This week we are kicking off our Festive Feasts From The Earth Trust Farm campaign by hosting Emma’s Ewesful Acres at our stops. Emma took over as shepherdess at the Earth Trust in September, after making a brief appearance with her lambs at their popular lambing event back in March. As well as working another part time job, Emma tends to 300 breeding ewes and has also just taken on 12 Red Simmental cows.
Despite having a first class degree in Orthotics Emma has sheep farming in her blood as she grew up on her parents small holding. She’s always had her own sheep and when the Farm Step tenancy came up at the Earth Trust she saw it as a great opportunity to pursue her passion and grow her business.
Her herds graze across the wildflower meadows around the Wittenham Clumps, you’ll be able to see them if you ever take a walk that way. This means they eat a varied diet and just the amount they need, no risk of being overfed like commercially produced lamb.This also means they are able to mature at a natural rate increasing their health and improving their flavour. Sheep are known to self-medicate, which means that if, for instance, they have an upset stomach they will graze on specific plants that help cure them. So having access to local wildflower meadows is perfect.
Emma’s lambs will have lived for at least 8 months to a year before being sent off to slaughter, unlike intensively farmed lamb which sometimes only live for 2 and a half months. And she’s also going to be selling Hogget. According to Emma this is the best way to enjoy lamb. Loved by gourmet chefs, it’s lamb that has lived at least 14 months and has therefore seen an extra spring and had more of a life. It’s a a delicious cross between tender lamb and full flavoured mutton.
Emma has just sold her first cuts of local lamb and is now ready to take more orders for he coming month. Check out our recipe for slow roasted lamb with root veg gratin created by Smoke and Thyme for a great way to serve Emma’s lamb this season.
Visit any of our stops on the 1st-4th December to chat to Emma and put in an order or get in touch with her via her Facebook page.