“Simple and true”

29 August 2016, 16:36 pm
On The Farm by Jimmy Doherty

Autumn is a time for reflection at Jimmy’s Farm. We’re looking back on what has been a great year for us. When we started the business, the vision was to produce high quality, high welfare meat and continue the bloodlines of traditional British pig breeds, hence the company name, The Essex Pig Company. I’m proud to say that we’ve achieved that and more

It’s as much necessity as by design. British farming has gone through peaks and troughs through our our time here. It doesn’t look as if things are going to get any more settled, especially with the uncertainty over the potential Brexit impacts, and many farms like ourselves have broadened their offerings over the years. First and foremost, Jimmy’s Farm is a working farm and we offer the opportunity to experience the ‘Farm to Fork’ philosophy first-hand.

Our restaurant has had a bumper season serving everything from morning teas to Sunday roasts using our home-reared meats. You can sit at a table in the restaurant and everything on your plate will come from within metres of where you are. This summer one of our most popular dishes was our lamb salad made with lamb, mint, peas and broad beans directly from our beautiful vegetable gardens and paddocks. Our chef, Jon Gay, ensures that all our menus are seasonal and sourced as much from our farm and Suffolk as much as possible. Even our bar serves homemade elderflower cordial from the trees. It’s all about looking at what we have around us and utilising what’s in situ.

Our Farm Park brings a family customer base to experience our philosophy. They can come in and learn about farming within an actual farming context. Of course there’s a lot of fun thrown in! We have den-building in our woodland and a butterfly house, animal feeding, sheep dog demonstrations, a whole host of things to educate and engage. It’s really important for our industry to engage young people right at the grass roots to ensure it has a future.

As the summer rush dies down, we’re now looking at making sure we can see ourselves through the winter. We’re in the midst of fattening up our free-range Kelly Bronze turkeys for Christmas, which we sell through our online butchery. This is a really important part of the business which we’re looking to further develop and expand upon. It helps us reach people who can’t necessarily come to the farm and we’ve built up a really loyal customer base who often discover us when they’re looking for something special for Christmas. We look after them then and they continue to return over the rest of the year. We’ve got plenty of Christmas parties booked in and, of course, our Christmas market planning is in the offing and is always fantastic. All the local producers come out in force and we all have a wonderful day together with the local community.  That’s what we’re all about. Sustainable business within our community. Keeping things simple and true.

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