Island Life Magazine Ltd December 2008/January 2009 - Page 71

COUNTRYSIDE, WILDLIFE & FARMING It is great to see an increase in ‘farm-gate’ outlets, by this I mean the egg sellers, jam producers and throughout the season, fruit and vegetable growers selling carrots with free, quality top soil still attached and cabbages harbouring an array of caterpillars. The best tasting pears I’ve ever had were purchased from our local village shop, and when I enquired of their origin, found they had been brought in by a villager along with other vegetables from his garden. On my travels around the island, I spend a lot of time just looking at livestock and I think they have a pretty good time. Nice views, plenty of space, never short of grub and loads of friends. Ok, so a bit of bullying may go on in their younger years, but it’s soon sorted out as the big ones go off to market first! With all the fresh air and exercise these animals get, it’s no wonder then, that local meat tastes so good. Todd and Jackie Carder, who own Chapel Furlong Farm at Hulverstone and are tenants of National Trust owned, Mottistone Manor Farm, are nearing completion of building work of their farm shop, with opening scheduled for mid-December, just in time to meet demand for Christmas. They run a mixed farm of 450 ewes and a heard of British Breed Cattle sired with pedigree Aberdeen Angus bulls, roaming freely over hundreds of acres of National Trust land, blissfully unaware that they are the back bone to the National Trusts conservation goals, keeping the area clear of invasive scrub, over Tennyson, St Catherines and Ventnor Downs. life They already sell lamb and beef at local markets; Brading, Farmer Jacks and Newport Farmers Market and will be adding turkeys in the run up to Christmas. With home reared pork, due for the new year. I’ve scratched the porkers ears, a ‘Gloucester Old Spot’, a few ‘Saddlebacks’ and some ‘Sandy and Blacks’, good old English varieties that I know will be delicious. Pigs have always been my favourite, ever since I was a kid and it was great to see them running around, snuffling in the soil and looking as ‘happy as pigs.’ Complimenting all this will of course be local grown fruit and vegetables, ice cream with other dairy products, stone ground flour, preserves – jams, marmalade and chutneys and, locally baked bread and cakes. Jackie tells me that she would love to hear from readers, interested in selling their own grown or homemade produce. The meat is matured and butchered on the farm, with cooking and serving advice being promised if required when, buying from the shop. A game licence has been applied for and if successful, in season pheasant, duck and partridge will all be available. For three years Jackie and Todd have been producing delicious beef burgers, this year introducing lamb burgers, that they sell from their mobile catering unit at out-door shows and events. These come highly recommend and will also be available from the shop. For Christmas orders of yummy beef, lamb and turkey, give Jackie a call on 741135 or 07727053846 to ensure you can get, quality home produced, matured and butchered meat… Photo right: The barn where Jackie & Todd are building there new farm shop. The building work should be finished by the middle of December 08. The Island's new funky radio station www.wightfm.com 71