Ashley Warren’s passion for cattle, in particular Beef Shorthorn, is only surpassed by his love of horticulture. The cattle he rears on his South Northamptonshire farm eat grass, a small amount of locally grown barley and silage. The silage is made from the fields here at the Garden Centre. The cattle are only medicated when absolutely necessary.
“I keep cattle because I love having them. My father was a farmer and had cattle and my Grandfather actually had a Smithfield Champion Beef Shorthorn back in the early 1900’s. Beef Shorthorn are an easy breed to work with (having a full time job at the Bell Plantation means they need to be!) they are very docile, very maternal, hardy and healthy and produce great tasting meat; which of course we sell in our Farm Shop.
I am expecting 30 females to calve between the end of February and May. The cows make great mothers; they are very maternal and produce loads of milk for the calf. Beef Shorthorn are white, red and/or roan, you never know what you are going to get until the calf is born. In April, when the warm sun dries up the soil and the grass grows, they will be turned out in the fields. Our cattle graze the flood plain of the River Tove in the summer and are housed during the winter. Inevitably some of the calves (normally the bull calves) are raised for their meat.
Shorthorn beef is renowned for its marbling, tenderness and flavour. I get the meat back from the butcher in vacuum packs of different sizes and weights, a variety of joints, steaks and mince. We have fresh meat available for about one week after I collect it from them, then we sell it as frozen meat. We can’t justify having a butcher on site at the Bell just yet which is why we sell it vac-packed and freeze the rest. People always seem to like buying fresh meat rather than frozen, why I don’t know, my family eat frozen meat all the time. Scientific tests to see if fresh is better than frozen have shown there is no difference to the quality of the meat, some however argue that the freezing process actually tenderises the meat. When footfall allows it would be great to have the animals back whole and have our own butcher prepare the meat to customer’s requirements.”
BEEF BOXES ARE AVAILABLE
10kg of mixed cuts of Beef Shorthorn £100
If you are interested in non-frozen Wappenham Beef leave us your contact details at the Farm Shop
If you have a requirement for larger joints please let us know.
If you have any questions please contact one of our team for more info 01327 354 126
Fax: 01327 359 751
Sun: 10:30 am-4:30 pm
A gem amongst garden centres, several visits later i’m still going back, so convenient.
Me and my daughters love coming to Bells. It is better retail therapy than any clothes shops!! The staff are always friendly and helpful. Well done!
I have only been to your venue once recently but found it very inspiring.