Sheepdrove Organic Farm - Breakfast Banger
Sheepdrove Organic Farm is situated on the chalk downs above Lambourn (of race horse training fame). It is owned by Peter and Juliet Kindersley (of Dorling Kindersley fame) and is recognized as one of the most influential organic farms in the country.
They have open days which are worth attending (listed on the site under Food events.) Everything they do on the farm is intensely organic and ecological. They are home to the Barn Owl Conservation Network, have a stupendous conference environment and wholly work with nature. They have recreated lost downland meadows, use traditional dew pounds, leave uncultivated "beetle banks" in fields of crops (corridors for animals and insects to live in and travel through) and rear top quality organic meat.
You may have bought a Sheepdrove chicken from Waitrose - its pricey at around £10 but is worth every penny. Not only will it give enough tasty meat for a good meal for 4 - 6 but the strong bones will make good stock. On chickens, visitors to the farm can view the chicken sheds where chicks are reared, complete with hi-fi system and viewing windows where the chicks come for a bit of fresh air!
They have Aberdeen Angus and Devon beef, downland sheep and pigs. These are Duroc and Saddlebacks reared outside in family groups.
So what is the meat like - dry and wholesome like many other organic offerings? Absolutely not, the sausages are tasty and moist, with hardly any fat and big flavour. The description on the Sheepdrove website is fair comment "These superlative British Bangers, subtly spiced and lightened with crumbs, make perfect high tea, easy supper and toad-in-the-hole fare, as well as being indispensable in a full English."
They cost £7.99 per kilo and score a stonking 10 in our Taste Test.
They can be brought from the farm (on the open days or if you are attending another event there), mail order or from the Sheepdrove shop in Sheepdrove shop in Bristol.
Barn Owl Conservation Network