How Christine got into rearing Southdown Sheep and why she chose this particular breed:
Christine’s father reared Southdown Sheep in the 1950’s and 1960’s and so she was brought up appreciating the superb flavour of meat that the breed produces. Having had a career in both textile design and as a music teacher she decided to continue the family tradition of rearing Southdown Sheep when she retired. She took over part of her fathers farm in 2004 and rears her sheep with the same care and diligence her father did. Having been an extremely popular breed during the 1950’s and 1960’s, numbers of Southdown sheep declined as people tended to prefer larger breeds of sheep. Christine is determined to show that Southdown sheep, while smaller and slower growing than other breeds, produce the best quality meat. Her sheep are free to roam, and rather than feeding them hard food she allows them to graze on the herbs and grass around the farm to their hearts content. When allowed to mature at their own rate the meat is noticeably sweeter than other breeds giving it a very unique taste. It is this unique flavour that gives Southdown sheep a ‘taste of nostalgia’.
The challenges that Christine is facing producing Southdown Sheep
The lambs are very small and need nurturing and observing. During the lambing period Christine has to dedicate the majority of her time to making sure these lambs are kept safe. She even checks on them every 2 hours during the night! Christine wants to get her lambs into the fields as soon as possible, but if there is bad weather then they have to stay inside longer, increasing the risk of infection.
Products that Christine is offering:
Christine offer a range of cuts of both lamb and mutton. She also has Oxford Down Sheep as well as some rare Suffolk Punch horses. For more information please contact Christine via phone or email.
Christine’s favourite Southdown sheep recipe:
Christine’s favourite recipe is an old Sussex one for Mutton: Smugglers Stew (this title was used to induce us kids to eat meat in the 50’s). The stew uses any root vegetables and pearl barley with a sauce made using Harvey’s Bitter reduced with crab apples and honey. It is cooked over night on a very low setting. It is economical and filling. Usually served with cheese or plain scones.
Address: 52, Ridgeway, Hurst Green, Etchingham, East Sussex TN19 7PJ
Phone: 01580 860881 / 07966 445206