Know the farmer behind the food you serve this Christmas

Know the farmer behind the food you serve this Christmas

“Cooking creates a sense of well-being for yourself and the people you love and brings beauty and meaning to everyday life. And all it requires is common sense – the common sense to eat seasonally, to know where your food comes from, to support and buy from local farmers and producers who are good stewards of our natural resources” – Alice Waters

Christmas is just around the corner. The adverts are out and everyone’s competing for our hard earned money. This year, spend your money with someone who has equally worked hard for it, a Fair Food Farmer. Supporting local this Christmas is great, supporting local and fair is better. The farmers you can find on foodture all produce food in harmony with nature. Whatsmore, they go above and beyond to bring nourishing food to the table. Food connects us all, this Christmas let’s connect direct with our farmers.

Meet Una, Karl, Ashling, Daniel and Dawn from Annfield Farm in Kildare, raising free range, organic turkey.

Annfield Farm Tell us a little about you

We pride ourselves in the care and attention our turkeys receive and the quality of live they enjoy. Our Bronze Turkeys are certified organic from our family farm.

We raise bronze turkey poults from day olds in early July. They are fed an organic diet and when they are old enough and off heat they are allowed outdoors to graze and forage on grass and herbs (they particularly love nettles!) outdoors. Turkeys are naturally inquisitive and they enjoy spending time outdoors playing and roaming in the field. They live a happy low stress life with lots of room to enjoy life. They only leave the farm to go to a local EU approved organic poultry abattoir. They return back to the farm oven ready and we sell direct to customers who want to know the whole story from farm to fork and not just what colorful packaging their food comes in. We are happy to answer any questions about how are turkeys are reared and encourage any customers to come to the farm and see for themselves.

How do you farm in harmony with nature?

My husband and I changed our farming practices to a more sustainable method of farming in 2014 and converted our mainly suckler farm to practice organic methods of farming. We achieved full symbol organic status in 2016. As we became more aware over the past few years of where our food comes from and what inputs are into the meat, and crops we eat we were unhappy with the choice available from the local shops. Poultry in particular was a major concern for us, knowing the conditions and overcrowding they live in and the additives e.g antibiotics that are so ofAnnfield Farm ten included. We felt that they live an inhumane life and the meat they produce although could not fully nourish the body. We wanted to produce an alternative not only for our own family but for others that many must also hold the same values. Our ethos is very straight forward we do not produce anything we do not feel has had a happy life, a humane death and that we would not be 100% happy to feed to our own children. We believe you are what you eat and treat others how we would like to be treated (even animals!)

We do not use chemical fertilisers, instead we use organic seaweed liquid fertilisers and the farmyard manure that our livestock produce. This improves the organic matter of our soil and boosts the microbial content which in turn improves soil quality. Quite apart from being organic and being part of the GLAS scheme (where we have planted a hectare of wild bird cover to sustain the birds and wildlife over the winter) we are trying to concentrate on replanting and improving our hedgerows which have been depleted over the previous decades.

Our Turkeys are fed locally produced wheat (from a farm near Stradbally, Co. Laois) as well as organic pelleted turkey feed . They are supplemented weekly with powdered Irish Seaweed. Our turkeys health is a direct result of strict husbandry where they are given lots of space, good ventilation, dry clean bedding, lots of outdoor space and stimulation and a natural balanced diet. The result is a happer bird that is not stressed and so is less susceptible to disease.

Where can people find your Fair Food?

We sell oven ready Organic Bronze Turkeys for the Christmas Market. Having reared them from day old poults back in July right through to Christmas, we know everything there is to know about them and so our customers can be sure exactly where their food comes from.

A variety of weights are available to suit every family size: Small: 12-14lb Medium 14-16lb Large 16-18lb. They are double breasted hen turkeys. Bronze Turkeys are reputed for their moist and flavorsome meat. The oven ready turkeys can be collected from the farm a day or two before Christmas from our refrigerated market trailer. Local delivery can also be arranged to Carlow/Kildare/Laois for a small extra fee.

Support Local, Fair Food this Christmas – Find your nearest Fair Food Farmer Here

Click on a farmers profile, find out more about them and how they farm, contact them directly through the site and start eating Fair Food

Get the latest on all things fair for Christmas dinner, direct from the farmers themselves in our latest podcast

Help us nurture a culture of food citizenship, share our content and tell us your thoughts in the comments section. If you produce Fair Food or if you want to share your story with us email us at info@foodture.ie

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Comments (1)

  1. We are a Laois family of 5 people and have had a beautifully moist and tender organic turkey from Annfield Farm for the past few years and we have to say we can highly recommend Una & Karl’s farm products. (Don’t forget to keep us a bird this year ! )

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