It's not what we expected, but after watching one too many episodes of River Cottage, my husband and I find ourselves the owners of a tiny, free range pig farm in Tasmania. We farm rare breed pigs, mostly Wessex Saddlebacks and Berkshires.
We began with a couple of sows, Bella and Rosie, who arrived at three months old and soon had piglets at foot. When you have pigs, ultimately you have pork too. So we kept raising pigs and began selling pork to friends. This grew into a small niche produce business.
My husband Oliver, being an Englishman and great lover of sausages and bacon, decided to make his own. He began collecting books about meat, how to butcher and smoke it. He experimented with the results, usually on us, his family.
We created a name for our enterprise, Langdale Farm, and for six years now, have been selling our lovely farm-made produce, pork cuts, English style sausages and smoked bacon, at Harvest Launceston, an award winning farmers market here in northern Tasmania. We also cook and sell our product at calendar events like the Tasmanian Craft Fair and Entally Estate Gardenfest. Each year we open the farm to visitors for one weekend during the West Tamar's Farmgate Festival.
Two years ago we joined the sharing economy and opened guest rooms on the farm in one private wing of our house. We are proud to have five star reviews for the warmth of our welcome. We love showing guests around the farm and sharing our story with them, and they love meeting the pigs. We like to provide a 'home from home' for people while they're away. Naturally, we include a barbecue pack of provisions from the farm! And a bottle of the premium cool climate wine for which the Tamar region is renowned, for those who book for longer.
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