If we haven't managed to answer all of your questions, please drop us an email.
Why are you organic?
I think the better question is why isn't everybody organic? The basic practice of organic farming, integral to animal welfare and soil health, is no chemicals. Let me introduce you to the tardigrade. A micro-animal bumbling through the soils with 8 legs, part of an essential mini-maintenance crew for our soils. In the words of Nicole Masters - 'They are virtually indestructible; surviving conditions above boiling and below absolute zero. They can withstand 10,000 times the gamma radiation that would kill you. ... Tardigrades have been on the planet ... for at least 530 million years.' Scientists even sent them into space to see if they could survive. Spoiler alert, they did. But do you know the one place you won't find tardigrades - in soils with a long history of cultivation and herbicides. If these hard as nails, ancient critters can't survive conventional modern farming, then why do we think the rest of our incredibly fragile planet can? Why are we still ploughing and spraying chemicals on our earth and on our food? There is another way, and it will feed us all.
I thought cows are a huge contributor to global warming. How can they be part of a sustainable farm?
You're right that cattle can require a massive amount of carbon inputs. This isn't due to cattle themselves, but how they are farmed. Winter fed on imported grains, high stocking densities, summer grazing fields that have been sprayed, re-seeded, chemically fertilised, this way of farming requires a huge amount of carbon.
This is not how we farm. In low numbers, like on our farm, and fed only from organic pasture, our herd has a much lower carbon footprint. So low in fact that our carbon audit came back as carbon negative, meaning we sequester more carbon than we use to produce beef. Plus cattle are the architects of our wooded pastures, one of the most biodiverse environments in the UK. Without them our land would return to closed canopy woodland and the biodiversity on our farm would actually decrease. Here's a bit more on how we farm, but essentially on our farm cattle are key to our wildlife-led strategy.
Why pasture fed beef? What difference does it make?
It makes loads of difference. And not to get too pedantic here, but grass fed claims can be made if grass makes up just 51% of an animal's diet, and only for most of their lives. So the rest of the time they could be fed grain. Where as pasture fed animals are only fed on pasture. Their entire lives and their entire diet has to be from pasture, though this can also mean hay (because that is dried grass). It means our beef has a much lower carbon footprint and is much better for the environment, animals and us too. But don't just take our word for it. Please investigate for yourself. Here are some good resources to get you started - pastureforlife, Tim Spector's Spoon-fed, particularly his chapter on Bringing Back the Bacon, and these books are pretty informative too.
Organic, pasture-fed, native-breed, dry-aged - what does it all mean?
Essentially it means beef that is better for you, better for the environment and better for the animals. Specifically we're certified organic by the Welsh Organic Scheme, which ensures no pesticides or chemical fertilisers are used on the farm, no routine antibiotics are used on our herd and we maintain the highest standards of animal welfare. But we want to do more for the environment and our animals. We choose only to feed them from our farm, with no imported grains, just a natural, pastoral diet from the farm and nowhere else. This is better for our animals, ourselves and our planet.
Native breed cattle are breeds of cattle that are native to the British Isles. They tend to be more robust and can withstand staying outdoors all year rounds. Not having to house our cattle during the winter dramatically decreases our carbon footprint because no bedding is required, no machinery to clear out the muck and spread it on the fields. Cattle are also very content out of sheds, and our farm has plenty of natural shelter to keep them protected from the elements. Plus native breed cattle are well adapted to the variety of plants on offer on our farm, happily munching on pasture plants that continental breeds quite literally turn their noses at. So why doesn't everyone farm native breed cattle. Well, they can grow a bit slower, but this makes it all the better in our book and adds to depth of flavour when it comes to enjoying our beef.
So that is about how we farm. Dry-aged is the foodie bit, where good quality, slowly reared meat is made even better by hanging for a couple of weeks to improve flavour and texture. Dry-aging also helps protect the quality of the meat when freezing. How you ask? I couldn't put it better than these guys.
How do i order our native-breed, dry-aged, pasture-fed beef?
We have frozen beef available throughout the year - these guys explain really well why we freeze our beef and why its doesn't compromise on quality. Your beef can be delivered via courier or you can pick it up from our freezer dropbox on the farm. Online Shop
If you would like to know when we have fresh beef please drop us an email and we'll add you to the mailing list. We take animals off the farm according to the grazing available and the affect on the farm's wildlife. This is usually after the spring/summer flush of grass is over and in the autumn before winter sets in.
How do I receive my beef box?
How do I book to stay at Trebach or camping?
Send us a quick email or give us a ring, 01291 691988. We take a deposit up front through online or mobile payment links, and the rest on arrival, cash, cheque or card. If we book up during the school holidays, we'll start to post availability on the website.
How private is Trebach?
The entrance to the holiday let is shared with the main farmhouse. There are two sets of double doors in the hallway. We go left, you go right, and the end of the house is entirely yours.
Does staying on a working farm mean everyone is awake at the crack of dawn?
It's not a dairy farm, so no 4am starts thank goodness. Our idea of agriculture is to let nature take its course as much as possible, so we spend most of our time observing and checking on things quietly. Being a nature-led farm, it's the wildlife that makes most of the noise around here. Think dawn chorus and buzzing bees with the occasional impatient moo from a mother cow telling her calf to come along now, accompanied by the nicker of horses or sigh of alpacas.
How do I pay?
For your pasture fed beef boxes you can pay online here. To pay your holiday deposit, we will send you a payment link either to your email address or phone, whichever suits you best. The link is simply a click away from paying by debit/credit card or paypal.