I arrived at Puddledub on a bright sunny day, the views from the farm over the Lomond Hills was breathtaking. As I pulled in to the drive, Tom came out of the house he has lived in since he was a boy, and apologised for the state of the garden. I looked around the mature, well kept garden and wondered what an earth he was talking about. He pointed to a trampled bush and explained that the herd of water buffalo owned and kept by his nephew Steve at farmland down the road, had intruded in the night.
This truly is a family business. Tom is head of the family and established the farm in 1999 with his sister, Camilla. His wife Clare, is now part of the business, as is their son Pete. Tom and Camilla’s nephew , Steve, manages a herd of garden trashing water buffalo. Jo who is married to Tom’s other nephew Ross, does the marketing.
It all reminded me very much of the farms in the books I read as a child – picture perfect with happy pigs and a big happy family (and a herd of naughty water buffalo!).
The farm rears pigs and produces award winning bacon and pork products which it distributes via farmers markets, their farm shop in Dobbies, and direct to their loyal customers from their website.
Everything for the pigs is produced on the farm, from the hay to the feed. When the time comes the pigs are transported in their own Puddledub vans, and return to the farm where all the bacon, sausages and pies are made by hand. Their award winning smoked bacon is smoked on site in large joints (yes, it took me ages to stop smelling like bacon, but Alex said he kind of liked it).
The bacon is sliced ready for packaging. It makes a great bacon sandwich, obviously, but we chose to crisp ours up and sprinkled it over spaghetti carbonara – with high quality well flavoured meat like this, you don’t need much. So while it always costs more for a quality handmade product, you do save on the quantity required.
The sausages are made from fresh minced shoulder and lots of honey. They are a firm texture with a great flavour, we all thought they were the best sausages we’d had.
Pastry is all prepared on site and the pie tins are filled by hand. Puddledub employs a loyal and committed team of master butchers who prepare all the meat.
The pies are cooked in the ovens, just like at home.
Then they are hand wrapped and ready to go!
Thank you to everyone at Puddledub Farm who made me feel so welcome. It was great to see the whole process and go ‘behind the scenes’. We are definitely Puddledub Pork fans here!
Stock up on all your porky products on the Puddledub Farm website.