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Jan 2017: keeping chickens in. What happens?

Find us every Saturday at the Edinburgh Farmers Market on Castle Terrace 9-2pm

Sascha's Blog

Keeping our chickens in: the consequences

Happy New Year to you all and welcome to 2017. As you may all be aware, since December 6th all free range and organic poultry producers have been instructed to keep their birds indoors. We have now had a further instruction to keep our birds in until the end of Feb 2017. best broiler

At Newmiln in the sheds for our organic chickens, we do not routinely add artificial light. At this time of year we rely on the short hours of daylight entering our sheds when we open the doors every morning to stimulate our birds to eat and therefore grow. Chickens are very responsive to their environment and so are stimulated by light to eat, drink and move about. chicken
Our birds have been closed in since Dec 6th, and the consequent lack of light, means that they have not been eating and growing as they should. They are therefore undersized and not ready for slaughter and butchery.
We have now rectified this situation by adding a few extra hours of artificial light every day and we hope that our birds will make up for lost growing time over the next few weeks.
We shall continue to process a limited number of what birds we can over the next 3 weeks however if your order does not contain all your requested items please bear with us. We aim to get back on track as soon as possible. In the meantime we have a full butchery service of beef lamb and pork with some chicken, just a bit less. We shall look forward to hearing from you when you next place an order.
Hugh  & Sascha 

Christmas 2016: Beef Lamb Pork Chickens Turkey & Trimmings

How do I order?

  • Call us 01738 730201 m: 07841 623608
  • email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • order online hughgrierson.co.uk/christmas-products
  • Edinburgh Farmers Market every Saturday 9-2pm
  • Perth Farmers Market 9-2pm SATURDAY 3rd and 17th DecemberBespoke Butchery at the Farm
Where do I pick it up?
The Butchery at our FARM: Fri 23rd December 8-5pm
Edinburgh Farmers Market SAT 24th Christmas EVE December 9-2PM
Last overnight courier delivery Wednesday December 7th to arrive Thursday 8th

What do we have?
Devon bronze Slow growing Turkeys
Pure Bred Aberdeen Angus Beef: Ribs of Beef on the bone, Sirloin Roasts on or off the Bone, and topsides, silversides and briskets
Home bred Lamb: Shoulder, racks, and legs of lamb
Rare Breed outdoor reared Pork - chipolatas, sausagemeat, bacon and all pork roasts
Slow Growing Large Chickens, up to 3kg and other sizes
We also have our full butchery service for everyday items.

Gift vouchers - email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01738 730201 and we'll send one out with a personal message of your choice.

Turkeys outside at NewmilnVisit our web page Christmas Products to get some ideas. We also have our usual full butchery service running alongside our Christmas offer. We do organic sausage trimmings and bacon, including a Gluten Free sausage. We have plenty of everything else available especially our popular large chickens. They make a super tasty, cost effective alternative to turkey for a smaller group and you can do all those sausagey trimmings with it.

We can also solve a present conundrum with our Gift Vouchers. You tell us how much and we'll post it out with a personal message.
 
Lastly, to the cooks:
"In my experience, clever food is not appreciated at Christmas. It makes the little ones cry and the old ones nervous." Jane Grigson

Thank you for all your continued support throughout 2016, we hope your run up to Christmas is calm, peaceful and full of fun.
 
Sascha & Hugh and the crew at Newmiln Farm

Grass Fed Meat: Why bother?

I know I always say this, but in Scotland we are blessed, we have a mild climate with plenty of rain, and so we can grow any food that we need. As organic farmers though, our major crop is grass. Growing grass is a mild obsession, as grass, or more precisely clover grasses, are the cornerstone of everything we do here. What's less well known, is quite how many environmental and health benefits grass growing can deliver.

As farmers and land managers it has 3 main benefits:

1. its a naturally superb feed for our cattle and sheep, as both species have evolved to eat and digest grass.
2. the meat that comes from those grass fed animals has higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids, so its a healthier meat option.
3. It has a vital role to play in managing carbon: permanent pasture locks carbon into the soil, and increases its organic matter. It is this increase in organic matter in our soils that has the potential to deliver enormous uplifts in soil fertility with consequent benefits for global food security.

Despite the obvious benefits of grass, there is quite a bit of confusion about what constitutes "grass fed" as far as cattle and sheep are concerned. Many cattle and sheep in Scotland are fed grains at some point in their lives. The phrase "Grass fed" is undefined, and is consequently being used to greenwash production systems that use grains to feed cattle and sheep.
We believe that we need to be clear about what we do here, as many of you ask us about how we feed our animals. So we decided to sign up to Pasture For Life, an organisation that promotes the benefits of meat from cattle and sheep that are fed without grains. We guarantee that all our cattle and sheep are fed without using ANY grain at all in their lives. Their feed includes clover grasses, and other things made from grass, like hay and silage (both made without adding ANYTHING to grass except time).Beef on the hook at Newmiln

So far so good, and reassuring; if you buy from us you are (a) helping to lock carbon into our permanent pasture (our most recent soil sample found 22% organic matter in our permanent pasture, where most arable land has about 2%), (b) you are ensuring that our cattle and sheep only eat what their digestion is evolved to do, and (c) you are getting those lovely omega 3s into your diet, that keep your heart and brain healthy.
But what about taste, flavour, and all those things that move people to go "wow, thats delicious"? Do we deliver on that?

We had a visit in the summer from the BBC Landward team who helped to explain this all very clearly. Click on the link to watch https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2V5Zbr1e0nPblQ1SjdFT1hDSUE/view. Its a nice piece, with just enough"wow factor" to convince the sceptics.

Autumn 2016

 
New Season lamb on the block
Crispy Pork Crackling

Although its warm out there this week Autumn is definitely here. We have apples on the trees and our new season glut of lamb. Tender, sweet and mild tasting, the lambs have been out all summer on grass and have never known the hardship that winter brings. That winter changes their flavour. I love that change in taste, but I know not everyone does so if you fancy some milder tasting lamb September is the time. Go for it.  
http://hughgrierson.co.uk/organic-lamb

However the big treat in Autumn is Roast pork with Apple sauce, and with that roast pork comes salty, crispy, pork crackling. There was always a huge amount of swearing over the carving of the roast pork at home because it was never crispy enough and so was impossible to cut. Either the butcher did not score the fat correctly (my mother’s excuse) or it wasn’t cooked in a hot enough oven (my father’s excuse). Either way the pork was always dry in an effort to get the crackling right. Dry pork and chewy crackling – I grew up thinking pork was a penance.

It wasn’t until I went to Sunday lunch at a builder friend’s house that the light came on. He presented us with a perfect joint of pork with cross hatched crackling that you could pick off in little squares. Turns out he uses a stanley knife to score the fat and changes to a new blade each time for ideal results (perfectionist). The meat was juicy and full of flavour too, a totally different experience.

Ingredients

  • 1 joint of Rolled pork leg, on or off the bone.
  • Any size more than 1kg, Moray, the butcher here, will score the fat for crackling automatically.
  • salt
  • fennel seeds (optional)

Method

  • Score the fat on the joint in a cross hatched pattern. Cut right through the fat almost to the meat. Rub salt and fennel seeds over the scored skin.
  • Cook in a hot oven (220C) for 20 mins per 500g on the bone or 25 mins per 500g if off the bone. The crackling should bubble up when its cooked. Pierce the thickest part of the meat with a skewer and if the juices run clear its done. Be careful, its easy to over cook pork and then it goes dry.
  • If the crackling is cooked before the meat put some tinfoil over it while the meat finishes cooking.
  • You can roast veg and potatoes round the joint.

We are open Friday 25th March 8-4pm to pick up your order at the farm.

If you need a delivery by overnight courier please note orders will be sent out on WEDNESDAY 23rd to arrive THURSDAY 24th.

Last orders for courier delivery MONDAY 21st by MIDDAY

Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary, Garlic and Lemon
Its Easter Sunday, let's keep the family happy with an old classic.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 spring rosemary chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 x whole leg of lamb on the bone

Method
Mix together the rosemary, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Take a sharp knife and make 2cm incisions all over the lamb. Spread the garlic mixture all over the lamb. Roast for 15-20 mins per 500g on 200C depending on how pink you like your lamb.  Rest for up to 30 mins.

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