at least that is what I call him. My next two posts are going to feature 2 of my favourite people. They are both farmers, they both do what they do because they believe in it, they love it, are passionate about it and they are proud of what they do.
Tom Turner and his gorgeous wife Katja are farmers at Bontebok Ridge Reserve in Wellington. They breed European wild boar and supply me with a very limited amount of the most fantastic meat. The colour is similar to Shiraz, the texture is firm, the flavour is wild but not gamey and the resultant cured products are some of my favourites. I have a cured leg from the very first wild boar I received in February at home and cut a few slices for guests or just for a snack when the need arises.
The boar were introduced in the 1800’s to South Africa and since then have roamed wild up the west coast. They can be very destructive to the local flora resulting in Cape Nature Conservation currently trying to cull the population surrounding Riebeck West with mixed results. The boar at Bontebok Ridge are part of a specialised breeding program and while they roam freely in their allocated pastures they are monitored closely to track their growth, breeding and health. Tom also uses them to tackle the problems of black wattle and blue gum which are alien species.
Tom is clearly well know to the wild boar population and I’m guessing the little bucket of treats he carries around with him is just the required bribery to initiate some boar interaction. On our recent visit the boy named Lucky (named due to his escape from becoming a salami) came running at the sound of his whistle and not only loved the tummy rub, he even lay down while we stroked him.
I feel so privileged to have dedicated farmers who are prepared to treat their animals with respect. To raise them ethically and with integrity and who are not driven by profit but rather by a desire to rear animals in a humane way, thus providing me with something special. I try to do as little as possible to the meat once it arrives as I don’t believe it needs too much added and I want the quality to shine through. At times the stresses of running a business can take its toll but a visit to my amazing farmers can restore ones faith and belief in what we are doing and inspire one to continue the journey.
Next blog will be about Charlie, Julie and Glen Oakes but until then, to my awesome suppliers: A very big thank you – without you I would be poorer in spirit and values.