It's very difficult to find genuinely ethical pork: a lot of 'outdoor reared' or 'outdoor bred' meat in supermarkets has only spent a few weeks or so outside before being grown on in large sheds. Better than a life in an intensive pig farm, but not quite the free range existence you might imagine.
This week Rob and Em Lawrie showed us round their small holding, where hens roam free, Spike the farm cat purrs round your legs and 30 or so happy pigs are reared in wide open pens. Brought inside when necessary, a local butcher slaughters and prepares the meat which you can buy at the farm gate. Their weekends are currently taken up with running full service hot roasts so they aren't doing farmer's markets yet but if you're headed towards Nantwich, phone ahead and they'll let you know what they have available for collection. We picked up 48 delicious sausages and a 10 person joint of pork for less than £25, with piglet cuddles thrown in for free.
Rob and Em with two of the latest litter - five days old, these little squealers were beyond cute.
Olly, age 7, gets friendly with Mummy pig.
We found them by chance online while looking for some new chickens to add to our back yard flock. You don't get more 'local food' than eggs from the garden. Rob and Em have a wide range of rare and heritage breed chickens - they also sell eggs for hatching, hens of various ages and feed if you fancy having a few feathered friends yourself.
Check out their website at www.harlequinfarm.co.uk