to animals. I thought we all should use cotton clothing. Of course, I did not think about all the water, energy, pesticides and herbicides used to produce industrial cotton. I do not think cotton clothing is environmentally friendly anymore. Now, I think about how long a piece of clothing made of leather or fur would last. I think about the skill of being able to tan that hide and make it into a piece of useful clothing, has almost been lost.

The internal organs and waste not harvested from animals includes the head, stomach, intestines, reproductive organs, tail end, hooves, and extra fat. Some can be used in raw pet foods but most has to be composted. There are parts of the intestine that are considered “toxic waste” and must be incinerated due to fears of Mad Cow Disease. The Weston A. Price Foundation has a number of essays on Mad Cow Disease by Mark Purdey called Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV.

These waste materials are shipped to Alberta because no one in the area wants to have a composting plant in their area. So, trucks full of animal waste moves up and down our roadways. The inspector shared some black humor regarding all the wishful thinking about “reducing our carbon footprint” while regulations require such inefficiencies. Again, the government always thinks big. Big composting plants cause big problems. Little composting plants cause little problems. But for the government it is hard to regulate small operations. For the small operations, government inspection and regulation is not cost effective.

Organs are normally harvested, though the interest in these foods have dwindled over the years. These foods are now commonly added to raw pet foods. This is ironic, because traditional people preferred the organ meats and fat over the muscle meat. During periods of good hunting, traditional people would eat organ meats and fat and would throw the muscle meat to the dogs. Traditional people would dry muscle meat as jerky and add fat to make pemmican. This was travel and starvation food. Read Guts and Grease for more information about traditional diets.

Kam Lake View Meats produces raw pet foods, so this would be a good local source if you need pet foods. Raw pet foods are called the Bone and Raw Food diet (BARF). In my opinion, raw food diets are far better for your dog or cat than dried or canned foods. Read Pottenger’s Cats by Francis Pottenger for more information about raw and cooked food feeding experiments. The Weston A. Price Foundation has an essay called Trends in Home Prepared Diets for Pets. There is a lot of controversy about raw food for your pet. Do your research and make your own informed decision.

We did not harvest the brain or pituitary glands. Kam Lake View Meats uses a 22 caliber rifle to kill the animal. This means the brain tissue is contaminated with lead and is unsafe to eat. In new slaughter houses they are required by law to use the humane hammer. The owner of Kam Lake View Meats has used this humane hammer and has renamed it the “inhumane hammer”. He has found the hammer causes more suffering for the animal but would allow the harvesting of the head meat, brains and brain organs.

The regular harvesting of glands has not been done for over eighty years. Before there was a pharmaceutic industry, people used glands to help heal endocrine problems. People with glands that were damaged by illness or injury might have to take glandulars for the rest of their lives or their condition would quickly deteriorate and they would die. For more information about glandulars read Royal Lee: Father of Natural Vitamins.

This is why I was on the killing floor. I wanted to harvest a number of glands from the three animals. With the help of these knowledgeable people, we located the thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, and pancreas. This wasn’t easy. Those pictures drawn by artists in textbooks does not do justice to the individuality found in all animals.

I brought home the following organs: heart, kidneys, and liver. I brought home the following glands: ovaries, thyroid, adrenals, and pancreas. When I got home, I cut up the glands into the smallest pieces I could. I cut up some of the heart and liver into small cubes. I then froze those glands and organs on a tray. After the pieces had frozen, I re-packed them into bags. I will leave the organs and glands for two weeks in the freezer to kill any parasites, before consuming raw. I will be able to eat the small pieces like a “frozen supplement pill”. The dose for organs is 1-2T a day or more. The dose for the glands is an issue. It will require some experimentation to get the dose right. I will be using Degeneration Regeneration by Melvin Page as a guide. I will contact Ron Schmid, who produces dried glandulars for human consumption. This will be a long term project for me. I will keep everyone posted about what happens and what I learn. If anyone knows about endocrine treatment with raw glands, please contact me.

Updated December 17, 2009: Here are two essays on adrenal function: What You Should Know About Your Glands and Further Experiments of Cortico-Adrenal Extract.

Absinthe Tasting in Vernon, BC on August 13, 2009


Taboo Absinthe is my favorite hard liquor.

Absinthe is a distilled spirit with an anise flavor made with Artemisia absinthium, better known as wormwood. The Green Fairy was enjoyed by many famous Bohemian artists and writers. It was thought to have an addictive psychoactive drug-like quality to the drink. It was outlawed in Canada, the United States and most countries in Europe.

I first drank Absinthe in Spain when I was 13 years old. My Mother took the summer off from her studies and took her daughters on a grand tour of Europe. At the time, Spain was one of the few countries still allowing the drinking of Absinthe. I still remember the rich anise flavor of the drink consumed in an ancient tasting room. Of course, being 13 and drinking isn’t a worry for Europeans.

It was nearly thirty years before my next taste of Absinthe. I was visiting the liquor store to find brandy for cooking pate and I saw a bottle of Absinthe. At first I thought it mustn’t be the real thing. After talking to the resident liquor specialists, I found out that the prohibition of Absinthe was finally over. In fact, there was a distiller called Okanagan Spirits in Vernon, BC making Absinthe. I bought a bottle of Taboo Absinthe.

My sister and I sat down and had a drink. She had hers straight up. I cooled mine on ice until the drink became cloudy. The Absinthe was wonderful. I understand why it won a silver metal in Europe. It is a world class drink.

If you would like to try some Absinthe and learn more about the drink’s history, there will be a tasting in Vernon, BC on August 13, 2009.

Updated April 21, 2010: Okanagan Spirits has done it again. They entered eleven products in the World Spirit Competition in Klagenfurt, Austria. They won five Gold and six Silver medals and are now recognized as a Master Class Distillery. Okanagan Spirits has introduced a new Sour Cherry and Wild Huckleberry liqueur, both won Gold in the competition:
The Cherry liqueur is made with locally sourced sour cherries and if current sales continue, it could become our most popular liqueur. Not sickly sweet like many liqueurs but with a true emphasis on the Sour Cherry taste. Its fantastic. Delicious Wild Huckleberries sourced from Grand Forks British Columbia, are used to make this liqueur. With so much fruit required for a small return in liqueur, you will need to act fast to secure yourself a bottle of this award winner.

Local Raw Cheese Tour

Today I took my daughter on a raw cheese tour of the local producers. Our first stop was The Village Cheese in Armstrong, BC. They have the cheese factory visible from the store. The Village Cheese has one raw cheddar which we sampled on site. It is a sharp, rich and full flavored cheese. I bought a five pound block for $64.15.

Our second stop was to Gord’s Gouda in Salmon Arm, BC. The farm was a little hard to find but well worth the effort. They have a store on the farm and samples are available for all their cheeses. All of Gort’s cheeses are made with milk coming from organic, pasture fed cows. This is as good as it gets when it comes to raw or pasteurized cheeses.

They have two types of raw cheese: gouda and maasdammer. I tried the old, medium and mild gouda. The flavor was mellow, rich and complex, with a spicy after flavor. I bought a ten pound round for $67.19 including a 10% bulk purchase discount.

While I was looking around the store, I saw some organic, pastured, non-homogenized whole milk in glass containers! I was informed Gort’s Gouda had just started producing milk in the last two months. Now, I love raw milk but it is unavailable for sale in Canada. (If you want to know why I love raw milk, read More About Raw Milk and find out.) An organic, pastured, non-homogenized milk is the best milk available for sale in Canada. Gort’s milk comes in 1.89L glass containers with a $2.00 refundable deposit and costs $4.95. It is presently being sold at the farm store.

Gort’s has a Bulgarian yogurt with a tangy, creamy texture. I was very happy to see 7% milk fat in the yoghurt. It costs $6.21 for 750gm. When I opened Gort’s pasteurized heavy cream, I almost cried. The cream has a thick, rich yellow hue, the sign of an exceptional product. This cream is the real thing and a steal at $5.43 for 750gm. I will see if I can arrange shipment to Kamloops and keep everyone posted.

March 24, 2009 Update: Heartland Foods is now carrying Gort’s milk, cream, quark and yoghurt. Please call ahead if you would like a weekly order.