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22 September 2011

The Real Squeal: Samphire

Samphire is an award winning smallholding in Norfolk rearing rare breed pigs and sheep. Ethical farming is at the heart of Samphire and they have been recognised by the RSPCA for their commitment to animal welfare winning their Good Business Award two years running.

Karen Nethercott became weary of the rat race and quit a successful career in corporate accountancy to start a new life and a smallholding in the country. Before she started she didn’t know anything about farming and learned through courses with the Norfolk Smallholders training group, from watching others and taking notes.
She and her husband Jeff now rear British Saddleback and Gloucester Old Spot pigs and Ryeland sheep, there are also chickens and geese on the farm too and a substantial kitchen garden.

Samphire is run on the belief that animals should be raised as naturally as possible – all Samphire meat has a great life under spacious Norfolk skies with plenty of fresh air and tasty meal times.
Only use rare breeds are used because they are passionate about preserving what is special about British rural culture and heritage. The animals thrive in non-intensive, natural farming environments and produce fabulous tasting meat.

Photos: © childsdesign

The food is really special because Samphire believes it’s better to be obsessed with making something exceptional than obsessing about price and competition.
It’s not just our regulars who love their rare breed meat either, Gary Rhodes said their sausages were the best he'd ever tasted and Giles Coren gave their delicious pork pies 10/10.

Sell their fabulous pork pies, sausages and other goodies at local farmers’ markets and also at a couple of markets in London, it is definitely worth getting along to their stall. If you can’t get to a market you can order online through their website or pick up from the farm.

My Little Porkie
Samphire always have Gloucester Old Spot and Saddleback piglets scurrying around and My Little Porkie gives you the chance to own one of them. There’s no worry about having to look after it as Samphire will do all that for you. You just choose your piglet at the start and then they will send you regular updates and photos showing you what it is getting up to. They can even arrange a visit. All you have to do is decide how you want your pork at the end (Samphire can help with that).

Throughout the year the smallholding is open to visitors for events and courses. The best way of finding out what is coming up is by joining Samphire's mailing list on the website or linking to their twitter or facebook pages.

Visit Samphire on The Artisan Food Trail here

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