Have you been to Gorgie City Farm recently. I am sure those of you lucky enough to grow up in Edinburgh have fond memories. The neat hectaire of land somehow shoehorned into a space off Georgie Road has been welcoming visitors for FREE for over 30 years.
There are plenty of farm animals to gaze at and at this time of year, plenty of young. You can board your guinea pig or rabbit when you go on holiday – a rather upmarket holiday as they have access to a run rather than being stuck in cages. The farm also welcomes many groups of people young and old who benefit from working with animals in addition from corporate groups spending a day on the farm to socially marginalised young people who have the chance to volunteer in a supportive environment.
Ross Mackenzie, the General Manager, is so passionate about the farm and taking it to the next level with the help of Farm Manager Dennis Rankin. Now Gorgie City Farm is spearheading new ways to cover running costs and is expanding into supplying food to visitors and local chefs. I just love the fact that schools can hire an incubator and eggs to hatch!
If you visit Gardener’s Cottage or L’Escargot Blanc and Bleu in the coming months, you will find some very local pork on the table. You really couldn’t buy it closer. Yes, those adorable piglets will have the time of their lives until they’ve reached maturity and will be butchered to the chefs’ specifications.
Gloucester Old Spots or Tamworths will be on the menu. Gorgie Farm is making a conscious choice to choose breads that make good meat. In the case of the sheep they choose ones that will lamb year round. (It’s fascinating that with sheep, it’s more profitable for the Farm to get them ready for showing and then onto breeding rather than use them for meat). There could soon be kid and chickens available too.
There’s a community garden and a polytunnel. Who knows what lovely produce we might find there?
Apparently in some quarters, this quest to sell animals for food has caused some controversy. Selling the animals on view as meat? Why not? Children are more matter of fact than we are, so that goat will become a curry? They’re not bothered.
Currently you can taste sausages made from Gorgie Farm pigs in the Farm’s cafe or to purchase them and cook at home. Having unusual breeds of hens means that you get eggs to match. Some are the most beautiful soft blue (from a Cream Crested Legbar) others are deep almost conker brown. You might also find ducks eggs – especially good for cake making.
If there’s sufficient interest, shares in pigs will also be offered (something that I have found very rewarding in the past).
So, even if you’ve not got a child on hand to take with you, drop into the Cafe for a lovely fresh bite and buy your supper too.
The Farm and Cafe are open 7 days a week. Ask in the shop if you want to purchase eggs or sausages. If you are interested in using Gorgie Farm meat, ring the Farm and talk to Ross.
Gorgie City Farm is Open 7 days per week
9.30am to 4.30pm Summer
9.30 am to 4.00pm Winter
51 Gorgie Road, Edinburgh | EH1 2LA
Telephone: 0131 337 4202
Gorgie City Farm on Twitter