February 2018 at Wark Farm
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A change is as good as a restâ€¦ well, anyway ... some changes this month. We have revised the order form to make it, hopefully, easier to browse products and prices before you place an order. It's also more obvious how to specify what you would like. This makes it a little more restrictive if you liked to write a poem about the piece of meat you wanted, but is less confusing and easier for us to collate and manage stock. But there is still plenty space for creative writing, feedback, thoughts and requests on the final page. Keep the comments coming, it's always good to have them. We'll look out for any glitches in the form but feedback is also welcome. The form is live at all times so if you find that it's easier to place an order when you happen to think about it when you have your head in the freezer rather than waiting for the monthly email, you can place an order any time, regardless of the date on the order form (subject to any seasonal/monthly changes in the products), they will all reach us.
We're also rebuilding the website at the moment, no front line changes as yet (other than you can now read these emails and in due course some other writing and creative responses inspired by the farm as blog posts) but some others on the way. The main changes planned will be a much improved page about our meat, how to buy it and the basics of understanding what cuts of meat come from where and how to cook them which is a frequent area of chat whenever I'm at markets or showing people around the farm and butchery. We are also intending to include a page that takes a wander around the area mentioning some of the other producers, cooks, chefs and shops that we like and which may be of interest to people who like what we do. I suspect it will come out a little more esoteric than a directory, but was inspired by a local, well connected and adequately seasoned chef who observed how hard it was even for food professionals to know who was out there producing what. It continues to surprise how poorly interesting information can move around even in this networked world. If there is anything else you feel is under represented in the website, I'd be happy to hear. Every now and then the idea of a recipes page comes up. Personally recipes frighten me and if I look at a cookbook for inspiration I always have to shut it before I start to cook. So I'll restrict my input to the principles of the hows and whys of meat cookery but if there is an appetite for recipes, I'd be more than happy to have a blog/repository for your personal favourites, things that have worked, thoughts and inspiration that would be of interest to others. Could be fun, and a nice part of our greater engagement of the farm with our connected community, but you'll need to speak up and let me know.
More changes and new initiatives next month, but for now we are open this week, on Thursday (15th) for collection of orders and fridge browsing. We will be delivering our usual rounds in Deeside, Donside & Aberdeen on Friday (16th) and will be at Banchory Farmers Market on Saturday 17th (9am - 1pm). We have a reasonable selection of well aged Belted Galloway beef, the full range of Hebridean lamb cuts, and our usual pork pies and bacon. After trialing them over the last couple of years, we are now making our Scotch pies (using lamb or hogget) more regularly and have them available both ready to eat and frozen for baking at home, as with the pork pies. Our chicken this month is a slight alteration to our normal supply, and is from a small batch of more traditional breed chickens. Smaller and more mature, they will make up in flavour what they lack in volume. And they're cheaper. Just a change and while the snow and frost are still with us, just the job for a one pot supper or a more involved coq au vin. Venison is on the list, but the vagaries of the weather are making the supply a little hard to predict, hopefully we will have something in in time. Apologies if not.