Students learn from Worrall House Farm Larder
01 April 2011
LJMU Food Design and Technology Level 1 Students from the Faculty of Education, Community and Leisure at IM Marsh welcomed Mark Edwards and his Chef Sam from The Worrall House Farm Larder for a guest lecture about meat and game of local provenance followed by a tasting session.
In line with the World of Work (WoW) Programme and emphasis on the industry relatedness of the curriculum, Senior Lecturer Wendy Johnston welcomed Mark for the second year to talk about Worrall House Farm in Downholland, Ormskirk and how his family business evolved from rearing pigs to having a thriving farm shop.
The farm faced external factors which led to poor pig prices so started selling their meat at farmers markets in 1999. With a growing client base in this new market, the family built their shop, The Worrall House Farm Larder. The store specialises in the farm’s Aberdeen Angus beef as well as now supplying different meats, lamb, beef and chicken sourced from other farmers from Lancashire, Cumbria and Cheshire. Most recently the business has started to supply a variety of fresh local vegetable produce making it a one stop shop for customers looking for fresh ingredients and good old fashioned service.
Mark gave an insider’s view of how, as a primary producer, he is affected by local, national and global factors which in turn affect the demand for meat/ products. His overview touched on how his family have diversified the business and reached new clients through becoming an agri-tourism destination. The ever evolving “Farmer Ted’s” Farm Park and the “Farmageddon” Halloween attraction are supplied with high quality, home produced ingredients in their restaurant/ refreshments.
Students gained an insight into how the farm rear its animals and the traditional methods used compared with factory processed fresh meat. Hanging the meat affects the tenderness and ultimately, the taste of the product. The session ended with Students given a tasting opportunity when Chef Sam prepared bacon, sausage and steak from the farm as illustration.
LJMU Senior Lecturer Wendy Johnston said: “We value the contacts at Worrall House Farm Larder, Mark and his chef Sam came in and gave a lecture accompanied by a tasting session for the second year running. Mark is a very knowledgeable and he gives a great personal insight into the challenges his family have faced in farming through the years. Students now have a raised awareness of how the Farm Shop and related agri-tourism attraction have evolved and that being innovative with his core meat and related products has been key. Students really enjoyed the session as the information provided was relevant, current, informative and interesting. Maybe we will see him here again next year”