Andy and Adam eat more and more food from their own plot – and they feel great as a result
Christmas is the season of celebration, so there’s no better time to sit around a wonderful roast beast and toast your health and happiness with family and friends. For most of us, roast turkey and all the trimmings, with all its smells and tastes, evokes childhood memories of safety, fun and being part of a loving family.
We’ve enthused massively during our time writing for this magazine about the amazing feeling of roasting our own pork. Rearing animals and eating them has had a profound effect on both of us and the way we value meat.
Last month we talked about Light Sussex cockerels and the delicious dark meat that we produced. The amount of work that goes into producing the meat can be appreciated in every mouthful.
And so we’ve found ourselves over the years naturally eating less and less meat that isn’t our own, or from someone we don’t know. For one thing the taste just isn’t the same, but also eating a bog standard supermarket sandwich just began to feel wrong. There was no sense of occasion, no reward for the hard work. Eating meat that wasn’t our own just became a bit of an empty experience. So a few months ago we stopped altogether. We made the decision to only eat meat that we know has been raised in the best of conditions with nothing but the highest regard for welfare, basically, our own.
Without using any labels, as they tend to come loaded, we now eat around a 90% plant-based diet. We love the sense of occasion that we get from eating fantastic, well-looked-after meat and that’s just perfect for us. The shift in our diet has changed many aspects of our lives.
We’ve been eating this way for a few months now and suddenly our ‘small’ smallholding has become immediately more viable. Looking back, it very quickly dawned on us that we didn’t have anywhere near the amount of space we needed to raise all the animals we needed to eat – but now we have the opportunity to look at our little smallholding in a brand new light. If we eat less meat our smallholding suddenly becomes full of possibilities.
It’s like a light bulb moment - it makes total sense. We can produce an abundance of fresh seasonal vegetable and fruits on our land and, if they make up the bulk of our diet, they should take up the bulk of our available space.
Andy and Adam’s productive polytunnel