News from the farm March 2023
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Above: Views of the Northern Lights above our coos.
Sabrina and I spent a couple of days in Glasgow last week at a trade show with the aim of bumping into a few more businesses that might find a Wark Farm pie a good thing to have on their menu. It’s far from my natural habitat, as are most places where wellies aren’t the default footwear, but it’s good to step away from the everyday sometimes and take in the wider 'food landscape’ of Scotland. In business terms we are considered to be quite ‘vertically integrated’ meaning that we both grow our key raw materials and turn them into the saleable product. Being a lover of connectivity that’s always appealed to, me as does keeping the distance from us to the final consumer of the product as short as possible, allowing the person who eats our meat or pies to know and feel something of the farm. Happily we were among a number of our regular business connections with similar approaches and we met some lovely people running inspiring businesses using Scottish food, some with the intent and capability to drive widespread and positive change. I was though left with a rather unsettled sense of just how fragmented the food trade is generally, of how long and complicated supply chains can be and how disconnected so much of it is from the land where it all starts.
rThe thoughts returned to me this morning as I did my farm rounds, the warm sun pushing back the nights fresh covering of snow. The mallard and teal in the wetland were finding gaps in the less frozen ponds to up-end, yellowhammers were prominent in the hedges, returning their yellow to the morning sun, and a group of seven lapwing gave every impression of joie de vivre as they bathed and preened in a tiny strip of water re-emerging by the muddy bank of a frozen pool. It was the skylarks that really stopped me in my walk though, a flock of 50-60 lifting off the stubble field as I passed with the dogs. They weren’t in a hurry; somewhere between a winter flock and spring time pairs, a few circled up and sang, some chattered, others chased and swooped as they more or less made their way over a hedge and down on to another area of the stubble to feed again. To see or hear one skylark is a joy, so when I see them here in abundance here, as I’m lucky to do, I can be very moved. It’s not an original thought that one cares about that which one knows. But where in those long food supply chains I saw last week is there room for knowing the skylarks? And without knowing them, how many can come to care? And without caring it defaults to pounds, pence and pressure to find savings all down the chain, ending perhaps on the little bit of room a skylark needs to be a skylark. I’m beyond fortunate to live amongst the skylarks here so perhaps it is no great surprise that in moments in that windowless, weatherless hall in Glasgow, I could feel the heels of my wellies, on my feet or not, digging in, marking the space for that beautiful wild song.
The March order form is now updated and online. Our regular customers already know that it's first come, first serve for our delicious meat cuts that are not only full of flavour due to the breeds we use and their grass/herb diets, but also free of nasties such as pesticides and antibiotics. You can find all the info on the order form, including more info about the specials of the month.
As ever please get in touch if you have any queries.
Laurel & SaMMarch 2023 Order Form