Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Is all the shit worth going Organic!?

Well, it's certainly been a while and I guess I had to have some kind of epithany or some life changing experience worth sharing, that would bring me back to the the world of food blogging. Well dear reader, I have had such an experience. Birth by fire you might say! First of all I would like to say hello to all who have ever read my blog and sorry for being away for such a long time. I was last incommunicado in Christchurch New Zealand, starting my chef course and loving every bit of it. During the space in between, I finished my course, which was everything I had dreamed of. Fell madly in love with my girlfriend, who was so supportive of my life changing careeer choice and then ventured to London. In London I had a short spell visiting my mate Neil (fellow food blogger who introduced me to an amazing man Iqbal Wahhab, the founder of Roast, a fabulous restaurant in the Borough Market. During our meeting/lunch, which I have to say was marvellous, he told me he knew a man who needed a private chef and he would put me in touch. True to his word he exchanged contact details and while I was travelling in Italy, visiting Lisa, who had ventured off on holidays of her own, I arranged to meet one, Jody Scheckter. A millionaire who was once a Formula One racing driver winning the Grand Prix in 79, who then became a fabulously successful innovator of gun training machinery and made his money there. This was not enough for a man who likes a challenge - he then decided that he would buy a farm in Hampshire and establish an organic farm that produced the best food his family could eat. Well he didn't stop there and now he has a unique farm of gargantuan proportions (a word easily slipped in that Daryll Hannah would be proud and envious). A farm that is not only massive in scale, but of such diverse and original complexity to make it a 'one of a kind'. Its a "bio-dynamic organic farm", producing everything God ever intended for us the way nature is supposed to nuture and provide. Organic chicken, geese, pigs, boar, buffalo, beef, lamb, wheat, barley, hops, milk, eggs, fruit and veg, cheese, ice cream, salami, biltong - the list is endless.

Well I met him after my holiday in Italy and a day later I was working for him as House Chef and something more that I am not quite sure has even been developed yet. And if it does get developed it will be by me. What I am saying is that i need to create the role. So I am now esconced in immediate employment, infatuated with "this place" (Laverstoke Park Farm) and the fact that everything is produced and consumed on the farm (sold elsewhere also, but the main plan was for the Scheckter's to eat and enjoy). During my time here, I have involved myself in understanding the place and have therefore worked in various divisions to get a better understanding.

Now I get to the crux of the moment when I felt this all was worth writing about and hopefully will inspire me to write more again, regularly. Well today, during my induction into this escape from reality farm world, I worked in the Dairy. I got to milk buffalo and cattle, feed calves, hold a piglet, let the free range chickens run not just free but rampant around the fields and watch a few bulls have an almighty scrap, determining which one is boss in the neighbourhood. Well a bull got thrown out of a field (one tonne of animal) Afterwards, he looked kind of sheepish about it all. The chickens clambered all over the car and in the passenger seat (teach me to close the doors when working). The pigs were gorgeous, although I was emotionally wrecked during, as two little piglets had died overnight. And although I felt the milking would be incident free, I was appalled and disgusted at the fact that having to hold down a buffalo that unfortunately had been in a fight earlier and as a result suffered from blood in her milk. Said buffalo decided to shit while I was holding her and then proceed to wipe my face with her shitty tail. Later when I thought I had recovered from such a disgusting attack on my person, another buffalo decided to wipe her piss drenched tail accross my face while I was managing the suction cups.

I was disgusted and appalled and the other workers laughed on as if it was the most normal thing in the world and I was behaving like the buffalo had just given me herpes. So, I have determined that I like cooking them, love their milk and cheese, but if another buffalo wipes its dirty disgusting shit and piss drenched tail over my face ever again it'll be Tesco's all the way for me, organic or not. Farming is fun but just aint my thing!

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