The Producers… Frenchs Farm, South Weald
PUBLISHED: 18:23 23 March 2015 | UPDATED: 18:23 23 March 2015
LIKE most farms, Frenchs Farm in South Weald, is busy all year round, but especially as we near the Easter holidays. Owner Malcolm Knox explains: 'We've won awards for our environmentally friendly farming as we encourage natural growth, with the flowers and the weeds and natural pollination. We don't use any chemicals or artificial fertilisers on the land and it's this land which our animals are reared upon. Yes, it is more labour intensive, but the meats we produce are the crème de la crème and everyone says how wonderful our meats taste.'
Malcolm raises his own herd of Aberdeen Angus, Shorthorn and Hereford cows, all home bred and organically fed, even growing his own hay for the animals’ feed.
‘We only sell meat which is either reared on our own farm or supplied by producers that are personally known to us and we only accept standards as high as those we have here on the farm,’ adds Malcolm. His spring lamb is the traditional Mersea Salt Marsh lamb and his turkeys are Kelly Bronze.
‘None of our meats have anything added to them and the animals are all reared in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the Essex countryside,’ Malcolm continues. ‘You can taste it in the quality of the produce, whether it’s the succulent taste of the turkey or the tenderness of the beef and lamb. Just rearing the animals in this way works wonderfully well, in harmony with nature.’
Malcolm’s passion for organic meats was borne out of his need to feed his own family good quality produce. ‘We were totally fed up with the cheap, imported meats,’ he explains. Malcolm comes from a line of family butchers, so he knows his stuff when it comes to what makes a good cut of beef or lamb.
‘We know our meats now have all the nutrients and Omega 3 we need to keep us and our families healthy,’ Malcolm adds.
The farm shop supplies an abundant range of organic foods including its own homemade pies (both sweet and savoury) and fruit juices too. Malcolm also firmly believes in supporting his fellow farmers. ‘We only use produce from a maximum 25-mile radius of our farm and that includes the eggs we sell. The only exception to that rule is our organic salmon, which is responsibly farmed in Scotland.’
Frenchs Farm supplies fish and shellfish from West Mersea including line-caught sea bass and real oak smoked haddock as well as prawns, lobster and crab. All of these are particularly popular at Easter, when customers traditionally have their families around for the first gathering of the spring.
Malcolm also supplies homemade burgers and sausages, should the weather this Easter bank holiday decide to be kind.
‘As well as being barbecued, they can also be popped under the grill, but I’m confident we are going to have a good Easter where we’ll all be enjoying at least part of it eating al fresco!’
Get the taste
French’s Farm Shop
Wigley Bush Lane
You can visit Frenchs Farm Shop on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8.30am.
Three more to try:
Blackwells Farm Shop
Greenstead Farm Shop
Calcott Hall Farm Shop