It was a sunny afternoon in late May when I went to visit Tim at his farm on the borders of Pembury in Kent. A lovely setting of dense woodland and open paddocks backed by a freshwater stream, the perfect environment for rearing free range pigs I was told. I was not really sure of what to expect for the next hour or so when I walked through his gate but I was already quite impressed. Tim celebrates his 10 year anniversary of Pembury Porkers this August and has come along way since supplying us with a few packs of sausages once a week. I was naturally keen to understand more about his operation so I joined him for a whistle stop tour.
Tim was more than happy to show me around what he had built, very well constructed pens and open paddocks with plenty of space and natural shade. He runs a self sustaining operation with structured litters and healthy sows. Apparently pigs require plenty of fresh water and must be content with their environment and food to be at their very best, this was of great importance to Tim. He showed me several different breeds such as the Gloucestershire Old Spot, Berkshire and the classic Tamworth, all chosen for their distinct characteristics and flavour. Pembury Porkers is working alongside these traditional breeds and keeping alive the genetic gene pool in British pig farming which can be traced back to the 1600’s.
The Gloucestershire old spot was also known as the orchard pig, made famous for its markings, as the story goes apples would fall from the overhanging trees onto the back of the pig marking its skin thus giving it its name. A rare breed as listed on the livestock conservancy, top quality meat for all purposes be it pork chops, roasting joints or sausages.
The Berkshire pig was first recorded when Oliver Cromwell’s troops quartered in Reading. Reference was then made to a local breed of pig renowned for its size and quality of its bacon and ham. The breed has gone from strength to strength and certain oversea markets still consider British Berkshire pigs to have the best taste and flavour.
The Tamworth (as pictured below) is the oldest pure English breed. It is thought to be the most typical breed descended from the old indigenous species, the Old English forest pig. To be working with pigs of this pedigree and history is great for British pig farming.
Tim was very proud of course to show me his Pietrain breed Boar, a very impressive site indeed weighing over a third of a tonne! Once again the space for such an animal was impressive, it was allowed to roam freely in and out of the fenced woodland. Keeping him happy is very important to producing such healthy litters of course!
I must say that Tim really does knows his meat, having been a qualified butcher of 37 years. He started at the age of 12 at his local village shop cutting up joints and pressing burgers. Prior to starting Pembury Porkers he was a meat inspector for 10 years and took the time to earn his royal society of health qualifications in white and red meat. Poultry and local game are also a hobby to him when in season which is all prepared locally on site.
I thoroughly enjoyed my brief time on the farm and felt really proud to be involved with such a great product. I hope this has helped to build a picture of what Pembury Porkers has to offer.
Tim has been working with us at Farmer’s Farmshop since the start of his business and we are pleased to be able to work in partnership to supply such wonderful locally sourced meat to our customers.
If you would like to know more information about Pembury Porkers products please do not hesitate to ask.
All the best,