August 2018 at Wark Farm
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I'm not a great one for sound bites and memes, occasionally, kind-hearted but mistaken people point out that I have a habit of sounding like one. I have a preference for depth and breadth of information on my chosen subjects, which is just as well considering the complexity of the natural, agricultural, ethical and economic systems we interact with here. While we spend most of our days focussing on these details, it is very necessary to lift up our eyes and try to place what we do in the wider context, especially when we are thinking about an activity as basic as feeding people. In which circumstances the little phrase - â€˜think global, act local' - is incredibly useful. We are a private enterprise, producing food for the market, at levels of profitability that will allow us to sustain a reasonable return for our endeavours and to invest back into the land. We very much act locally, it's a main focus of how we operate. Despite this we are constantly mindful of our place within the widest context.
It would be a curious thing if I were to spend my time obsessing about the connectedness of things, as I do, in our tiny patch here without some understanding that whatever we do here is intimately connected to land and life beyond our boundary. This affects practical aspects, such as what foods we produce, how we feed our animals, what inputs we buy and how we sell. It also results in a continuous conversation and assessment as to our role within the wider food system; how effectively do we use our resources, what is the role of meat in human diets, what are the impacts of the way we consume and produce energy, what are the trades, benefits and compromises between animal welfare, the environment, food quality, price, human health, affordability and accessibility. Plenty to be thinking about. Happily though we are not alone in incorporating these big issues in our practical decision making; it is very stimulating and rewarding to be increasingly connected to and sharing with a growing network of businesses and organisations around the world attempting to work through and break new ground in sustainable food production and consumption. Acting local will always have to be, by definition, unique to each little plot, garden, plantation, farm or forest - responding to the individuality and ecology of the place. Connecting globally though, we are all working through the same debates. Fascinating times which we will continue to engage in and share with you about.
Back to local: we are open for sales this month on 16th to 18th August. On the Thursday (10:30 - 4:30) at the farm for collection of orders and shop browsing, delivering to Deeside, Donside and Aberdeen on Friday 17th and we will be at Banchory Farmers Market on Saturday 18th (9:00 - 1:00). The following Saturday (25th) we will be at Ballater Farmers Market (10:00 - 2:00). This month we have our full range of Belted Galloway Beef, pure bred Hebridean hogget, chicken (dry plucked and hung) and our usual range of bacon and pies. We are hoping to have venison but not guaranteed yet. We also have a stock of real corned beef - salt/pickle cured joints of beef, with the characteristic corned beef taste. They can be cooked just like a ham and served warm with vegetables or used cold for salads, sandwiches
As ever, please get in touch with any questions, thoughts or requests.