Why you should always buy local

In July last year we wrote a piece on the Texas dairy fire where 18,000 cattle were killed on
their own ‘dairy-farm’ in an enormous explosion and the ensuing fire.  In it, went on to compare
our own farming practices and in particular made mention of the small businesses we engage with at
the Butchers Quarter. We are proud to say that we know our farmers and suppliers by name.

Last month – we visited one of our favourite suppliers – Castle Farm Belties owned by the Wainright
family in Low Heskett, Cumbria. The farm was run as a dairy until the calamity of foot and mouth
disease in the early 2000’s. Neil Wainright made the switch to rearing beef cattle and started his
own native breed herd of Galloway and Belted Galloway. The breed is first documented back to the Galloway hills of southwest Scotland. Their ability to thrive on the harsh Scottish Uplands make them perfectly suited for life just down the road in Cumbria. The Wainright’s have built up a beautiful herd of over 150 pure Galloways, belted as well as Aberdeen Angus cross.

The breed is slow growing giving the meat a beautiful deep flavour. They are long lived – with some of Neil’s breeding stock being 15-18 years old. When we visited, the cattle were all indoors – feeding on hay or sileage grown on the farm. There are 2 main reasons why the beasts are indoors until later in March – both weather related. Although the breed would happily survive outside – being outside in all weather conditions tend to decrease the quality of the meat – given how hard they need to work to survive. It also makes simple day to day tending and feeding a lot harder! The 2nd reason is that being outside – with the growing season can have a highly detrimental effect on the pasture. It is essential for the soil and insect
ecosystem to allow the grass and flower pastures to get underway before the grazing herds are

The Wainright’s very recently started their own pig herd – sticking with stripes in the form of the
Saddleback. The Saddleback is a cross between the old [and now extinct] Wessex and Essex breeds.
They are docile and have strong natural mothering instincts. They are also hardy – happy outdoors
and slow growing. This all combines to make a fabulous full flavour pork with an amazing fat layer.
The herd includes pure Saddleback, Tamworth and recently an iron age boar has been introduced.
The Tamworth is one of the oldest of Britain’s breeds but numbers are dwindling with only 300
breeding registered in the UK. We will of course be giving you all the heads up as some of the crosses
come through! The iron age breed is effectively a cross of Tamworth and European wild boar and is
known specifically in the speciality meat market.

As always, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the farm, capped off with a warm cuppa and some of
Neil’s scones! Our butchers always give feedback to Neil in terms of the pork quality, fat content etc
every week when the carcasses are broken down. Reece our head butcher hand selected the pigs
and Galloway on the visit – and the feedback from customers as always was great! We are proud to be supporting such a fantastic family business and cannot emphasise enough how important it is to buy local. At BQ you can be sure you are buying the best meats available – and at the same time helping to support great farmers committed to sustainable farming practices.

Buy local, support sustainable farming practices and as per our earlier blog please do not buy
anything industrially processed. You can be sure at BQ our meat ticks all of those vital boxes.