All posts tagged: farming

Farms Not Factories Event at Tramshed, Shoreditch

At the weekend for a friend’s birthday, her partner organised to have a hog roast which we prepared in their garden to feed around 30 people. I posted photos across my social channels and I was surprised and rather annoyed that I received a few negative comments. The pig was extremely well cared for and high quality from a good farm/butcher and I can’t tell you how much love went into preparing that pig for the dinner – over 6 hours of manually turning it, covering in oil, herbs and so on. And when it came to serving the pig, there was such excitement and a huge appreciation from everyone for the delicious food they were being given. This pig had a good life and was being celebrated. It wasn’t being churned up into cheap sausages or burgers. It was being given a good send off and in my eyes, that shouldn’t be criticised. High welfare farming is something that’s very important to me, and I’ve written about it a few times on the blog. …

Being an Asda Butcher’s Apprentice for the evening!

As I’m sure you’ll know by now, high quality meat is very important to me. My Dad worked in the British meat industry for over 40 years and so I have rather unconventional childhood memories of visiting his office during the school holidays and seeing posters with images of animal carcasses on the walls, and overhearing discussions about abattoirs and auction houses. Some might be a bit taken aback by that, but for me it was all pretty straightforward. We lived in a little village in North Yorkshire and some of my friends were farmers, so there was never any doubt about where these animals were going, and what was happening to them. We always had good meat in our house and I honestly can’t recall a single meal that didn’t contain meat of some kind. I think my Dad would have refused to eat it. Or he would have grumbled his way through it! As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I’m a bit worried about the way food/cooking trends are going in the UK. …

Growing Underground – An Underground Farm in Clapham!

I don’t normally write about a product or place unless I’ve had the chance to review or visit it, but in this case, I had to make an exception. This week, I learned about Growing Underground, London’s first underground farm (in disused WWII bomb shelters beneath the Northern Line at Clapham). That’s a pretty exciting concept for me! Growing Underground (why hasn’t this name been thought of before?!) is the brainchild of Richard Ballard and Steven Dring, along with Michelin-starred chef (and one of my favourites!), Michel Roux Jr, and it will start trading in mid-July 2015, after 18 months of research and development (and more than £750,000 of investment). The tunnels were used during World War II as a bomb shelter for London residents, designed to accommodate 8,000 Londoners.   The first phase of the farm, which includes a sophisticated lighting and irrigation system, is in the final stages of preparation for commercial supply.  Phase one crops include pea shoots, several varieties of radish, mustard, coriander, Red Amaranth, celery, parsley and rocket. The crops …

Open Farm Sunday at High Farndale

Last weekend, I went up to visit my mum in North Yorkshire. This is where I was born and grew up, until we moved to Cyprus when I was 12. My dad sadly passed away very unexpectedly in 2013 and while life in Cyprus was wonderful, it was a good time for my mum to return to the UK, which she did in February this year. And I’m so glad she’s back! We get on brilliantly (we speak every day on the phone!) and now I can just pop up on the train for the weekend. Hubby was away in New York (alright for some, eh?) so I thought it was the perfect time to spend some quality time with my Ma! And it just so happened to coincide with something called ‘Open Farm Sunday’ which I saw being talked about on Twitter. Open Farm Sunday does pretty much what it says on the tin – on one day of the year, across the UK, selected farms open up their doors (or gates, perhaps, in …

Proper Pork Chops from High Farndale, North Yorkshire

“Now THAT’S a pork chop!” was Tim’s first comment when I opened up the parcel from High Farndale. I had come across them on Twitter and they had been kind enough to send us some pork to try out at home. The farm is in North Yorkshire (Kirkbymoorside), very close to where I grew up as a child, and is run by Peter Mawson and Nicola Frost. They produce pork, lamb and hogget (lambs are aged 0 to 12 months, hogget are 13 to 24 months and mutton is two years and older. Some refer to Hogget as ‘yearling lamb’ or ‘shearling’). Their British Saddleback pigs are a native rare breed and they’re tough, sleeping outside in nests they build, often ignoring the accommodation provided by the farm. As such, the pork has a layer of fat that will keep your meat moist during cooking. High Farndale sell their meat online in large quantities: Pork Quarter pig (15kg): a cut of the leg, a cut of the shoulder, a cut of the belly, eight chops and sausages. …