Supplier spotlight: The Food Farm

Mar 18, 2021

At Saddles, as part of our philosophy, we only choose to partner with Australian and local suppliers. And, when we get to work directly with these producers, not only are we accessing the freshest seasonal providore, but we’re building long term relationships too. We love supporting these businesses and showcasing everything they have to offer. On our blog, we thought we’d introduce you to some of our regular suppliers that feature across our menu. 

This month, we sat down with Tim Eyes and Hannah Greenshields who own The Food Farm, based in Yarramalong Valley to tell us all about their 100 per cent grass-fed, grass-finished beef and pasture-raised organic chicken and eggs along with their sustainable farming practices.

Tim and Hannah, tell us a little bit about your background? What made you decide to establish The Food Farm?

Tim: I’ve always wanted to be a farmer for as long as I can remember. But I grew up in a non-farming family and living on the Central Coast, meant I had to take an unconventional approach. I attended agricultural college and then received a scholarship, which took me to the UK to further my farming studies. It dawned on me that the Coast, with its lush pastures, was the perfect place to grow food and start our business. I also saw the need to connect consumers to what they were eating and wanted to start something with a ‘hands-on approach’.

Hannah: I actually split my time between professional opera singing and farming. Like Tim, I’m a first-gen farmer but have loved the challenge of learning everything there is to know in the industry. I’m deeply passionate about educating people on how their food is grown. And, as a result, we decided to launch our business. We established The Food Farm three years ago and now, have a portfolio of six lease farms throughout the Yarramalong Valley on the Central Coast. 

What makes The Food Farm so different?

Hannah: We believe that animals should be able to express themselves, be free to roam and have healthy lives. Our chickens are free to forage for bugs, feel the sunshine on their feathers and enjoy regular dust baths. We also breed all of our cattle and sheep here on the Coast and they’re never fed any grain – they get to happily much on lush, green, organic pasture their entire lives. We believe in 100 per cent transparency with our farming, and openly invite conscious consumers to come and check things out for themselves and develop a connection with how their food has been grown.

the food farm chickens image
Photo credit: Barefoot and Soul Photography

the food farm cows image
Photo credit: Barefoot and Soul Photography

You use ‘regenerative methods’ in your farming practices, can you tell us a bit more about that?

Tim: You might be familiar with the term ‘sustainable agriculture’ which essentially is about preserving landscapes. However, regenerative farming goes a step further by actually improving the land, the environment, the life of the animal in the ecosystem and creating more nutrient-dense produce. This is our ethos – we know that when we’re in synergy with mother nature, the food we produce is not only kinder to the environment, but better for the animal and better for our customers that consume our meat and produce. We choose to farm organically, with no chemicals, hormones, antibiotics or other nasties.

We’re coming into the cooler months, can you tell us what’s in season?

Hannah: The highlight of the autumn and winter period on our farm would definitely be our organic pasture-raised chickens – the cooler temperatures encourages a more dewy, winter pasture. This enhances the depth of flavour of our chicken. 

Tim: We’ve had a particularly wet summer, so there’s an abundance of diverse grasses on the farm which our sheep and cattle are enjoying, so there is plenty of premium organic beef and lamb available too.

tim, hannah and chickens image
Photo credit: Barefoot and Soul Photography

Finally, can you share with us a favourite recipe?

Hannah: No worries. As it starts to get chillier, we always ensure that we have a bone broth ready in the fridge. It’s great for gut health, adds heaps of flavour to cooking and boosts collagen and mineral intake.

Tim: We love adding it to bolognese and soups or spooned over roast dinners and veggies – the list is endless.

Hannah: We don’t follow an exact recipe and like to use whatever we have spare in the garden or in the fridge, but here’s our process for an awesome chicken broth:

  1. You’ll need two or three good quality, organic chicken carcasses. Buy these raw from the farmer or save up a few chicken carcasses in the freezer from roasts.
  2. A handful of chicken feet. If you want a broth that is super gelatinous and full of good-for-you collagen, this is the secret ingredient.
  3. A handful of chicken necks. If you’re buying from us, you won’t need to add these as we keep the chicken necks on our carcasses. Chicken necks are a great way to pump up collagen.
  4. A splash of vinegar. We like to use organic apple cider vinegar to help draw out the minerals from the carcass and the bones.
  5. A handful of whatever soup-veg you have – this could be carrot tops, quartered onions or celery. There is no need to add too much, it’s just to add some extra flavour to your super broth.

Tim: Then, simmer lightly on the stove or in a slow cooker for four to 24 hours. The longer you leave it, the more minerals and flavour that will be drawn from the bones. Another tip: pop in the fridge and start the simmering process again if you have to go out. Then, strain and pop the liquid in the fridge. Alternatively, you can portion into ice cubes in the freezer to always have stock on hand. Simple!

Tim and Hannah are the owners of The Food Farm, based in the Yarramalong Valley on the Central Coast. Along with providing delicious produce to restaurants, you can have fresh meats and produce delivered to your door with their hamper and box delivery services. You can also head to their farm to learn more about their sustainable farming practices and meet the resident animals.