Wark Farm; Organic farming, Butchery & Meat Cookery Days
Become an informed individual, a canny consumer and clever cook with our half and whole day Farm Walks, Butchery and Meat Cookery days.
It’s one of the pleasures of having spent the last 14 years developing Wark as an organic, biodiverse farm selling the best quality meats from traditional breeds that we get to share the experience and ongoing excitement of this place with others. We are hosts to various visiting groups from primary schools, special needs groups, holiday guests through to university students and our customers. For those interested in delving deeper into the life of the farm, how we produce our meats and how best to prepare them for the table we offer three small group courses/experiences. The days are led by Laurel who has developed the farm over the last 14 years and is trained as an ecologist and a land agent and does the hands on planning and running of the farm, is a time served craft butcher, a keen cook and is generally full of enthusiasm for the countryside and all that happens in it.
Organic farm walk & talk with pie lunch - half day
A farm walk at Wark is far from simply a walk across some fields. Laurel will bring the farm to life for you looking at all aspects of the farm from the soils to the variety of plants that we grow to best nourish our animals, why we work with the breeds that we do and how we organise our system to produce high quality meat all year round. We will spend time looking at how wildlife conservation is integrated into the farm system and discuss the key issues of managing an organic farm compared to a non organic one. There will be opportunities to see the animals up close and to talk about how the whole farm system affects the final product that ends up for sale to our customers. Group size is a maximum of 6 people so there is plenty of scope for guests to ask questions about the areas that interest them most, a very tailored experience. A typical walk would comprise:
10.00am - 10:45am Coffee/tea in the farmhouse and a general introduction to the farm.
10.45am-12.45pm Wellies on and a walk & talk around the farm, annotating the farm and the wider landscape, sharing our knowledge and excitement about all that happens at the farm.
12.45am-1.30pm Back to the farmhouse for a simple lunch of freshly baked Wark Farm pies, seasonal salad and cake.
Price per person £75
Dates can be flexible and group booked or individual places reserved. Typically we host one walk per month.
Butchery & meat cookery - half day
Half a day at the farm will give you a great idea of butchery. We’ll explain the components of a carcass which produce different cuts – chops, gigots, shanks, loin etc. – giving an explanation for their differences in texture, flavour and price so you can be canny at the counter. You’ll try your hand at butchery, and go home with a joint you’ve boned and rolled yourself, as well as a handy butchery information pack. Maximum group size is 6 people so there is ample opportunity for discussion and hands on tuition both about the butchery, the animals and the farm. Depending on the interest of participants the morning can be focussed more on learning the technique of butchery or on understanding the nature of the different cuts and how to cook them. A typical morning would comprise::
9.30am – 11:00am Butchery Demonstration Complete break down of a lamb carcass
11am-11.30am Coffee and Homemade Cake
11.30am-1:00pm Butchery Practical, each participant boning and rolling a lamb shoulder . Take aways: rolled joint and butchery and meat cookery information pack
Price per person £75
The butchery mornings are typically held on the second Saturday of each month and can be block booked or individual places reserved.
Whole Day: Butchery, Farming and Meat Cookery
10am-10.30am Cookery Demonstration Slow cooking meat using a pressure cooker
10.30am-12pm Butchery Demonstration Complete break down of a carcass
12pm-1pm Lunch, based on the joint cooked that morning and Discussion of Meat Cookery Slow cooked meat, run through of meat cookery, information packs
1pm-2.30pm Farm Walk Explanation of land and animal care, grazing systems and conservation
2.30 - 4pm Butchery Practical Boning and rolling a shoulder Take aways: rolled joint, butchery information pack, meat cookery information pack
Price per person £120
Whole days are normally held on the second Saturday or Sunday of the month for a minimum of 6 people.
What participants have said about our Farm Walks, Butchery and Meat Cookery Experiences
"The thought and effort going into raising the lamb on the farm was fascinating." Mike, Lumphanan
"The most interesting thing for me was seeing where all the cuts on the carcass come from and how nearly everything is used, and also the cooking tips from Laurel, I wasn’t expecting that. Also the energy and enthusiasm for the farm, very informative and thought provoking." Sue, Lumphanan
“I didn't know very much about organic farming or the amount of work and consideration that goes into it and I found the whole system very inspiring.” Victoria
"I really appreciated the skill involved in butchery and the respect for the animals in the careful way the meat was handled. It made me realise there is more to organic than feed and avoidance of chemicals.”“I enjoyed the challenge of preparing the shoulder of lamb and proudly served it for Sunday lunch. The whole family loved it!" Allie, Elgin
"I was amazed and enthused at how much of the animal was used and how little waste there was from a carcass, and I completely respect the art that is butchery now!" Sara, Aboyne
“Laurel has a fun and relaxed way of imparting information, that slow smile especially is very infectious, and at no time, even when being shown how to tie the butchers knot for the 16th time, did either of us feel 'shown up' or embarrassed - that's quite a people skill!”
Should you wish to reserve a place on a day, arrange a group booking or purchase a gift voucher as a present for one of the experiences, please email Fi on [email protected]