Absolutely Amazing Slow roasted lamb shoulder

INGREDIENTS: (2 kg) lamb shoulder, bone in 1 bunch fresh rosemary (a large bunch, or two small bunches) 1 bulb of garlic, unpeeled (use 2 bulbs if you love garlic) 2 lemons SAUCE: 1 Tblsp flour Juice from roasting pan Oil from roasting pan 2 Tblsp Red wine vinegar Bunch of peppermint finely chopped   Turn your oven up as HOT as it will go. Now, using a sharp knife, make a diamond pattern in the fat layer on your lamb. Add half of the rosemary sprigs to the bottom of the roasting pan. Scatter over half of the unpeeled garlic cloves (a full bulb if you’re a garlic freak, half a bulb if you’re not so keen on it). Place the lamb on top, I never add oil to my lamb – it already has enough fat on it and this will melt over the lamb as it cooks. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Squeeze the lemons over the top of the lamb. Scatter the rest of the rosemary and garlic cloves on top of the lamb. Cover the roasting tin tightly with aluminium foil (you may need several layers to make sure it’s tightly covered), then place on the centre rack of the pre-heated oven or BBQ. Immediately turn the heat down to 160C if you’re using a fan forced oven, or 170C if not. Cook for four hours. Once cooked, remove from the oven, remove the foil, and you will find the large bone will easily pull away from the meat. Now, use two forks to separate the meat from the bones, and pile the meat...

The best pulled beef…..ever?

OK, I admit it, I am completely dis-organised when it comes to having dinner ready.  I mean, let’s face it, most of us are in the same boat.  We are working mothers (and fathers).  By the time we’ve cooked breakfast, cleaned up, made school lunches, done a few loads of washing, hung the washing out, gone to work, cleaned up, brought in the washing, ironing, answered 5000 questions from the 5 year old, coached the touch team, done the shopping, bathed the kids……and now it’s DINNER TIME?!! We live in a house of 9 – and the 2 eldest eat like there’s no tomorrow.  I can tell you, I’m glad we grow our own meat, otherwise I would be flat broke. My greatest companion in the kitchen is my slow cooker …….and my daughter Maggie (who does have a sweet tooth, and makes a mean brownie).  There are many times when I grab a frozen blade roast, (or corned meat, or brisket – you get the drift) out of the freezer, stick it in the slow cooker with some vegies and fire it up (this is best done by about 10am, otherwise you will run out of cooking time.) When dinner time rolls around and the locals are starting to get hungry, I am pretty pleased that I’m not thinking, “What am I going to cook tonight?”  All I do is throw on some spuds and everything else has already been done. Did you know that about 80% of a beef animal is not a “tender cut?”  That is eye fillet, rib fillet, scotch fillet.  Most of the animal has...

Conventional farming or organic? Our story….

WHEN Veronica and Dan Laffy started turning their Dalby cultivation country back to grass and using organic to describe their business approach, they knew it was a gamble. Yet even as they weighed up the risk and compared their change in direction to “jumping off a cliff”, they knew it was worth was a try. “Dan’s family has farmed here for 90 years and we’ve lived here since we were married but, for us as a couple with young kids, farming 1500 acres conventionally wasn’t economic,” Veronica explained. “So for a long time we both had off-farm businesses: I had a childcare centre in town and Dan worked as a contractor fencer when he wasn’t farming. “Both of us had successful businesses, but on-farm for a time it seemed like we were just making enough to pay for the chemicals and fertilisers to put the next crop in. “So opting to change everything about how we farmed was like jumping off a cliff. “Doing what we did, well that was like starting again.” Change came when the second of the couple’s six children was born with Down Syndrome. It proved a turning point for a young mum already conscious of her family’s health. “I guess I never felt I had enough energy,” Veronica said. “Then when our second child was born with Downs, it wasn’t a catalyst but it was a motivator for us as a family, making changes to ensure we were as healthy as we could be.” She started buying organic fruit and vegetables, forgoing processed biscuits and refined food to keep within her grocery shopping budget....
How to save the planet, reverse desertification and eat good food, all at the same time…

How to save the planet, reverse desertification and eat good food, all at the same time…

Well, we’re certainly back into the swing of things. Week 4 of school, sport has started, homework is on and piano practice, and Judo and the weeks are zipping by! I keep saying I feel too young to have kids who are nearly finished school.  Our eldest son Sam was given the privilege of school captain, so he is in for a busy year, in between various sporting commitments, study and working on the farm one day every week. We were absolutely smashed by the heatwaves in January and February, though I think most of the South East was in the same club.  Our already parched paddocks got hammered, and we have once again sold more of our beef stock to ensure we retain ground coverage and are able to recover when it does rain again (we received a magnificent 40mm on the weekend). It’s trying times like these that we really appreciate all we have learnt about pasture management through holistic grazing management.  This style of grazing management will reverse desertification and restore fertility across the globe…..check out it’s founder and brains trust Allan Savory here. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.  It takes time, management, thought, observation, data comparison and RAIN!  It has been such a woeful summer of rain (or no rain) that Farmer Dan might just have to get a day job that pays, whilst we wait for some more of the wet stuff!  And that’s ok, because we know that it will rain again, and when it does, we’ll move back into the regenerative cycle – one that builds and restores and works...
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…..

Well, it’s certainly snuck up on me again this year.  I can honestly say the I have NO IDEA what I am going to buy my children this festive season.  I look around and see that they have so many things – toys, bikes, lego, etc, and the things they love to do the most usually happen outside on a pile of dirt, with a stick and a rope and each other.  I think sometimes it’s easy to get so busy with work and life and “acquiring” things, that we forget that what our children and loved ones really want is to spend some downtime with each other and with us. So, to that end I have enlisted the help of my 16 year old son Sam, and we are going to build a swimming pontoon to use on our lagoon, and I think that that will be the family present this year! I have made an effort over the last 6 years or so to try and establish some family tradition, within our family, especially at this time of year.  I’m not a naturally “homey” type of person, and I find it difficult to think of the right things to cook or dress the table with that make it special.  Thankfully, I’m blessed with a 12 year old daughter who LOVES to do these things, and together we can have some amazing food and great atmosphere as well.  I have also discovered Pinterest, and am happy to steal someone else’s idea to use! When I think about what makes a great evening or celebration there are three things that...
Felton Food Festival

Felton Food Festival

Felton Food Festival Wow!  What a massive day this turned out to be.  We spent Friday packing up and getting ready to set up our stall, and then at 5am Farmer Dan, Sam, Maggie and I headed off to Felton to set up our stand and tell our story!  My big sis Liesel did all the food prep and we sold our gluten free sausages on a wrap with crunchy coleslaw salad and homemade BBQ sauce.  Lili and Sophia were also enlisted to help us serve the crowds and everyone did an amazing job  (even Sophia’s mate Sofie, who just came to see the festival and got roped into serving!)  After a crowd of 8000 in 2015, this year they blew that away with over 12,000 people. I hear on the grapevine that they may split this event over 2 days next year, to help with traffic congestion and to make the crowd more manageable.  Even with the large crowds, it is such a fantastic way for farmers to reconnect with their local communities and share the story of food production.  It’s so easy to be disconnected from our food sources when supermarkets are so accessible, and food is so readily available. April...
Support your local food producer

Support your local food producer

WE NEED YOU! We have just seen the devastating effects of milk farm gate prices on dairy farms in some parts of our great country.  It was so amazing to see how readily the Australian public came to the support of these farmers and spent the extra few cents or dollars on farmer co-op milk. A lot of farmers are in the same position as these dairy farmers, whether they grow lamb, beef or cereal crops.  That’s one of the reasons we chose to market our beef and lamb direct to the consumer.  It is financially unsustainable for us to continue to farm and sell our product through wholesalers.  We have just had one of the driest summers in the last 10 years.  Farmer Dan has done a brilliant job of protecting the pastures while still fattening cattle, no easy task.  BUT, we need your support.  If we can’t sell these cattle in the next 2 months, and we don’t receive any rain, then they will have to go to the wholesaler, whether we like it or not.  This Angus beef is just amazing, our fat cover is brilliant and it will truly melt in your mouth!  If you’ve been putting off ordering, now is the time to do it!  We love to connect with people who support us and support ethically grown, healthy produce. Head over to the website and place an order or share a box with a mate! May...
Christmas greetings…

Christmas greetings…

November, 2015 Taking orders NOW for lamb delivery December 18 – Dalby, Toowoomba, Ipswich FROZEN deliveries into Brisbane and the Gold Coast.  Order here. What’s new?          All of our orders will now be cryovacced What’s changed?  Our produce will now be processed at the Maclagan Butchery Christmas greetings from all of our family to yours this festive season.  This is a very special time of year for us as we celebrate the birth of our saviour Jesus, and gather with family to enjoy each others company, special treats and of course Christmas lunch. We have had a number of blisteringly hot days over the past week – 38 – 40 degrees – however our grass is still looking green and lush after the 80 mls of rain we received at the start of November. I am so looking forward to the school holidays.  We all slow down a little bit and get some jobs done in the garden with lots of little hands to help. Sam will be starting a Cert. III in Agriculture this holidays, and will be working alongside Farmer Dan and learning the ropes.  Next year when school returns he will spend one day per week at home working which will be fantastic. All of us wish you a blessed Christmas.  Make time to contact your family and spread lots of love and good cheer.  We live in an amazing country. Veronica and Dan...

Children on the farm

Children on the farm…. Charlies loves going out with his dad and checking the cattle and the sheep.  Sometimes it takes longer for Farmer Dan to get his daily jobs done if Charlie is with him, which can be frustrating for him.  But we also believe very strongly that if our farm has a future then that future will be in the hands of our children, and they need to be involved at any age, especially if they show a keen interest.  We want them to enjoy working with their Dad (and me) and also learn how to position themselves around animals and what to look out for when doing daily checks.  Our 13 year old son, Jim, who has Down Syndrome LOVES helping Dan, and when he is away and I have to do the rounds he shows me all of the things that need to be checked, and reminds me if I forget anything.     ………………….… It would be easier and often quicker if the children were just left at home, but part of building a love of the land and a work culture in our family means that we have to be patient, especially when they are young, and involve them in the tasks and activities that they can successfully participate in.  We also pay them a wage when they help us complete project jobs such as fencing.  This teaches them that there can be financial reward on the farm, not just endless jobs with no pay!  We have told them all that if they can think of a business enterprise that they can layer...
Food Partnership

Food Partnership

As we  develop and reshape our farm and production systems and methods, we are regularly reviewing our processes to make sure that we are achieving the best possible outcomes for our soil, grass and animals.  The beauty of the holistic grazing management framework is that this is built into seasonal and yearly planning.  Farmer Dan loves to be outside,  and it’s harder for him to commit to paperwork and planning, but as he has become more familiar with the system, he is reaping the rewards in all areas of the farm – land, soil, water, family and animals to name a few. We have also had the pleasure of partnering with over 25 families who have purchased our produce.  We prefer to use the term “food partner” instead of customer or client, because it is a real relationship that involves both parties being committed in some way to sustainable food production, regeneration of our land, non chemical, ethical treatment of animals, and support of their local farmer.  Non of those are throw away terms.  The next best financial return on our product would come from all our meat getting minced and sent to America.  Neither Dan or I like the idea of that, but it’s something we would have to consider without support from our communities.  Thankfully, we are confident that with some time and extra effort, we will develop those ongoing relationships and provide the people in our community with health filled organic beef and lamb, produce that sustains not only our bodies but our communities as...
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