I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again. We are spoilt in Leeds for good food – whether it’s good restaurants or the raw ingredients, we are very lucky.
I’ve been going to Swillington Organic Farm for the past couple of years buying their excellent organic and free range meat, and it’s a real family affair. There is passion in what they do and the result is cared-for happy animals which lead a good life and ultimately this is reflected in the quality of the meat.
You’re probably questioning why it is better to buy from local producers and I understand – it’s very easy to just pick up a couple of chicken breasts from the supermarket and away you go. But do you know what country your meat came from? Do you know how that animal was treated? We always try to buy free-range and whilst that is easy with chicken a majority of the time, free range pork is a lot harder to come by. Sure, you can get “outdoor bred” and “outdoor-reared” but that means that the animals live a comparatively small amount of their lives outdoors (up to 10 weeks) before living inside. The pigs at Swillington are free to roam around large outdoor pens and have a little mud bath should they so wish.
All the animals are killed locally which reduces stress levels in the animals and are then butchered on-site at Swillington Farm. I actually held a little supperclub for my friends last year and I called up a couple of weeks before with my porcine requests (bacon and bacon and bacon and bacon) and they had it all ready for me to pick up.
You can buy all their fabulous meat from a little hut on the farm and more recently offered a local delivery service to the Leeds/Bradford area. We like to stock up and fill our freezer but now they can come direct to you, wherever you are in the country. For £50 a month you will get organic and free-range meat right to your door and you will be safe in the knowledge that you are help small businesses with good intentions. There are more options available and if you have any special requests then you can contact them and ask! Find out more about Swillington Meat Boxes.
Swillington Organic Farm held a #meatup last weekend for a few people to visit the farm and be shown around. We were also introduced to a special Yorkshire wine, grown just a few miles away from the farm. The wine came from the Leventhorpe vineyard – we tried a couple of different grapes though I can’t remember their names, but they were specially selected for their late harvesting to allow extra ripening time given our northern climate. They were pretty drinkable and are available at Latitude Wine in Leeds if you fancy a punt.
We also had a few nibbles provided by Dough Bistro – I can’t believe we have never visited this place especially since we used to live so close to it before we moved. The food was all made from ingredients sourced on the farm (as are the sausages in the shop using veg and herbs from the walled garden) and tasted fabulous. They perfectly complemented the wines and beer we tried whilst soaking up the glorious sun we’ve been having!
After walking round we took a trip to the shop and bought a couple of the organic beef steaks to have for tea – let me tell you how juicy and succulent they were and not expensive like you would expect of food labelled organic!
I fully recommend the farm walk – they hold these quite often! Also there’s fishing lakes which were pretty busy last weekend. Unfortunately the government are planning for the new HS2 train line to go right through the farm, so please do help by signing the petition to stop this. More info here
I was not asked to write this and was not paid for this – I just think it’s a great thing!