The aim of the farm is to be productive, beautiful, diverse and educational.
Whitmuir Farm is owned by Heather Anderson and Pete Ritchie, who have lived here for 10 years. The farm itself has been here for over 300 years and, like most farms, has been farmed organically for most of that time. We returned to full organic production 10 years ago. The farm is run as a trading partnership with Heather and Pete as the Partners.
We farm organically because we believe it to be the only way to farm sustainably. Organic farming is better for the soil, the plant, the animal, the planet and us. We aim to produce good, healthy food which doesn't exploit the the animals and the people who grow and produce it or the soil and natural environment.
Being organic is non-negotiable here, so everything in the shop and restaurant is either certified organic or, when no organically produced equivalent is genuinely yet available, environmentally friendly and/or ethically produced.
Our farm and our butchery are both certified by the Soil Association, who inspect annually. The SA symbol on our meat and vegetables and fruit means we meet the very highest welfare and production standards.
Soil Association Certification -
We have Producer Certification for the farm and Processor Certification for the butchery and shop. Certificates available here.
Farm Producer Certificate
Farm Producer Information Schedule
Farm Producer Trading Schedule
Butchery and Shop Processor Certificate
Butchery and Shop Processor Information Schedule
Butchery and Shop Processor Trading Schedule
13 breeding cows (mainly Shorthorn cross – a traditional breed). The cows calve every year in April-June and keep their calves with them until the following calving.
Cattle are butchered at about two years old and the meat is hung in our on-farm butchery for 3 weeks to tenderise the steaks.
Finishing cattle on grass improves the taste and texture of the meat, and leads to much higher levels of Omega-3 beneficial fatty acids. We also work with a number of neighbouring organic meat producers to supplement our homegrown produce.
50 North Country Cheviot ewes lambing April. We top up with lambs from neighbouring Halls Farm as well as our own Blackface mutton reared in the Great Glen. Lambs are ready to eat August onwards
1 Duroc Boar, 7 Tamworth Sows, 2 Middle White Sows. Sows farrow all through the year. Each pregnancy lasts 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days.
The pigs spend the summers outside in fields and woods, and the winter in a strawed barn with a verandah and outdoor run.
Weaned at 8 weeks, reared in family groups, fed on silage and reject fruit and veg as well as best organic pig food, these pigs get to be pigs before they get to be pork.
350 Lohman Traditional hens for eggs
We have 5 small hen houses which we move round the farm. Some hens just won't take a telling and still wander around the car park and old silage shed.
Oh, and our eggs are cheaper then Tesco's organic!
350 Heritage Breed turkeys
Our turkeys arrive in May each as day old chicks. They come from Cuckoo Farm, an organic hatchery.
We buy these turkeys because the can still breed naturally. Many conventionally bred turkeys can no longer do this because their body shapes have been distorted for breast meat. The turkeys do not have their beaks trimmed and we have a natual mixture of males and females.
We have Norflock Blacks, Cambridge Bonzes, Bourbon Reds, Slate Blues and Pied Crollwitzers. After 3 weeks under the brooder, the turkeys are moved to a larger, hopefully fox and badger proof shed. They are walked out daily to pasture where, in addition to their organic feed, they graze on clover, grass and what ever veg they can find. As most turkeys don't see the light of day , we think this isn't so bad a life.