From 'Farm to Fork'
Dedicated to connecting people to the countryside through great tasting food and outstanding rural experiences.
Hill House Farm 'farm to fork' rare breed pork and lamb is free range and home reared on our 17 hectare farm near Dorking, in the Surrey Hills. We pride ourselves on creating high quality products from our Gloucester Old Spot pigs and Southdown sheep, with great provenance, a very short supply chain and low food miles.
We also collaborate with a handful of carefully selected farms and producers across the Surrey Hills who share our ethos and passion for sustainable farming, so that we can offer ‘farm to fork’ lamb, pork, beef, and turkeys at Christmas, all butchered and traditionally prepared in our catering unit on the Farm. As butchers and chefs, with decades of experience between us, we work hard to prepare our produce to the same high standards you would expect in any high-end establishment.
Looking after the environment is very important to us and we aim to minimise our impact wherever possible. We fertilise our pastures using pig manure, which contains naturally occurring nitrates rather than using synthetic nitrates or petrochemicals. And when it comes to the pigs, nothing goes to waste, left over greens from the vegetable garden or apples from the orchard are a real treat!
This year we will start mob grazing our sheep on our pastures that have been sown with herbal leys, which is a rich mix of grasses and legumes, and will provide our sheep with a more nutritious diet, which is higher in protein. By grazing in this way not only is it better for sheep, it’s also better for the environment, as it improves soil quality and significantly increases the absorption of carbon back into the soil, reducing the carbon footprint of the animals.
As well as our pastures we also have five hectares of coppiced ancient woodland. This area is home to a plethora of wildlife and by coppicing it, the trees are encouraged to re-generate and help evolve the area’s biodiversity. We are very thoughtful about the number of trees we plant, what we plant and where we plant them, to actively maintain this area of ancient woodland.
Our Gloucester Old Spot herd now includes over 20 pedigree sows and three boars called Boris, Freddy and the latest addition Gussy. These lop-eared breed of pigs is very good-natured and more interested in rooting around the farm than exploring, unlike its prick eared relatives.
We slowly rear each pig outdoors over 26 weeks, for longer and slower, to give it more flavour. When we were researching what pigs to rear on the farm, we chose Gloucester Old Spot pigs as we felt they were the breed best suited to our land and also the best tasting!
We have over 160 Southdown sheep, in the Hill House flock. This rare breed is indigenous to our part of the world and one of the oldest English sheep breeds in the UK. Southdown sheep have been grazing the South Downs and the surrounding area for over 200 years.
We chose to keep this breed of sheep not only because of their heritage, but also because of their docile nature, their small stature and because they are a relatively straightforward breed to manage.