Let it never be said that the life of a food blogger is a glamorous one.
To set the scene, I’d had a trip to see Donna at Ellises farm in my diary for a good couple of weeks when one of my lovely friends invited me out for ‘just a few drinks’, this happened to be the night before my trip to Devon, to visit the award winning producers of Gloucester old spot pork sausages, salamis etc.
Somehow this ended up being a night out in a rugby club, watching the Wurzels and sinking one or two pints of Thatcher’s. If I’m perfectly honest, and please don’t let this cloud your judgment of me as a blogger, I am very professional (*polite cough*) I wasn’t entirely sure that I was going to make the hour’s drive the following morning. BUT I did, phew, and fear not, I was totally legal.
I wasn’t prepared though, I had left my wellies at home…what a schoolboy error that is when you’re visiting a pig farm?! Thankfully it was a beautiful, warm and dry day so my flip flops coped pretty well, even if some of the slightly older babies did pay some alarmingly keen interest to my toes…
Anyway none of this is helping you to get to know Donna is it, and that’s what I’m here for.
Donna is one of the most relaxed yet dedicated producers I have met to date. It doesn’t take long to really appreciate just how hard working and committed she is to producing some really outstanding pork and pork products from her pigs, who are very obviously happy and, dare I say it, loved? Show me a pig that wouldn’t be happy living outside under the oak trees, with bountiful amounts of acorns to munch on?
Donna started off with a couple of sows in 2003, and in fact the butchery, where Dona prepares her products, has been converted from the stable where her first two piglets were born, I’ve been assured that it has been cleaned thoroughly since…
From those humble beginnings, selling joints of pork at work to colleagues, Donna then, as have many of our producers expanded her business and ventured into slightly more exotic produce such as salami, Parma ham, pastrami and frankfurters. It’s because of this exotic approach to pork produce that had Ellises Farm on Countryfile seven years ago, where they used Donnas Morris Minor during the filming. This was mainly because up until the last few years, salami was an imported product and rarely made in the UK.
The majority of the produce that comes from Ellises Farm is obviously pork related, however Donna does have a small flock of sheep and another small herd of Hereford cows, as I say these are not her main focus so beef and lamb products are only available occasionally, however grab them if you see them because the smoked beef and pastrami is delicious!!
You can find Ellises farm products at various markets throughout the week, (notably Taunton Farmers Market on a Thursday, in the High Street) but also at various food festivals, events and even weddings, where all the hard work has been done and Donna offers hot pulled pork rolls, smoked brisket and other delightfully delicious delicacies.
So there’s Ellises farm! If you want the tastiest roast pork with banging crackling then pick up an Ellises Farm Gloucester old spot joint, pair it up with some veg from either Linscombe Farm or Ray and you’ve got yourself and incredible Sunday Dinner…what’s more, you’ve supported local producers and bagged some top quality produce all at the same time.