Wealden Meadows Beef & Lamb is located in West Kent, within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our cattle graze permanent pasture using a mob grazing system. The livestock is put onto smaller areas of grass and moved regularly. In this system, the cattle eat two-thirds of the grass and trample the rest into the ground, which provides cover for the soil and helps boost fertility by increasing organic matter.
We are passionate about regenerative agriculture and the benefits it delivers for our environment and the animals. The cattle and sheep eat a natural diet and are 100% grass-fed; turning the grass into high-quality meat that is full of flavour.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought into sharp focus the importance and value of strong local supply chains. We work with local abattoirs and neighbouring farms to keep animal journey times to the absolute minimum, and to ensure we are raising native breeds of cattle using systems that are among the best in the world for animal welfare and quality.
The vision for the future is to grow our herd of Sussex cattle and keep improving our soils. Herbal ley mixtures have been added to some pastures to increase diversity. This includes chicory, which will help maintain grass growth during dry conditions – something which is all too familiar for farmers in the South East.
Purton House Organics
Purton House Organics is a family-run mixed organic farm of 70 hectares outside Swindon and we’ve been growing vegetables and produce beef since the last century. Our farm was born out of the love for excellent quality food, produced in a way that works with nature and creates biodiversity.
Over 20 years ago, while agricultural innovations pushed farmers towards more intensive systems, we decided to turn organic to fit with our genuine love for tasty and healthy food. We wanted to supply veg to pursue our organic ideal and keep producing delicious food. After more than 25 years of farming, our passion for amazing flavours is still there, and we are all proud of the veg, fruit, eggs and meat that we deliver to your door.
We’re proud that our farm has held organic status since 1997. One of our farmers, Rowie Meers, is dedicated to the organic way of life and obsessed with healthy eating, especially unprocessed and raw foods. She is a passionate advocate of ethical farming, sustainability and respect for nature – everything we do at Purton House puts the environment and the animals first.
The real bosses here are the chickens, who ride the tractors and pretty much rule the roost. While the hens hitchhike, Rowie and her sheepdog Loopy take a walk around the farm to check on the vegetables – including the nine polytunnels in which we grow heat-loving aubergines, melons and oriental greens. Staffed by our daughters, nephews, nieces and friends, Purton House is a true family venture – and workers who aren’t related are treated just like they are! Lunch is served to all workers, and anyone idly wandering into the kitchen would find it impossible to tell who was family and who wasn’t.
Trenow Fields near Penzance is an exciting new coastal 20-acre farm on land owned by the National Trust. We use permaculture and agroforestry principles to grow herbs such as lavender and novel field scale crops such as pulses, beans and grains. Our Market Garden is a 3/4-acre plot within the farm dedicated to essential veggies, salads and culinary herbs and is certified Organic in Conversion by the Soil Association.
Our aim is for the farm to act as a beacon for others, showcasing how produce can be grown in a way that maximises biodiversity and soil health in deepest Cornwall. Some of the annual crops are sown in between alleys of trees (also known as agroforestry), which will not only provide shelter from the coastal wind but also will introduce substantial permanent roots. These roots can prevent soil from running down the hill when it rains, sequester carbon in the ground, and provide a more diverse and consistent habitat for wildlife.
At appleTeme we hand pick and press local apples to create delicious tasting apple juice. Each limited press has great character and depth of flavour due to a mix of apple varieties. This is achieved by blending an assortment of heritage varieties, many particular to Shropshire and Herefordshire and not found in commercial production today. We have our main orchard at Tickmore, but we also get apples from the Tenbury Millennium Orchard as well as many privately owned orchards in and around the Ludlow area, including Augernik Fruit Farm.
Apple picking begins in late summer, increasing during the autumn, picked when just ripe. They are then stored accordingly to allow suitable optimum flavour. Our straight apple juice is classified as either sweet, medium or tangy. We list the main varieties on the back of the tag label just so you will always know what you’re drinking.
Indeed, we make the most of forgotten fruits such as the wonderfully flavourful Shropshire Prune Damson, quinces, blackberries, elderberries, medlars and more recently mulberries which we blend with our apple juice to create exciting new flavours. We also like to use elderflower, cherries, gooseberries and blackcurrants when we have good glut years. Try our juice warmed with spices in the winter or with sparkling water in the summer, they suit all seasons and can be enjoyed any time of the day.
Court Lodge Organics
We’re a family farm run by David and Marian and a wonderful group of local people, all of whom ‘buy into’ the organic vision of producing healthy food from happy cows on healthy land. Sustainability and encouragement of biodiversity are important elements of our farming system, as is the wellbeing of our cows. Part of the land we farm is a wildlife reserve owned by the Sussex Wildlife Trust, which is managed as grazing marshland and is where the young cattle spend their summers, and the cows that are ‘dry’ (i.e. between lactations) go for a holiday away from the milking parlour.
Our milking cows spend at least 200 days a year grazing herbal leys and clover rich pastures which build up fertility in the soil and capture carbon at the same time.
Over the 30 years we’ve farmed here we have created and extended habitats on the farm, including woodland, and a reedbed which has attracted some wonderful specialist birds such as bearded reedlings and marsh harriers, and invertebrates such as the 13 spot ladybird, fen raft spider and pondweed leafhopper. We have also installed solar panels on the farm buildings which help to power the milking parlour and dairy.
Our live organic yoghurts are made in small batches in our little dairy adjacent to the milking ‘parlour’, using milk that comes straight from the cows. It is pasteurised, but not homogenised, before making into a range of yoghurt products using probiotic cultures, including lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis.
Close farm located in Tetbury, Gloucester, is managed primarily by me (Fred). Whilst assisted by some able volunteers, I work as the solely employed grower, so I tend to be quite busy. The farm is an extensive affair with a bank of polytunnels supplementing a 3-acre market garden and a further 4 acres of field crops where the likes of potatoes are grown. The market garden is also the location for an extensive collection of traditional and rare apple trees – arranged to create crop alleys that enable crops to be grown between the trees, feeding on the leaves and other detritus that falls and fertilises the ground.
HRH Prince of Wales’ belief in the advantages of organic farming resulted in the decision in 1985 for Duchy Home Farm (of which our farm is the fruit and vegetable section) to be turned into an organic farm – both for livestock as well as crops. This endeavour took place back when organic was still a relatively new concept – so a bold move at the time. In becoming organic, the Prince of Wales has worked closely with organisations such as Soil Association, Sustainable Food Trust, Garden Organic and Organic Research Centre. At the same time, organic farms have been promoting education and research into the links between food, farming, health and the environment.
Farm & Fell
We farm 200 acres in the Yorkshire Dales between 2 farms and the wide-open space of the Howgill Fells. Birks Farm is just outside Sedbergh alongside the river rawthey where all of our start of life farming calves, lambs and weans pigs occurs as they enter the world. Murthwaite Farm sits at 1,000ft on the boundary of the fell wall where our cattle and sheep have the freedom to graze Ravenstonedale Common (part of the Howgill Fells).
We are the 5th generation of our family to farm in this area and we continue many of the traditional farming practices that support low intensity livestock production. Our native breed Galloway Cattle are the perfect match to the rugged terrain and harsh winter weather alongside our native fell sheep with their heavy woollen fleece, both of them converting the herbs, grasses and legumes of the uplands into flavoursome meat without the need for environmentally damaging supplements. The frame and balance of small and stocky Galloway cattle makes them the perfect conservation grazer, breaking up the soil crust to improve flood resilience and promote fresh seeds to produce improved forage for the sheep.
Berkshire pigs are one of the oldest breeds of pig in England and categorised as an “at risk” rare breed despite being renowned worldwide as the “wagyu of pork” or “Kurobuta pork” in Japan, commanding a premium price because of the quality of the meat. Notwithstanding the desire to preserve the breed that fed Cromwell at Reading during the English Civil War and the progeny of the “ace of spades” bred by Queen Victoria, we farm Berkshire pigs because their black skin makes them more resilient to sunburn and more adaptable in outdoor free range systems.
Our low intensity farming system precludes the need for prophylactic antibiotics and the anthelmintic herbs that we promote throughout the farm minimise the parasite burden to make our meat as natural and healthy as possible. Having given our livestock the best possible life, we transport them to the abattoir (14 miles away) ourselves to minimise stress as the animals know us, where they are housed overnight to further reduce stress and improve the quality of the meat.
In 2015 we set out to make the farm energy independent and installed a small 28kW on-farm anaerobic digester. This system digests all of the farm waste and harvests the methane to produce electricity and heat, making the farm a carbon sink as we export excess electricity into the National Grid and offset electricity produced from more harmful fuels.
Brian is a former soldier and uses the farm to support a number of armed forces veterans that are struggling with the transition to civilian life each year through the Rawthey Project.
Limden Brook Organic
Limden Brook Organics is located in East Sussex in the middle of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a permanent grazing pasture including some water meadows. On the farm, we run a mob grazing system to improve livestock and soil health. We're also in the process of implementing a similar grazing system on land rented from a neighbour that shares our passion for organic and regenerative agriculture. We work closely with the High Weald AONB Unit as part of our goal to promote regenerative agriculture and support High Weald farmers wanting to move from a conventional to a regenerative system.
We are mindful of how our farming practices impact our local and greater environment and aim to look after and improve our soil health through these practices. There are more organisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on the planet and we feel these little critters need our help too! We have recently tested the soil organic matter on the farm to enable us to monitor the carbon storage in our soils. An increase in soil Carbon has the bonus of increasing the amount of water storage in our land.
On a recent visit by the Sussex Wildlife Trust to the water meadows and surrounding pastureland, we spotted 13 different types of dragon and damselflies along with a multitude of other wildlife inhabitants and visitors including dormice, roe and fallow deer, nightingales and cuckoos as well as various birds of prey and invertebrates. The diverse range of flowers including early purple Orchids and bluebell woods alongside grasses, clovers and flowering trees provide a perfect habitat for many bee species.
We are lucky enough to be positioned in a highly wooded part of the country and are taking steps towards incorporating Agroforestry practices within our grazing systems. With the involvement of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, we are currently planting even more trees to provide health benefits to the livestock as well as the wider environment.
We believe that by sustainably growing our livestock, we not only can positively impact the land that we farm but also provide healthier produce to those who consume it.
I’m Ed, the Rebel Farmer. I use permaculture principles and regenerative methods to produce completely chemical free produce from a micro-farm in Kent’s Area of Outstanding National Beauty near the Wye on the North Downs. I use a No-Dig method and build my own soil by composting local waste products such as animal muck, bedding and fleece, spent mushroom waste, tree chippings, oak sawdust and even the waste of local breweries. I mimic nature and promote biodiversity above and below ground by using this compost and guilds of planting to grow with the natural power of companion planting to avoid all use of chemicals. I also promote and educate locally on seasonal, local produce and its importance in repairing the landscape, avoiding climate change, and building community resilience.
I believe there is a direct connection between the health of the soil and the well-being of all the whole natural world. Our gut health is intrinsically connected to that of the soil, directly affecting the mental well-being of us humans who now have the responsibility of restoring its depleted fertility. Think Globally, Act Locally.
The micro-nutrients present in edible plants grown in healthy soil are balanced to provide you with the nutritional boost needed to build immunity to infectious disease and create a strong mental outlook. I take pride in my produce and all the colours, tastes, and textures that go with it. I specialise in leafy and micro greens that do so well in our local climate but I also experiment with growing more exotic, rare and heirloom varieties of crops to provide exciting diversity to your meals.
Bewdston Preserves is on the edge of a beautiful Georgian town on the river Severn, Bewdley, in Worcestershire. The kitchen is located in a converted Chapel within the Wyre Forest and on an old drovers’ route into the town.
We are lucky to have a small vegetable and fruit garden, which provides some of the ingredients for the preserves. High quality ingredients are also sourced from local orchards, donations where there has been a glut of produce and from pick your own fields and local farm shops. We also have an apiary and hope one day to produce enough honey to take to market.
Sonia, the Chief Stirrer, made the bold move to leave the NHS after 35 years and to pursue her dream to cook and create delicious flavours. Initially, she used a surplus of chillies to make Sweet Chilli Jam for friends and it grew from there. Quickly followed Dragon Fire a hotter chilli jam and then the star of the show Bewdston Original Chutney. So good Sonia named the business after it! Seasonality is really important to our business and so we rely on only using the best quality fruit and vegetables in our products. Freezing fruit and vegetables at their best is key to maintaining availability for most of the year.
The Chief Stirrer only supplies to local farmers markets and farm shops that share our philosophy for a artisan product without additives, using only the colours and flavours created naturally.
We have kept a small apiary here at Stubbs Barn for over five years, but when I retired from my business last year, I turned my hand to building up the size and number of hives. Working with another ardent beekeeper, “Bob the Bee”, our hives have produced a plentiful supply of honey earlier in the year. The work will continue until late summer, building new colonies and preparing the apiary for the coming winter.
Our bees collect nectar and turn it into honey, storing it in honey-comb frames with each cell topped with wax. We then extract the honey from the comb by spinning the frames of honey and filtered through a fine sieve to remove any wax or bee debris. The consistency of the honey will vary depending on the time of year and the nectar available. Early in the year, the yellow fields of oilseed rape produce solid white honey, and later in the year, we obtain thick dark honey from Ivy flowers.
This year we have also started to re-wild our paddocks. The grass is left to grow, and we’ve planted areas with scrub plants which provide food and cover for birds and nectar and pollen for bees. This effort was supported by our local bumblebee preservation project - the Chet Bee Line - creating a corridor to connect wild areas for bumblebees.
The Pasture Raised Egg Company
The Pasture Raised Egg company is based on the Kingsclere estate between Basingstoke and Newbury. The estate currently operates a share farming system with its partners which is great for helping new entrants into the industry like myself.
The whole estate is currently managed under regenerative agriculture meaning the farming approach focuses on restoring soils that have been degraded by the industrial, agricultural system. Its methods promote healthier ecosystems by rebuilding soil organic matter through holistic farming and grazing techniques. In short, regenerative agriculture practitioners let nature do the work.
At the Pasture Raised Egg company, our hens are housed in 300 bird mobile sheds which we can move anywhere on the farm. We move our sheds every day 2 days so the hens have a new area to scratch about. Our birds are encouraged to be birds and do what they would do in the natural world. We want them to spend their days getting nourishment from the environment around them. We follow a herd of dairy cows around the farm giving the hens access to all the bugs and beetles that are working away to break down the organic cow pats. The birds love to spend their days picking at the bugs and the range of clovers and herbs within the rich pastures. Following the cows around has an added bonus as the chickens help to spread the manure across the field. The manure fertilises the plants, helping them to grow long, carbon-sequestering roots!
Our hens are on an organic diet and are also managed to organic standards; the colour of our yolks are 100% natural - the feed has NO yolk colorants added to it.
Stroud Micro Dairy
We’re a husband and wife duo (Kees and Alice) running Stroud Micro Dairy - a small dairy farm producing delicious raw milk, kefir and yoghurt. We take great care of our cows, meaning their delicious and nutritious milk is safe to drink unpasteurised. All we do is strain and chill the milk, meaning it retains all its vitamins, proteins and other healthy goodness, while also tasting so much better!
We take a regenerative approach to farming, promoting natural ecosystems and plant and soil health and biodiversity. Using permaculture, biodynamics and organic farming methods, the cows on our farm have a positive regenerative effect on the land and environment.
All of our products are Biodynamic and ethical. The dairy cows keep their calves for 3 months after birth. They’re much happier as a result, and the calves get to ease into their transition to independence as members of the dairy herd (for the girls) or members of the neighbouring beef herd (for the boys).
Based in Dawlish Warren, Forest Fungi was first established in 2013 by Scott Marshall. He developed a passion, knowledge and understanding for mushrooms and worked on perfecting his indoor growth of different varieties, specialising in Shiitake. In 2016, Dave came on board, and together we increased our grow space, developed the visitor centre, and began experimenting and growing up to 8 species of mushrooms. Together with our close knit family team, Forest Fungi service a lot of the South West Food scene, through restaurants, cafes, farm shops, veg boxes and Food Festivals. During the first lockdown we increased our grow space again, opening up the full process to visitors with 2 new rooms and a farm trail.
Our Shroom Rooms create micro climates similar to the conditions that mushrooms would thrive in the wild in Asia. Using our insulated grow room, humidifiers, heaters/ coolers, air circulation fans, lighting and water, we change the climate conditions within the room during the mushrooms growing life to get the best quality pure mushroom. We use no chemicals during the growing process. Our mushrooms are grown on sawdust and rye blocks which are registered organic. The purity and freshness that this gives our mushrooms is what makes us a truly unique grower.
Nestled here in the iconic East Kent Downs, Ottinge Court Farm is the home of Otties Yoghurt. Our rolling hills and green pastures make for perfect dairy country, and cows have been grazing here since the 1920’s. Nine decades later and the herd continues to thrive, now under the stewardship of Jerry and Fergus. The course hasn’t been easy over all these years, but as you might imagine we’ve come to know just a thing or two about milk and the delicate balance between nature and farming.
We’re proud of our dairy traditions that are underpinned by the utmost care for our animals. Indeed that’s what sets our cows apart; they’re part of our family and we’re devoted to making our girls happy. Throughout Summer they enjoy grazing our lush hilly meadows, and in winter they live in large comfy barns on a rich diet of home-grown maize silage. It’s a natural, simple and traditional system which gives our cows regular routines and contented lives.
Our farming practices are also defined by a deep respect for the land. In today’s language, it’s called “Regenerative Agriculture” but for us, it’s always been simple cooperation with nature; minimum disturbance and maximum rehabilitation, in return for great soil health and biodiversity.
It’s an honest hard-working lifestyle that demands out-and-out dedication to the Farm. But in return, we enjoy enormous pride in the welfare of our cows and the first class quality of their milk.
Brother Joe's Kitchen
Brother Joe's Kitchen is a small operation based in the Southside of London, Croydon. Its creator Joseph Chaganiza, aka Brother Joe, started the company back in 2020, having worked in several restaurants in the west end of London as a chef. The experience helped shape Joe's well-rounded knowledge of fusing ingredients together to create his delicious brand of BJK ginger beverages, marinades, hot sauces, and dressings.
From our allotment on Beulah Spa to our production kitchen, our products have been created with one idea in mind and that is to liven up, compliment, and bring life to dull dishes. We use some of the herbs and chillis that are grown on our plot to make our marinades and hot sauces.
BJK started off by doing one-to-one online cooking tutorials to help and encourage people to cook fresh food from scratch, using the basic ingredients found in their kitchens. The response to the tutorials was great and launched the demand for us to package some of the recipes ideas that we showcased. And so birthed the BJK brand of products that would help the novice cook shine every time they cooked solo. The first product we bottled was our Érb marinade paste, which has been a great hit with many of our first-time cooks. In addition, we now produce infused ginger beers, hot sauces, salad dressings, and marinades
Brighten up your tastebuds with pure flavors and try something new from our range of BJK products.
Opened in 2018 at the top of East Hill, Wandsworth, Bakery Lamour’s aim is to put the spirit of French boulangerie in the neighbourhood. From Earlsfield to Clapham, from Battersea to Tooting, the bakery’s reputation has been growing continuously.
Bakery Lamour is the happy result of a bold career move by its owner and head baker, Yann Lamour who went to Paris in 2010 to learn baking from a prestigious culinary school in Paris. He hasn’t looked back since.
Our star product is the sourdough loaf made with French flour, label rouge certified (equivalent to Red Tractor certification) made over 3 days to allow friendly bacteria to do their work and for the bread to develop all its delicate flavours.
Our versatile sourdough comes either plain or flavoured with toasted seeds, raisins and walnuts, figs and hazelnuts, olives and herbs. We also make a 100% wholemeal and a 100% rye bread as well as seasonal breads. In addition, we also make other baked goods like biscuits (langues de chat, Breton shortbread) and cakes (pound cake loaves, celebration, dessert).
Heartwood Poultry is based at High Carlingill Farm, Cumbria. We’re a small family-run hill farm with 3/4 mile of the River Lune passing through (sadly no fishing rights). We have 105 acres of land, 6 of which is in the Heartwood. Myself (David) and my wife Christine farm Free Range Chickens, Ducks and Turkeys. Alongside the poultry, we breed Rough Fell and Swaledale Sheep and winter Ayrshire Cattle.
All of the Chickens and the Ducks are free to roam all daylight hours under the shadow of the Heartwood, but obviously, we put them to bed at night to avoid a visit from Mr Fox! The birds are slowly reared on a pure vegetative ration for 12-18 weeks. This enhances the taste and the texture as the bird grows at a slower rate (not like factory-farmed birds at 32-39 days!). The food miles with these birds are measured in a matter of metres as we process onsite. This is better for the environment and better for the bird's welfare.
The birds are slaughtered and traditionally hung for 24 hours - again this helps with taste and texture. They are then traditionally trussed and ready for the oven! The sausages are made from leg meat so there’s no added fat, they’re all 100% chicken.
Lyburn farm, run by us (the Smales family) for the last 50 years, is situated along the Northern Edge of the New Forest, Salisbury. From raising the home-bred cows to milking them, and making cheese, the entire process requires team-effort and patience. Although our cheese is pressed, they’re nothing like your standard cheddar cheese. They are, in general, a softer and a more continental type of cheese (except Old Winchester).
To make our cheese, we start work at 6 am, once the cows have been milked. The milk, about 3,000 litres, is then quickly pasteurised, taking approximately 2 hours, and then cooled down to around 28 degrees. James, one of our cheesemakers, will then add the starter to create the ideal conditions for the rennet. When the rennet is added, it has the effect of turning the milk into a block of soft curd just like a blancmange, and then just at the right moment, the curds are cut to release the whey.
Again, times and temperatures are critical, and this is where the skills of the cheese-making come in - James has to know precisely when to put the curds into the moulds. The whole operation is then finished by about 1 pm. The cheese then spends up to 18 months in the ripening rooms until the time it is packed and sold.
In 2003 French chef Blaise Vasseur, having witnessed the influence of wild plants on his native cuisine through chefs such as Michel Bras, asked Forager founder Miles Irving to supply wild plants to the newly opened Goods Shed in Canterbury. This spark ignited a wild food Renaissance in the UK. Now, 20 years on, our highly-skilled foragers are hand-picking wild flavours at their peak, full of vitality that speak of the season.
With over two decade's experience in supplying the best chefs in the UK, you can expect wild ingredients of the highest possible quality delivered to your doorstep to enrich and enliven your meals. Once you have tried many of them we hope you may well start foraging your own.
We are so happy that members of the public are enjoying our wild plants, herbs and preserves and connecting very literally back to our hunter-gatherer ways!
Avlaki’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oils bring a different experience of olive oil. Bottled unfiltered and unadulterated after picking and milling the fruit, they are the closest you can get to understanding what fresh olive oil is all about, as opposed to the commercially produced offerings in the supermarket.
We only pick the fruit in late November/December when the olives are at their optimum for quality and flavour; we bottle as quickly as we can to capture the essence, the aromas, the tastes of fresh oil – and the nutritional values.
Avlaki’s oils are certified ‘Organic’ at every stage from the tree to the bottle; verified ‘Extra Virgin’ with extensive chemical and organoleptic tests in an International olive oil council approved laboratory ; and registered ‘Vegan’
The harvests from our two different terrains are bottled separately: they each produce a different ‘finish’ in the oil: our high grown mountain oil ‘Agatherí Groves’ is exceptionally light on the palate, a brilliant accompaniment to the more delicate ingredients; salads and micro greens, steamed baby veg, chicken. It makes a marvellous light mayonnaise with fresh organic eggs.
‘Avlaki Groves’, coming from warmer richer fields, has a buttery, creamy finish that nicely balances more spicy, zesty flavours: ripe tomatoes, garlic, strong cheese, chilli. Great too to finish barbecued meats.
We have a third, general purpose oil, a mix from organic farmers who also harvest at the same time. An excellent all-rounder, we use it for all sorts in the kitchen: frying eggs, sauté potatoes, roast winter veg, ratatouille, baking bread.
Our oils come from a very small particular locality in the south of the Greek island of Lesvos, an island well-known in Greece for producing oils that are particularly light in texture, never overwhelming food or leaving an unpleasant greasy feeling on the palate, or indeed a pungent burning in the throat.
We never intended to be olive farmers: we bought a small plot by the sea on Lesvos as a bolt-hole, then found ourselves contravening local planning regulations from which we could only extricate ourselves with buying more land: all of which was in a dreadful barren condition, all planted with olive trees, all badly neglected, but which all responded superbly to the TLC from UK gardeners! We then found that the taste of the oils they produced, freshly milled, was nothing like anything we thought we knew about olive oil! Vibrant, lively, with a sweet and complicated aroma of olives, grasses, citrus, flowers…
As we learned more, we also discovered that most of the traditional farming practices locally were not wonderful for the trees - so we immediately started the conversion to organic. We researched the latest science on olive oil production, investigated the best practice for soil recovery, practicing permaculture, encouraging bio-diversity. So now, 20+ years later, our fields are carpets of wild flowers of so many varieties in spring, we have plenty of cover for insects and birds in the bushes and trees around the olives, and if you keep still and quiet you see the wildlife scurrying about their business in the long grasses.
20 years on, our trees have become members of our family. We’ve pruned, mulched, cut the wild suckers away, nurtured the new growth, brought the badly damaged back into new life. Local records suggest that our high fields could have been planted in the 14th century; strimming the growth away from around many of the trunks reveal evidence of their very old history.
It’s become a long and wonderful departure from Natalie’s previous broadcasting life as the ubiquitous fog-horn on the Arts for the BBC. For Deborah, who is a painter, but also looks after the work of her late husband the choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, it’s an escape from the indoor emotional hothouse of the ballet world where she looks after revivals and new productions around the world.
Shropshire Salumi is based in the heart of rural Shropshire. We specialise in the production of handmade charcuterie that is made with locally raised, high welfare, outdoor reared livestock. We focus on using traditional breeds (Gloucester Old spot, Oxford Sandy & Black) which is generally run as organic. This is all sourced within 20miles of Shropshire Salumi HQ.
We are a relatively small outfit, generally processing 2 or 3 carcasses a week, focusing on salami production, but also utilising the nose to tail ethos and producing cured whole muscles such as the air dried jowl (Guanciale), air dried collar (Coppa), air dried belly (Pancetta) and loin (Lonza).
Shropshire Salumi is run by Will Macken, a zoologist by trade, who’s always had a passion for food. A self-taught butcher and charcutier, he has focused on building relationships with all of his suppliers from farmer to abattoir (a small family run affair) to the wine producer (a fellow Salopian producing wine in Spain).
Shropshire Salumi is a supporter of the Slow Food movement, championing a better way to eat through education, campaigning, defending biodiversity and celebrating what we eat through a network of members.