Todenham Manor Farm
PRODUCER: Todenham Manor Farm, Gloucestershire
PRODUCT: 28 Day Dry-Aged Rib Eye Steak and Rare Breed Pork Belly
REGION: South West, Channel Islands and Isles of Scilly
CATEGORY: From the Field (Primary)
WHAT THEY DO
When Irayne Paikin moved from London to the farm in Gloucestershire, she was focused on renovating the house and settling in her young family. That all changed when the four pigs taken on to clear out the farm’s woods were sent to the local abattoir, and provided enough sausages for the whole village.
“Why should a London girl, born and bred, with no knowledge of farming or cows or pigs, or anything at all, find herself thoroughly engaged in all aspects of cattle management, pig-rearing and the like, and on trips to the local abattoir, find the smell in among the hanging beef carcasses quite one of the best smells to be had?” asks Irayne. “I was hooked!”
Todenham Manor Farm is now home to more than 400 South Devon Cattle, with a herd of pedigree Aberdeen Angus alongside, and some 400 Middle White, Gloucester Old Spot and Saddle Back pigs. In the summer months the cattle graze outside, and in the winter are housed in a purpose-built barn with home-grown cereals to eat. The pigs are reared outdoors in pens surrounded by fruit trees that provide shade and snacks.
Irayne credits a local farmer with teaching her everything she knows, and now employs three butchers and a manager in the farm’s on-site butchery, built by her husband. The abattoir used is just three miles away. Beef is hung for a minimum of 28 days, and pigs for five to seven days, before being transformed into prime cuts and products. The farm has been shortlisted for two awards, for its beef and its pork.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The judges liked the use of native British cattle breeds and traditional breeds of pigs, some of which are rare breeds. The attention paid to the livestock’s natural diet and environment, and the slow growing process, were praised and it was acknowledged that this would maximise the flavour of the meat. The judges appreciated the importance of the hanging process and butchery.
VISIT THE WEBSITE: todenhammanorfarm.co.uk