June 2017 Farm Round Up

Farm Tour Rare Breed Pigs

Without wanting to sound like a tabloid journalist, Phew, what a scorcher!! HOT HOT HOT!
On the one hand, I know it is summer, the sun is going to come out and yes, I realise that it will get hot, but seriously ….. !
On the plus side, the pigs seem very happy with their lot. At least we don’t have the nightmare task that sheep owners have – pigs don’t need an appointment with the shearer! The pigs all grow a thicker coat in winter – especially the Mangalitzas – but shed it naturally. They seem to all follow the same system – dunk yourself in the wallow, get a good covering of mud and then find something to scratch yourself on – usually, their ark, but if there is a human available, that will do! (There’s a joke in there somewhere about pork scratchings, but I will leave it to your own sense of humour to work that one out!)
I have however been building muscles on muscles carrying buckets of water around to keep those wallows topped up – ah well, a good workout and heaven knows, I don’t get to the gym very often these days 🙂 But they do seem to appreciate it!
The big event of the month was our annual Slow Pig day – on the hottest day of the year, while many were hiding from the sun, some 50 intrepid foodies came to the farm.
In conjunction with Slow Food Berkshire & Wiltshire,this annual event enables people to find out more about where their food comes from, about the Rare Breed Survival Trust, and also to learn more about the diverse range of activities that happen globally under the Slow Food banner. Pics here
First on the agenda was the farm tour, where guests were introduced to 6 different rare breeds living outdoors in extensive free range paddocks, who, frankly were not looking their most beautiful as many of them had been wallowing and were covered in mud! But wallowing is an important part of keeping cool, so on such a hot day,we can’t begrudge them that!
Following the tour and a much-needed cold drink, the group were treated to a charcuterie tasting, led by Robert, who explained how the charcuterie is made in the custom-built processing unit on the farm, how to taste charcuterie and what to look for in both flavour and ingredients. And despite the sunshine, there were plenty of volunteers for the bread-baking using the wood-fired oven on the terrace – many loaves of varying shapes and sizes were baked … generally with great success – and after all, not much beats the taste of bread freshly baked in the fire!
Finally, on to the main event, the roast pork supper featuring a slow roasted shoulder of British Saddleback pork to celebrate the50th anniversary of the unification of the breed and also its recent inclusion in the Slow Food Ark of Taste. Soft tender meat, packed with flavour and topped with strips of light and fluffy cracking, accompanied by some delicious salads and freshly baked bread made a wonderful finale to the day.At the end of the day, a collection for the Slow Food Gardens for Africa yielded almost £100 so thank you to all the attendees for their generosity.
Feedback from the visitors has been fantastic – if that all sounds good, why not make a note to check out next year’s event! Email sara@buttlefarm.co.uk to make sure you get your invitation.