This week is Love Lamb Week – a chance to celebrate local lamb that has helped shape the South Downs National Park as we know it. At this time of year, lamb is at it’s most delicious, especially when it has been enjoying a natural diet on grass fed pastures.
I would strongly urge you to put a cut of lamb in your shopping bag this week – not only because it is delicious and versatile, (from simple pan frying to in-depth curries and tagines) but also because you are supporting local farmers, landscape and biodiversity.
The South Downs was cleared of woodland for grazing and agriculture during the bronze age more than 6,000 years ago. The grazing of the South Downs chalklands by medieval sheep farmers has created unique conditions for wildflowers, butterflies and ground nesting birds that should be preserved and supported today.
In chalk grassland the short, springy grass supports many animals and plants. The right amount of grazing by animals is essential to keep the grass short and to prevent the growth of unwanted plants. Chalk grassland may contain up to 40 different kinds of plants per square metre. This diversity means that there are also many types of insect. You can find rare plants such as the round-headed rampion, orchids ranging from the burnt orchid and early spider orchid to autumn lady’s tresses, and butterflies including the Adonis blue and chalkhill blue.
Our lamb comes from just south of Midhurst around Bepton, with over 700 ewes providing us with a consistent supply of lambs within a weight band that suits us and gives us fantastic flavoured lamb.
This week we have lamb merguez sausages, lamb and rosemary sausage rolls and of course every cut of lamb. You can also purchase a half box or whole box of lamb that is cut to your requirements – large joints for gatherings, or individual cuts that is vac packed ready for the freezer. You can then enjoy lamb at it’s seasonal best. If you would like a lamb box prepared, let me know and I can send you a cutting list.