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Contact Kate Daniels

What does all that mean?

Sustainability means three things for us:

  • We must look after the land and the stock so that they will continue to provide for us into the future;
  • We must be aware of the impact of the farm on the wider environment and take our responsibilities as citizens of this magnifcent planet seriously; and
  • We cannot do things that lose money or there will be no farm in future.

Manageable Growth

It is very important to us to ensure that the farm develops steadily so we know that will be able to look after the welfare of our animals. We have seen examples of businesses that grow too fast and it simply isn't possible to keep on top of everything...in the farming business you just cannot put the welfare of your stock at risk.

Affordable Goods

The real food movement which has gained momentum over the last 5-10 years has had a real impact on the way food is perceived in this country. If you make good local food well, with care and skill, it inevitably costs more than mass produced products containing a high proportion of imports. We worry though about good food only being available to those on above average incomes. Our produce is not "cheap" but we try to make sure that it is affordable to ordinary families. We try to avoid unnecessarily expensive packaging and we don't apply a ridiculous profit margin.

We are interested in helping people like us to enjoy good produce by thinking differently about the way that they buy food. For example by buying freezer packs of meat which include a range of cuts....and experimenting with some of the more unusual cuts of meat instead of always getting the same cut from the supermarket.

Environmental Awareness

Our food comes from our environment: the food we eat and the way it is farmed shapes the environment we live in. It can be hard for kids these days to understand that link when so much food comes in a packet from the supermarket. We need the next generation to  understand this connection....who knows what challenges they will face.

Happy Animals = Good Food!

Anyone who knows us will tell you we like our grub! Ultimately, the food we produce has to taste great and we hope you will agree that it does. Whether it is succulent roast pork, lovely traditional sausages, deeply flavoured hogget meat, beautiful honey or lovely fresh eggs with bright yellow yolks: we want everything to be delicious.

We firmly believe that healthy, happy livestock produces the most wonderful tasting produce. Of course we believe it's right to be good to your animals and would do it anyway: but its great that they reward us in this way.

Raising rare breeds

Rare and traditional breeds of livestock are very close to our hearts. Trends in agriculture mean that large agribusiness is coming to dominate many areas in food production. There is nothing wrong with this per se, in fact large operations can achieve many things that we smallholders would never be able to. The problem is that over time single breeds come to dominate areas of food production: Landrace pigs, Holstein-Freisian dairy cows etc.  These animals are fine for the large high-input production systems but are not suited to low input extensive farming. We do not know what the future holds, but we believe that the ability of anyone to raise livestock on a bit of land to feed themselves and their family is something that must be protected as an insurance policy against an uncertain future. This means we have to protect the breeds that are suitable to these kind of systems. Hardy breeds, dual purpose breeds, breeds that have a temperment compatible with domestic rearing. These breeds were developed over the centuries by our ancestors and we hope that Little Black Pig at Willow Farm will be a good steward of this inheritence for future generations.

And another thing

But (climbing down from my soap box for a minute) its not all serious and worthy. We are lucky to be able to do something we love and we have a huge amount of fun in the process. Many of our friends are our customers, and most of our customers become our friends.