|THE ORGANIC CAUSE IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR|
"In the brain-washed first world, we need a cause to fight for and this is a good one"
says Hilary Peters, in her continuing e-diary of dispatches from the organic counter-revolution.
JAN. 15, 2003
Richard Guy is the first farmer I've come across who does not shun publicity. He is keen on "total transparency" about every aspect of the way his meat is produced. You can have a complete list of his farmers. You can visit the abattoirs. "We have turned priorities for livestock rearing on their head", he says modestly.
BRADFORD ON AVON FARMERS' MARKET, WILTSHIRE.
Veg from V&P COLLINS, FARM SHOP, BROMHAM, CHIPPENHAM, WILTS
Smoked goodies of all sorts from WILTSHIRE SMOKERY, SUTTON VERNEY.
Organic and free-range beef and lamb from MARSHFIELD www.marshfieldorganic.com (under construction)
In the brain-washed first world, we need a cause to fight for and this is a good one. Scorched earth pushes up some extraordinary shoots.
Very rich in local cheeses. I knew all but one. The ones I know are all good:
TWINEHAM www.twinehamgrangefarms.co.uk (the Parmisan-style winner. I buy it whenever I see it)
LYBURN www.lyburncheese.co.uk from the New Forest
They make a Dutch-style cheese, learned at Lyburn, with various flavours. They bought up the equipment from dairies closed down by Dairy Crest. They sell to local shops and farmers' markets. Their blue cheese is eagerly awaited.
SUNNYFIELDS ORGANIC FARM, TOTTON, HANTS. www.sunnyfields.co.uk
Pork, bacon, sausages, from GREENFIELD PORK PRODUCTS, ANDOVER, HANTS "Our aim is to produce happy pigs in a stress-free environment." Next door was LEWREY'S, from BOTLEY, ANDOVER, selling sausages and doing a hog roast from GREENFIELD pork, deservedly pulling the crowds.
The ISLE OF WIGHT contributed CALBOURNE CLASSICS cakes and sweets www.calbourneclassics.co.uk
ISLE OF WIGHT bacon, butter and garlic
FARMSIDE NURSERIES, LOCKERLEY, HANTS grow all their own plants and sell only at farmers' markets. The cyclamen I bought is healthy and not over-forced.
HAMPSHIRE GAME CO. POLLARDS FARM, CLANVILLE, HANTS.
They also have a café and make a visit to their farm a cheering occasion.
Judy Smales showed me their cows and their cheese-making and I ate generous portions of all their cheeses. They milk about 230 pedigree Holstein-Friesians and their cheesemaking is expanding all the time. They also sell milk to WATSON'S independent dairy, who retail milk in London as well as locally.
The cheese is delicious. I specially liked Lyburn Mature, which is something like Oude Gouda, one of my very favourite cheeses. If matured still further, which they plan to do, it will be like Old Amsterdam, an all-time great cheese.
Lyburn have now designed their own cheese presses, which are being made for them in France, so their cheese will be unique and easily recognisable. They are expanding their ripening rooms.
In season, they sell their own organic veg. and rhubarb, which also go to Waitrose and Farmaround, a company distributing organic boxes in London.
Lyburn is a family business. When it was obvious that dairy farming was being squeezed out of existence, Mike and Judy Smales thought sideways, because their sons wanted to go into farming. Now, it is run very happily by the whole family. They have free-range dogs, which tells me a lot about a farm.
I wonder how we can show housewives the world of Lyburn contrasted with industrial cheesemaking. I am still convinced that it is education that is lacking. The Prince of Wales is certainly doing his bit this week. We shouldn't leave it all to him.
If I am leaving out interesting farms in your area, please let me know. I know this will never be a complete record, but I would like to include all I can.
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