Stockbridge & Kelso

Stockbridge Market and Potato Day at Springwood Park, Kelso (Kelso Show Ground Main Hall)¬†¬†with our full range of organic, free-from, gluten-free and traditional artisan meat¬†products which we make on our farm¬†at Peelham from our own farmed livestock. AND YOU CAN GET YOUR SEED POTATOES TOO !!¬†¬†with some rare and also organic seed potatoes. ¬†This event is run by Borders Organic Gardners. Continue reading “Stockbridge & Kelso”

Glasgow & Leith Markets

This Saturday we will be at both Glasgow Partick and also at Leith Market !  We hope to see you there (Denise at Glasgow and Judith at Leith).  We have our Free-range Organic Pork on SPECIAL OFFER this week with a 10% discount.

We do Glasgow Farmers Market (Mansfield Park) every second and fourth Saturday of the month and Leith Market in Dock Place, Leith every Saturday offering our customers our organic, free-from, free-range meat products made by us on our farm from our own farmed livestock (grass-reared beef, lamb, mutton, ruby-veal, free-range, rare-breed & rare-breed cross pigs).  You can stock-up on your gluten-free, grain-free sausages and burgers, or our traditional range including haggis, award winning charcuterie and salamis, dry-cured bacon and gammon (smoked and unsmoked), cooked sliced ham.

At Leith Market only (and at no other), we supply Griersons Organic Chickens – fresh and ready-to-cook.

Place your order online and collect from the Farmers Markets. ¬†Please don’t forget that we need your orders for sausages and burgers by midnight on the Monday before the weekend¬†as we hand-make them ‘early-doors’ on Tuesdays.

The Slow Food Movement

Slow Food is a global, grassroots organisation that was founded in Italy in the late 1980s by Carlo Petrini and a group of activists. Their aim was to defend regional traditions, gastronomic pleasure, good food, and a slow pace of life. Several decades later and the Slow Food Movement has evolved in order to embrace a comprehensive approach to food that recognises the strong connections between the food on our plates and the planet, people, politics, and culture.

Slow Food UK

The Slow Food Movement involves millions of people in over 150 countries, including the UK. Slow Food UK work hard to reinvigorate people’s interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, and how our food choices affect the world around us. Local food traditions and the years of accrued knowledge and culture are important and should be preserved and enjoyed. Slow Food actively promotes the enjoyment of good food, as well as the food production systems responsible for providing good, clean, and fair food for everyone.

The Slow Meat Movement

Here at Peelham Farm we agree with Slow Food‚Äôs opinion on meat ‚Äď that the way in which it is currently produced and consumed is unsustainable, and has a detrimental effect on the environment, human health, animal welfare, and small-scale farmers. The solution to this is quite simple: eat better meat, and eat less of it. Consider the origin of the meat, support small-scale producers, and pay a fair price for good quality meat.

At one time animals were kept on grazing land, before being slaughtered and processed on the farm nearby. This form of production has all but disappeared today, and the modern industrialised production of meat is driven by speed and quantity.

Here are a few facts that should get you thinking more about the meat you consume:

  • In the UK each person eats around 50kg of meat per year ‚Äď that‚Äôs roughly twice the world average!
  • UK consumers throw away an estimated ¬£2.1 billion worth of meat every year.
  • 75% of the world‚Äôs agricultural land is used to raise animals for food.
  • Over 15,000 litres of water is required to produce just one kilogram of beef.
  • The livestock sector is estimated to account for 14.5% of the global total Greenhouse gas emissions ‚Äď this is more than the direct emissions from the transport sector!

How can eating better meat help?

If we all choose to eat better meat and remain conscious of where our meat comes from and the journey it takes to get to our plate, we’ll be helping to create:

  • Improved working environment for meat producers.
  • Better quality of life for animals.
  • More complex and delicious flavours.
  • Healthier food in local economies.
  • Plant and animal diversity in the field.

By eating less meat we can help to reduce the carbon emissions involved in the production of meat, as well as the following:

  • More opportunities to explore the flavours of vegetables and grains, thus promoting a healthier diet.
  • Frugality and inspiration in the kitchen; Love Food Hate Waste have some great tips to help you make more of your food.
  • Resilient ecosystems that are less threatened by environmental damage.

Many modern consumers are ignorant when it comes to understanding where their meat comes from, and this makes people lose sight of the true cost of cheap meat. As economic prosperity fades, our desire for cheap meat grows, and we find ourselves trapped in a culture of confinement. Slow Food UK promotes small-scale farmers, like Peelham Farm, encouraging consumers to care how their meat has been treated in life and post-slaughter until it reaches their plates.

Denise with Carlo Petrini

Denise, with Mike Small of the Fife Diet was invited to set-the-scene for the public lecture delivered by Carlo Petrini Founder of Slow Food International,¬†‘Thought for Food: Carlo Petrini on Cultivating a Positive Food Culture in Scotland’¬†¬†yesterday evening in the Hawthornden Lecture Theatre at the¬†Scottish National Gallery. ¬†She was asked to offer insights into the Scottish Food Scene and where she thought we have the best chance of making progress. ¬†Here is the essence of her delivery extracted from her rough notes !

“We took the decision very early on to diversify our organic farm business at Peelham into added value on-farm food production from our livestock¬†and to¬†become price-makers not price-takers. Farming is a price-taking industry which puts it in a vulnerable position in terms of its market. ¬†For the last 15 years we have been working to avoid¬†this vulnerability and to gaining greater control of our market¬†¬†through Farmers Markets, working closely¬†with chefs and more latterly on-line. ¬†As farmer – food producers we engage directly with our customers. ¬†We are directly accountable back to the animal for every piece of meat or charcuterie which leaves the farm for a market stall or restaurant kitchen and to the end-user. ¬†I am directly communicating with hundreds of individuals each week over our market stall and over the phone. ¬†There has been a definate¬†broadening in the¬†demographic of those attending famers markets in the last 15 years to ¬†a more diverse customer base. Though this will be a very small sector of the public,¬†I would like to offer some ‘grass-roots whisperings’ of what I have observed and witnessed in this time.

I have three broad customer types: those who know what they want, those who are simply curios, and those who just dont know but have come because they feel the need  either for  health, environmental or moral reasons.  In the last 3 years there has been a very definate growth to our stalls in the number of people who have come for health reasons, mostly gluten intolerances.  Every market I will have 5 Р6 new individuals who have an intolerance or who know of some with an intolerance.  The descriptions of their relationship with food is of a battleground.  What an utter travesty, that food which should be sustaining us has become so allergenic that it hurts us.  What these customers are seeking more and more is organic gluten and additive free sausages, grass-fed red meat (particularly beef), beef bones, beef broth and pork lard.  Chefs are also reflecting these changes.

Travelling the food landscape now is more ‘flowing’, and less ‘resisting’; The possibilities are huge. ¬†So what can we do about it ? ¬†What can you do about it ? ¬† You can make choices. ¬†Every week I see people making choices sometimes for the first time to buy meat¬†direct and to buy responsibly. ¬†Make the choice to get behind what Carlo referred to earlier today as “The slow, sweet, Scottish food revolution” to make food more believable. Bring food back into the family and in from the cold….keep talking about the food revolution, engage with it, enjoy it, share it !

This is how we begin to make the change. And this is not being naive about the incredible challenge of moving away from our reputation as ‘A Bad Food Nation’ on the journey to becoming a ‘Good Food Nation’. ¬†80% of Scotlands Gross Value Added in Food and Drink Manufacturing are beverages and bakery… 80% !! ¬†Only 1% are vegetables and 5% are meat. ¬†This is gallons of Iron Bru, hard liquer and beer and tons of shortbread, Tunnocks and pastries. ¬† What we are doing right here right now in this lecture theatre is Good Food Nation ‘stuff’; ¬†What the economy of our country is doing is Bad Food Nation ‘stuff’. ¬†The journey is to reconcile this difference.

And en route, we absolutely have to make good, nutritious and enjoyable food accessible to where it is desperately needed; in low income families whose lives are dominated by deprivation, hopelessness and helplessness …. no rose tinted glasses here. ¬†This is the sector of society which is most resistant to change. ¬†And while there is a disconnect between people, food and land – so there is disconnect with our bodies. Our bodies are crying out with the levels of obesity, diabetes and malnourishment. ¬†Why aren’t we hearing ?¬†¬†The first Slow Food is breast milk. ¬†In Scotland we dont do breast feeding ! ¬†We have one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. This is depriving¬†our babies and children of the optimum nutrition and self-regulation of appetite important in the prevention of obesity. As livestock farmers we spend many patient hours making sure our calves and lambs get their mothers milk and colostrum so crucial to ongoing health ! ¬†It is no irony that formula feeding of babies increases sharply with levels of deprivation.

If any movement can nurture the change to a Good Food Nation it is Slow Food with its rallying cry of ‘Good, Clean and Fair’ “.¬†

Carlo Petrini

Founder & Head of Slow Food International has described our salami with Red Wine as “Fantastico!” during lunch @CafeStHonore @SlowFood Edinburgh. We are absolutely thrilled with the verdict of such an important figure in world food and the defence of biodiversity!

Make More of Mutton

If you’ve never cooked with, or eaten, mutton then you’re really missing out! This wholly underrated meat has a much stronger flavour than lamb and provides an ideal base for all kinds of meals. Here at Peelham Farm we produce great quality organic mutton each year from October until late spring; you’ll find everything from diced mutton shoulder and leg of mutton, to organic mutton loins and even minced mutton on our website.

What is mutton?

Lamb is the most popular meat from sheep, and is typically produced from sheep under the age of 12 months. Lamb meat is a pale pink colour and offers a much more delicate flavour than older meat. Mutton, on the other hand, is darker in colour, and richer in flavour thanks to the extra fat that develops as the sheep ages.

Mutton is commonly defined as being the meat of a domestic sheep which is over two years old. In some cultures the term ‚Äėmutton‚Äô is also used to refer to goat meat of the same age. However, for the purposes of this blog post we‚Äôll be focusing exclusively on mutton from domestic sheep.

Peelham Farm organic mutton

For the meat of a sheep to be referred to as mutton it must be from an animal at least two years old. However, here at Peelham Farm we believe the very best mutton comes from ewes that are between 3 and 5 years old. Our ewes only graze on organic grass and clovers to ensure their flavour is as rich and delicious as possible when cooked.

After slaughtering the ewes we allow the mutton carcasses to mature for two weeks at a temperature of 2¬įC in order to produce a dark red, beautifully marbled and tender meat.

How to cook mutton

Mutton lends itself well to a variety of different dishes and cuisines, however slow cooked dishes are the best way to bring out the rich flavour of the meat. Here are a few of our favourite mutton recipes to get you started:

  • Mutton casserole: Diced mutton shoulder is the perfect cut to use in casseroles. Flavour it the same way you would for a lamb stew, but don‚Äôt be afraid to ramp up the seasonings a bit more than you would with lamb. Your tastebuds will thank you for it! Ensure that you cook the casserole on a low oven temperature, around 120-150¬įC, for best results.
  • Mutton tagine: Give your mutton a Moroccan twist by cooking it in a tagine pot on a low temperature over a couple of hours. Chopped tomatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, and whatever else you want to add in, along with Moroccan spices like cinnamon, turmeric, saffron, and paprika will make for a delicious meal.
  • Poached mutton leg: Gently poaching a leg of mutton allows the meat to reach optimum tenderness. This recipe from the Mutton Renaissance is really simple and makes a fantastic meal to really wow your dinner party guests!