Go Organic Festival
Our second show was Go Organic in Battersea Park, with our attendance also supported by D&G LEADER funding. It was part of Organic September celebrations and was open to all. It was a beautiful weekend, with great music and loads of organic and lifestyle products.
Unlike the trade show, no-one had heard of us, so the vocal chords were in overdrive explaining what we do. I thought David was going to go hoarse half way through the first day. Again the feedback was terrific. What little Bluebell cheese we had left was sold in the first 3 hours. This cheese, a pasteurised semi-soft blue, has proven so popular that we asked our expert cheesemaker Stephen to prioritise making more batches of this, we should have some ready in around 6 weeks time.
We met quite a few vegans and ‘almost vegans’ at this show too. It has to be said that a face to face discussion is much more civilised and productive than some of the exchanges that have appeared on our Facebook page over the last couple of weeks.
If there is one thing we learned at this festival is that unlike us rural dwellers, the majority of people in London don’t have much storage space in their kitchen. Our minimum on-line order is 500g – most people simply wouldn’t have the space for that. I could almost see a bubble coming out of David’s head saying ‘but you’d eat that in a couple of days!’.
We also launched our Crowdfunder campaign that weekend. This was all set up to go live before we ever left for London (well about 5 minutes before we left for London). We had no idea what would happen. We later found out that we should have had friends and family lined up to donate when it went live to get it off to a flying start, but we simply weren’t that organised. When we retired to the pub after the end of the festival and caught up with what was happening in the outside world, we were astounded to discover that our campaign had been the top trending project that day!!! Thank you Facebook and Twitter friends xxx
Sustainable Food Pop-up Meal
The following evening was our final event. A pop-up in Shoreditch – how trendy is that?
The purpose of the meal was to raise awareness of sustainable food production systems with chefs, retail buyers, members of the media and elected politicians. We wanted to start a conversation about the challenges of food production and what we think some of the opportunities are to do things better. Our reason for doing this when we did was to coincide with the Soil Association’s Organic September campaign. Both ourselves and Peelham Farm are organic farmers and Pasture for Life Association members, and we used the event to explain why.
The theme was ‘Can Dairy Be Ethical’? We may have caught the public’s imagination by keeping the cows and calves together, but at the end of the day both become meat. Dairy beef is seen as an inferior product to beef reared from traditional beef breeds e.g. Aberdeen Angus. This is a point of view we would like to see change. Our challenge to James was to design a menu using ruby veal (a 10 month old suckled calf) and ‘Auld Prime’ (beef from a 12 year old cow). We will all remember his Roast Auld Prime rump with horseradish for a long time. Not to mention the cheesecake with poached mirabelles using our Crowdie cheese (not in the shop - yet!). At the end of the night James explained how he developed the menu and how he cooked each dish. Everyone in room knew they were listening to a master.
The timing of the pop-up coincided with the airing of BBC Scotland’s documentary ‘The Dark Side of Dairy’. We watched it on iplayer when we returned to our lodgings at 1am. Being so far away from the farm while this aired on BBC Scotland was surreal, and we could see from what was being said on social media that our return home the next day was going to be interesting. Things haven’t stopped since, and we will give you an update on that very soon!
A big thank you!
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported our crowdfunder so far. We are pleased and relieved that people share our vision for a kinder, more ethical, more sustainable approach to dairy farming. If you like what we’re doing please share our story with your friends and family to help raise awareness of our dairy revolution! Thank you.