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Organic Ardlethan

September 9, 2010

Alan (farmer) Marc Chef (West Leagues) Vanessa Barnes (Top Cut) Andy Ball (bel mondo)

Is it important to understand where your food comes from
??? I Think so. I beleive we become richer if we understand what challenges other people face to put food on our plates. The more information you have the better able you are to craft your own decisions about what path you wish to follow and which way your business will go. Know this, that everybody counts, great things have happened because one person decided down a certain path.


Enough on the phylosophy recently I travelled down to Wagga Wagga, Junee, Ardlethan to Visit a number of Abatoirs and a number of farmers.
I came back very impressed with the overall care for the wellbeing of the animals and the incredible quality controls in place. Now I sure these systems have been put in place by external pressures. These are big corprate run bussinesses. unfortunately (or fortunately) I was forbiden to take photos in either of the Abatoirs.

The story I wanted to tell you is about Alan Druce who as far as i can tell seems to be one of the fathers of Organic farming in Australia. On arriving at Alans farm we (vanessa Barnes (Top Cut) Andrew Ball (bel Mondo) Marc(Wests leagues) and Daniel (PJ O’brien Group)) sat down in his moddest lounge room and comenced our fireside chat. We talked at length about mineral makeup of the soil, choice of breed and Castration of all things.

Alan beleives that the soil mineral makeup which is ideal is identical to that of a human body. An imbalance in that make up and a certain weeds will grow. Have it correct and there is no need for any aort of pesticides.

Organic Suffolk Dorper CrossAlan does not believe in Mulesing he believe that you should raise sheep with appropriate wool cover for the area and nither drenching or Mulesing is necesary. On this he said he has tried Merino and other breeds of sheep. But his preference is for a Dorper, Suffolk cross Dorper for the thicker muscle development and Suffolk for the prefered flavour. The most contraversial discusion occured when discussing castration, as Alan beleives to castrate slows growth in males and is essentially unnatural.
The argument for castration as far as I understand it is that it makes the meat taste “bully” i have ordered 3 male lambs and a bull which are all prime examples of his meat and it will be here this week so we will age it and see if it is “bully” or if it is infact just beautiful orgainc meat. ( I did try to have the testicles shipped down so I could see what they tasted like but to no avail).

The beef he raises is a Red Poll, beautifull looking animals and raised by Alan because he wanted pure breed cattle and these seem to be his prefered breed. He has been organic farnimg for 30-35years so I didn’t put him thru the third degree. 

It is however, my belief that consumers will one day buy beef like in europe based around breed. it already happens with Angus. but Chianina, Limousin, Red Poll will be marketed under their own breed.

Why do we believe that Angus is sucj a great breed??? Eveen though an Angus carcase never wins any of the agricultural show awards?? I’ll tell you. Macdonalds.

Later on in the trip we visited a farm which only breed Black Angus, purely on comercial variables ie low birth weight, capable of fattening up the fastest and acheive for the time taken to grow the best return on money. This side of farming which is alot less romantic is the reality.

Our efforts need to be rewarded. It is through education and demand that Farmers will move to more holistic management of their land.

Bruce Ward teaches farmers all about how to create Biodyversity and a sustainble, profitable Farming ecosystem, something that we need to look at, for the short medium and long term future.

Look out over the next few weeks for the Organic red Poll and Suffolk Dorper cross lambs to be on our specials board.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2010 9:03 am

    Isola Chianina are doing Chianina Beef, see

    • mumuland permalink*
      September 15, 2010 6:52 pm

      Sam Looks amazing all the chianina that goes to Pino goes to La Scala. Can I buy carcase direct?? do you know??

  2. September 22, 2010 12:42 pm

    Bravo Craig,

    Nice review, we just held our “Lambtastic” night here at Wests on Monday night. The apprentices along with Col Reynolds HTN Master Butcher, did a wonderful job producing an Organic Lamb feast.
    Let me tell you, the flavour is fantastic.

    • mumuland permalink*
      September 22, 2010 2:41 pm

      I wanted to come to that but i had 160 last night for a rib fest. I cant wait to cook up that lamb

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