My husband, Angus, just wanted something very simple! To be able to eat food which tasted really good, local food which didn't cost the earth, food which was reared naturally by local farmers; maybe the way it was in the old days? However, a simple solution to Angus' appetite was not as simple as first thought. He found that to be able to buy food that was good for us, food with a provenance we can trust, without a million air miles to its credit and without needing a degree in chemistry to translate the ingredients, codes and labels was not simple. So Angus decided the only way to simplify his quest was to grow it all in his back garden at Waterloo Cottage; yes, it's a big garden! So for the past two years, we have enjoyed great tasting food. Last December, we opened our dedicated Farm Shop selling locally reared meat, produce and artisan goods.
For Angus and myself, the way forward for great taste is to go back to traditional good farming methods using the Norfolk Four rotation system. This means sustainable farming in natural balance with nature – healthy soil, healthy GM-free crops, healthy animals free to live full lives free range - all of which makes food that just tastes different, with real flavour.
As our farm matures and the shops needs increase, so, will our herd of pigs to ensure that we keep pace with the shop demand. Our flock of ewes has been increased by 50 and lambing has been a much bigger affair this spring and we are introducing goats to the farm. By popular demand we have sourced some Boar goats from a small farmer in Birmingham. His flock of Boar goats are designed to give great tender, tasty meat for eating. Once weaned from their mothers the kids will be brought to the farm to graze our land.
Why does our pork taste so good?
Our own herd of British saddleback pigs are allowed to fully mature in the fields and woods at Waterloo Cottage, reared to the highest welfare standard which means exceptional flavoured succulent pork with crispy crackling. We also produce our own dry cured bacon and hams. Our butchers produce sausages prepared fresh daily. All our sausages are made using fresh natural ingredients, no artificial colours, no artificial flavours, no monosodium glutamate and low in salt. We also produce gluten free varieties.
Our Lamb and Hogget
Thrive on the variety of grazing on the farm including wild grasses, herbs and clovers. This grazing also helps maintain the area as a good habitat for plants, wildlife and birds. The lamb and hogget are full of sweet flavours and great for roasting, curries and casseroles.
Farmyard Chickens, Ducks and Geese
Our real farmyard chickens taste different. Free to move around the yards, they enjoy a natural cereal-based diet, free from antibiotics and growth promoters and they mature with a fantastic flavour and old fashioned texture. At present, we have only a small flock, so we are supplied by Fossemeadow, who farm their poultry in the same way as Waterloo Cottage.
All our beef is selected from local farms by our master butcher; we use traditional old breeds such as Black Angus, Hereford, Longhorn and Galloway. The rolling hills and natural pastures in the Welland Valley provide ideal grazing conditions to raise high quality cattle. A natural diet of grass, silage, GM-free cereals and root crops produce some of the best beef in the world. Our beef is from farms that have been independently audited to conform to the EBLEX standards for care and welfare. We condition our beef on the bone in temperature controlled rooms for up to 36 days to ensure maximum flavour and guaranteed tenderness.
We have decided to hold off on the start of our own cattle until later in 2012. Until then we guarantee that any beef we sell is personally selected from local producers, such as the Gowlings of Spinney Farm, Great Oxendon. The Gowlings have provided us with stunning Aberdeen Angus cross beef since the shop opened.
Local wild game
Venison, partridge both english and french, pheasants, rabbit and the occasional hare is stocked when in season.
In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming you at Waterloo Cottage Farm to take a fresh look at food and animal husbandry.