With such a fantastic array of local producers to choose from across Dartmoor and beyond, The Moorlander would like to share the Editor’s top choices for where to buy your meat this Christmas.
Christmas turkeys that are ruling the roost
Frenchbeer Farm is a local Christmas turkey farm that is proud to gobble about their recent success at the Great Taste awards.
The farm is based just outside of Chagford on Dartmoor and is home to the Malseed family as part of the Duchy Estate.
Here they have been farming traditional Christmas turkeys for the last 30 years and are now being recognised for producing some of the best Christmas turkeys out there.
Recently they have been awarded 3/3 stars by Great Taste – a huge achievement of any product let alone a little old farm on Dartmoor – as less than 3% of entries receive 3/3 stars. The award-winning turkey is simply a free to range, slow growing breed of turkey that is given time to develop full confirmation of muscle and more importantly a natural layer of fat.
This, partnered by hand plucking the birds, enables the Malseeds to dry-age the turkey for 10 days, resulting in tender meat and a more intense flavour.
It is this process that the family feel has given them this prestigious award.
Merry Christmas to ewe
South Hookner Farm on Dartmoor rear hardy blackfaced sheep which is a hill breed well equipped to live out on the moor all year round.
They are reared on heather and finished on grass, their diet is completely natural and as part of the Red Tractor Scheme, the brothers who own and manage the farm use only necessary medication as part of their higher welfare standards.
Due to the natural lifestyle of their sheep, the resulting meat is full of sumptuous flavour and contains less fat than other breeds.
The family run farm which has been in the same family for three generations have an ethos of sustainability and as such, the lambs only leave Dartmoor when they arrive with the customer at their final destination.
They are born and reared on Dartmoor and processed by a local slaughterhouse and butcher, all within the National Park.
The food miles are as minimal as they can be. Whole and half lamb boxes available, please call 0771 232 9730 for more information.
Pizwell Farm is right in the heart of Dartmoor at Postbridge.
It is one of the Ancient Dartmoor settlements mentioned in the Doomsday Book and some of the old original buildings can still be seen. Frank and Sue Martin grew up on the moor and now rear cattle, sheep and ponies.
Their South Devon cattle live on their farm and are reared using only natural feed and grass. Sue and Frank are part of the Meat Dartmoor group and sell their beef and lamb direct to customers.
Sue says: “We specialise in grass-reared stock, they’re not stuck indoors, and they age up to 30 months – they grow at the speed nature intended.”
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Rooting for local veg
With so many small-scale farmers producing fantastic seasonal vegetables, a local farmer’s market is surely the place to head to for the vegetables for your Christmas dinner.
They can be found in Buckfastleigh, Tavistock, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Okehampton and many other villages around the moor.
Certain grocers will also sell local produce, such as Harvest Workers Co-op in Okehampton which is a not-for-profit social enterprise that provides ethical, sustainable and organic foods at
Ullacombe Farm Shop, the grocers in
Moretonhampstead and Ben’s Farm Shop in Totnes can also be recommended for high quality, beautifully tasting locally produced vegetables.