About The Farm
Grassfruits is a small farm and online farm shop striving to produce and source ecologically sustainable, healthy and nutritious produce. We’re based just south of York, North Yorkshire. At Grassfruits, animal welfare, soil health, and creating a robust, regenerative agricultural system for future generations are paramount. We and our associated farmers have a grassroots approach to farming. We are working our very hardest to produce the greatest possible alternative to factory produced meat. We haven't quite reached what we consider to be perfect just yet, but we're constantly looking to improve.
All our animals are free range and outdoor, expressing all their natural behaviors and eating as natural a diet as possible.
Our woodland reared pork comes from pigs that run free range through the forestry on Escrick Park Estate, near York, North Yorkshire. We manage the pigs alongside the forestry on the estate to assist with organic management of weeds in the forest. Himalayan Balsam and Bracken in particular. The pigs are moved to a fresh piece of woodland every 7 to 28 days, depending on their size and the number of pigs in that particular paddock. This way the pigs aren't left in the same area long enough to damage the vegetation and just long enough to stimulate the forest floor to encourage new growth. We believe in animals being kept in their natural environment. Our pigs live in this forest environment all year round.
As well as being able to eat as many bugs, grubs and worms as the like and as much vegetation as they can eat, our pigs have access to a locally grown home mixed feed.
We rear traditional Saddleback and Gloucester Old Spot sows, these are a slow growing breeds. We then cross the sows with a Large White or a Duroc boar. We choose these breeds for their maternal instincts, their ability to thrive outdoors and flavour.
Our sows farrow outside the natural way. Piglets are left on the sow for a minimum of eight weeks so they receive all the essential immunities they need from their mothers milk.
Once weaned from their mothers our pigs are free to roam through the forest until they're between 6 and 7 months old. When the day comes that we have to transport pigs to the abattoir our pigs are loaded in small groups on to the trailer. We are incredibly lucky that we have a small family run abattoir only a 5 minute drive from where our pigs live. This is almost unheard-of today. This makes for a very stress free process for all involved.
The following day carcasses are collected and delivered to our butchery at Rillington to be cut and packed ready to deliver to our awesome customers.
Our chickens arrive with us at the farm at a day old, when they are placed into a brooder to keep them nice and warm. The brooder is designed to mimic the environment of being under mums wings. The chicks spend between 18 to 24 days in the brooder. Once the chicks have feathered out nicely and are able to regulate their own body temperature they are moved a short distance out on to fresh pasture.
Once out on pasture our chickens can forage for bugs, grubs, worms and as much fresh grass as they can eat. As well as having access to a certified organic grain to ensure they have a well balanced diet. We use no antibiotics and their diet is GMO free.
We move the chickens on to a completely fresh piece of grass every single morning. Moving them into a clean fresh environment and away from yesterdays manure which can then be left to fertilise the pasture. This keeps the birds healthy and happy and ultimately us healthy too.
Having slowly matured to around 10 weeks our birds are ready to be processed. Where possible the birds are loaded under the cover of darkness to reduce stress. Once loaded we transport the birds a short 25minutes to a small scale family run poultry abattoir where upon arrival the birds are process immediately, again reducing stress.
The following day we return to the abattoir to collect the birds. Once back at the farm we portion and pack them ready to dispatch to our amazing customers.