During my visit to the Scotch Lamb PGI Street Food Festival in Glasgow, a visit to the Shantron farm was also on the program. Sheep and cattle have been bred here since 1750 in free range husbandry for high quality Prime Lamb, which is marked with the label Scotch Lamb g.g.A. My fellow bloggers Anne-Christine, Claire and Markus, Laurent Vernet of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Peter Toholt from the office based in Germany as well as the photographer Alan Richardson were there with me.
The Shantron Farm is located in Luss directly at Loch Lomond, the largest and perhaps the most beautiful lake in Scotland. At the farm sheep and cattle are reared and there is also a Bed & Breakfast here. Those who like hiking are suggested to go to the West Highland Way, because this passes directly by the Loch Lomond.
Immediately after our arrival we were welcomed by Bobby Lennox who runs the farm with his wife and his father, and were given a short briefing about the visit. Then we went to Loch Finlas, a water reservoir, where Bobby showed us another part of the farm and told us where and how the animals are kept on the land. The farm is 4,000 acres in size and 1,600 ewes and 35 suckler cows are kept free or are bred here. This, in my opinion, gives the word free-range farming a whole new dimension.
Then we went back to the main house of the farm, where I first practiced the sheep language and then we learned more facts about the farm. Anyone wondering about the kind of stable in which the sheep are standing should know that there are quite often situations that demand the animals to be kept in such a way for a short while. These include shearing, in which case the animals must be examined and a few other situations where direct access to the animals is required. In this case the sheep were taught how to eat from the feed trough.
If you want to know more about animal breeding on the farm, then you should watch the five slides of Bobby Lennox, in which you can find the most important details regarding it. After the theory part, Bobby drove us with his quad through the farm directly into a herd of animals. He gave us more details about the free-range animal farming and the high-quality meat produced from it.
Then we were surprised with a small snack with cookies, pancakes, lemon curd, coffee, tea and other delicacies. During this little break we were able to ask more questions and then we had to go because the Street Food Festival was waiting for us.
Even though all this may sound very set and prepared, it was a great trip which has affirmed my belief further that it makes sense to pay attention to labels for high quality breeding methods and to buy less but higher quality meat (in this case, Scotch Lamb PGI). For me, nothing new actually because I have been doing it with my purchases for a long time and can absolutely recommend it. And I am not just saying this because I was invited to the excursion and to this short Scotland-trip by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), but because I am satisfied with it and because it tastes good.
You will find more pictures of my trip with Quality Meat Scotland in my album on Flickr.