Raw local meat from The Story Pig, black background

I don’t get off the farm much, mostly my own choice, Charlotte is the one who goes shopping, she loves it, even though its mostly for the cafe that she peruses. Me, I’m happiest at home, wellies on, doing pig stuff or happier still, at the end of a busy day on the farm, escaping to the lavenders and gently trimming them into shape for the winter. There I said it… winter, yuck!!

On Monday we did leave the farm, although still strictly work related we were doing some market research, so we visited several other farm shops between here and Bath. As I have mentioned here before, farm shops come in various guises, all generally bigger than ours though. Whilst looking around we are both always drawn to the meat counter, actually to the pork section. Here I always get a sharp stab of pride.. that our meat is so different to what is on offer at these large farm shops. What’s different about it I hear you ask, well, just look at the colour, lying there, its a pale, slightly insipid colour, its wet and lacking structure, there was zero fat on it, actually just the skin. The person on the counter asks if they can help, I say politely I’m just looking as we have our own pig farm, oh, they answer in a slightly disinterested manner. Do you know where these pigs come from I ask, ‘sorry, no I don’t’ they say, and thats the natural end of the conversation. We leave sad at the standard of meat on sale, but happy and chatting for many minutes about the difference to our meat. Whats different I hear you ask, well if you come to us to buy our pork and remember the wet insipid pork for sale in the supermarkets you will instantly see the difference, its a dark rich red colour, more akin to beef. There is a marbling of fat that runs through the meat, there is a layer of fat that covers the meat. When you get the meat home and handle it you will notice how it has texture and a firmness that is different. And then when you cook it and taste it well that’s when all the elements of our pigs and pork come together to give you pork that has flavour! You may think this is an unashamed plug for our pork, well it is really. You see if you come to us and ask Charlotte or I about our meat you will get the full story if you want it of which pig they are eating, how old it was, when it was born , which paddock it was from. We are so proud of the story of our meat and how our pigs live that we called ourselves The Story Pig and always have pigs outside the cafe so you can see for yourselves how they live.

So, why is the meat different, its surely not down to living next to a tipi? Well, its mainly in the breeding, Tamworth’s are an old fashioned breed that haven’t been messed around with, they are so packed with flavour and then there’s the fact that they live outside, they have the sun on their backs filling their fat with vitamin d. They run up and down our hills developing their muscles, giving them a depth of texture that is second to none, all this adds up to pork that is unashamedly amazing. So please, if you can, especially through these tough times buy a little bit of our pork to help secure the future of our little pig farm on the hill.

Meanwhile, as for winter, we have moved the tipi back into the barn for the winter time, the lights are on, the heaters are out, the bunting is back up and we are cooking pizzas as fast as we can. The lavenders quietly wait out these dark months, hunkering down in their tight balls, the garden is asleep and regenerating for the next season. The pig jobs have become a real chore for the next few months, mud and slipperiness a big feature of my days. Its head down and look forward, Charlotte is good at helping with that, how lucky am I to have her by my side every step of the way!!

James Hull, Sherborne Times, November 22