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We are now 100% compostable in our retail burger packs. Our first attempt failed because the cellulose is too flimsy for the retail shelves hence the stackable, protective boxes made by the great folk at UVP Veltopak.

In addition, the beef comes from our farm, Spier in Stellenbosch, where the herd is rotationally grazed, leading to Carbon sequestration and so your purchase of these patties reverses global warming and as importantly ensures that no plastic enters either the ecosystem or the ocean. Another bonus is two weeks shelf life in the fresh section prior to the need for freezing.


Turtle populations are under pressure because they are dying from ingesting plastic which looks a lot like their staple diet of jellyfish.


It is estimated that there are more than 25,000 tons of plastic in the Pacific alone. The biggest plastic island is twice the size of the state of Texas, in other words the same size as South Africa.

The reference to another world first relates to our farm being the first in the world to have sold Carbon credits for increasing the Carbon content of our soils in the pastures where our cattle graze. This is an example of regenerative agriculture and the vegan movement has excluded itself from this land healing exercise as you cannot farm regeneratively and produce vegan “foods”. I have written a detailed blog on the defeatist nature of the vegan belief. Click here.


We sell our patties in two sizes. Phello is holding the 200 gram pack and Petros the 100 gram pack. There are 4 patties in each pack.


The butchery team likes being inside during the heat of summer but they blink like moles when they come out into the light like the rest of the farm.


Celebrating the team effort. From left to right. Wicus, Pascal, Mzukisi, Loice, Shakemore, Phello, Steve, Zanele, Koos, Petros, Chipo and Ruvarashe.


The item that has delayed us the most is the adhesive label. We have had to import it. I can send you the spec sheet if you want. It is made from sugar cane. We had to pay a massive customs tax. I would have thought that our government was interested in encouraging compostable materials instead of polluting ones. The adhesive label is available from Elevate Packaging. If you click and order make sure you claim the discount. We had great service.


A few notes on the ingredients. The salt is from Khoisan. It is unwashed and is also a key ingredient of our free choice mineral lick for our livestock. The psyllium husk is gluten free and holds some of the moisture and the rosemary hydrosol is a preservative.


Steve has been a tremendous support in this quest for 100% compostable packaging.


Above is our old packaging. The new compostable packaging is more expensive. A classic example of true cost accounting. (As a management accountant by training I wrote this on the aforementioned subject) The cost difference on the 100 gram patty is R6,48 per pack and on the 200 gram pack it is R7,38. We can’t expect you, dear client, to pay for all the difference and so we are going to split the difference and accordingly the price of the 100gram patty pack goes up by R3,24 and the 200 gram pack by R3,69 with immediate effect. If you don’t see the new packaging immediately that is because we are running our old stock down.


The obvious question is why is it little me who is the first to do this? Why not our great green national retailer who spend a huge part of their marketing telling us how their farming is future orientated? We are a tiny business killing 4 cattle a week whereas they are a national behemoth killing thousands. The answer is that they are no different from any national retailer anywhere in the world. They would much rather be selling you water and fibre at meat prices than supporting regenerative agriculture. The ingredients above are what is in their free-range burger. I can understand adding water, fibre and sodium metabisulfite to the horror that is feedlot/grain-fed beef but why denature free-range beef. It just hurts the cause of free-range.
In case you did not know what sodium metabisulfite was read below.
Sodium metabisulfite oxidizes in the liver to sulfate which is excreted in the urine.
It may cause allergic reactions in those who are sensitive to sulfites, including respiratory reactions in asthmatics, anaphylaxis, and other allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
It is commonly used in homebrewing and winemaking to sanitize equipment. It is used as a cleaning agent for potable water reverse osmosis membranes in desalination systems. It is also used to remove chloramine from drinking water after treatment.
Added to local anaesthetic (lidocaine etc.) solutions to prevent oxidation of vasoconstrictor adrenaline and thus improve the shelf life of the solution[citation needed]
It is used in photography.
Concentrated sodium metabisulfite can be used to remove tree stumps. Some brands contain 98% sodium metabisulfite, and cause degradation of lignin in the stumps, facilitating removal.
It is also used as an excipient in some tablets, such as paracetamol. Approximately 0.5 mg is used in epinephrine autoinjectors such as the EpiPen.

The only way a big national retailer (the big guys are very different to those local ones who support us) makes money is by screwing their suppliers. I wrote this article exactly 6 years ago on the role of the retailer in the massive strikes that were happening across the Western Cape farms. Nothing has changed.


In case you forgot reading it above the great Pacific garbage patch is the size of South Africa.


Thanks for supporting us
Angus

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Pork Scratchings

Ingredients:

400g pork skin with at least 5mm fat

Salt

 

Spiced Salt:

2g smoked paprika

15g salt

 

Method:

Score the fat of the skin at 1cm intervals

Pour boiling water on the pork, skin side up (this opens the score marks)

Pat dry with a paper towel and rub salt on the skin and into the cuts

Leave uncovered in the fridge to dry out overnight

Cut the pork, where the score marks are into strips

Lay on a wire rack and roast for 20 minutes (or until crispy and golden) on 220 degrees Celsius.

 

Season with spiced salt

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Beef broth with chicken

150g cooked chicken preferably leg meat
250ml Farmer Angus bone broth
10g garlic chopped
10g chilli chopped
10g ginger chopped
5g coriander seeds chopped
15g diced mushrooms
10g spring onions chopped
50ml extra virgin olive oil
25ml rozendal vinegar

Method:

Fry the spring onions, garlic, ginger, mushroom and chilli in the olive oil until its light brown in colour. Add the cooked chicken then the bone broth. Bring to the boil then remove from heat and season with salt. Lastly add the vinegar and coriander to serve.

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Farmer Angus by Gwen Sparks - 1M ago

Last week we hosted 16 journalists from some of South Africa’s top magazines, radio stations, newspapers and digital media channels at the farm! They braved the cold and early morning start to join us for our circle, take part in moving our Eggmobiles and collecting newly-laid eggs.

We then all watched the talented, Chef Brady from Eight Restaurant at Spier make poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce, which we got to eat of course. Watch this awesome video taken by News24’s Traveller24 editor.

It perfectly demonstrates just how the concept of farm-to-plate works, and reminds us to think about what we eat, where it comes from and just what process it underwent to get to our breakfast plate. Something we like to call mindful consumption.

We regularly host visitors to the farm, it’s the best way to see where your Farmer Angus products come from. So if you’re interested in joining us for a tour, email me at angus@spier.co.za

 

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This past week, Pippa Hudson on Cape Talk invited me to come and chat to her and all the Cape Talk listeners about what we do at Farmer Angus. It was a great interview and the feedback from listeners was encouraging. If you couldn’t listen live, here is the link to the podcast.

Enjoy

Listen here

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Farmer Angus by Gwen Sparks - 2M ago

My best pastures on the farm are named Smutsfinger grass. It was named after a true polymath, General Jan Smuts. As a child, our dad would drag us up Table Mountain via the beautiful route named Skeleton Gorge. It’s a difficult hike, and my brothers and I would complain a lot. To get us to stop complaining, my father would tell us that even Jan Smuts used to do the hike and he was already age 70. That kept us quiet.

Later I heard about this man who to date still has the best marks at Cambridge for Law, a man who only went to school when he was 12. I highly recommend reading Richard Steyn’s biography. It is a balanced account of this great South African.

This speech to both houses of the British Parliament in the Second World War https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fcQ5gD_7UA shows him at his best. Well worth watching. His relationship with Churchill is a fascinating part of the story.

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We’ve just sent out our second ever newsletter! This is your opportunity to find out what the latest blog posts are, share in just how PJ Vadas prepares his delicious dishes, get updates on yummy product news, read interesting news about our Farmer Angus family and friends, and also (hopefully) gain a little inspiration from me. Subscribe on the website or via Facebook if you haven’t already.

https://mailchi.mp/c178ba9a0bf2/farmerangusnewsletter02

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Ingredients:

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

100g brown sugar

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp fennel seeds

500g tomato sauce (All Gold)

100ml soy sauce

1kg Farmer Angus pork ribs

Sesame seeds (for dressing)

Fresh coriander

Method:

Sauté the onion and garlic in some olive oil until soft.

Add chilli powder, fennel seeds and sugar and stir until sugar is melted.

Mix in the tomato sauce and soy sauce and allow to simmer until it’s reduced.

Place the ribs onto an oven tray and add the sauce. Cover with foil and place in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 2hrs.

After 2 hours have passed, increase the oven temperature to 180 degrees Celcius, remove the foil and cook for a further 40 minutes or more.

Dress with sesame seeds and fresh coriander.

Please visit us at Vadas Smokehouse & Bakery, situated at Spier Wine Farm, Baden Powell Drive in Stellenbosch. You can check out the rest of our menu at https://www.vadas.co.za/menu. We look forward to welcoming you. We are open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week, except for Sunday nights.

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Farmer Angus by Gwen Sparks - 3M ago

Serves 4

Ingredients

90ml Classic vinaigrette

200g slow roasted tomatoes

100g Buffalo mozzarella – shredded

10g fresh basil – picked and washed

50g Sourdough croutons

50g Parmesan cheese – shavings

40 ml extra virgin olive oil

130g Kalamata olives – pitted

 

Method

Combine all ingredients (except olive oil and parmesan cheese) into a large salad bowl and mix gently till coated with the dressing. Add fresh shavings of parmesan cheese and lightly dress with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

Classic vinaigrette (makes 500ml)

250ml grapeseed oil

125ml white wine vinegar

2g black pepper

5g salt

1 egg yolk

6 g Dijon mustard

70g sugar

Method

Add all ingredients to a blender, while blending slowly add the oil till emulsified.

Slow roasted tomatoes  (makes 200g)

500g fresh plum tomatoes

1 cloves garlic chopped

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp picked fresh thyme leaves

50ml olive oil

Salt & black pepper to taste

Method 

  • Cut tomatoes into quarters.
  • Place on a flat oven tray.
  • Dress with olive oil.
  • Sprinkle with the chopped garlic, thyme, sugar, salt & pepper.
  • Place in 140 degrees Celsius preheated oven, for 30-40 minutes.
  • Remove and allow to cool completely before serving.

Sourdough croutons

4 slices sourdough

Olive oil for frying

  • 4 x large slices of your favorite sourdough (from Vadas Bakery)
  • Remove crust and cut into roughly 3cm cubes
  • Put a non-stick pan on medium, and add olive oil for shallow frying
  • Lightly fry the sourdough cubes till golden brown and crispy
  • Remove from pan and put on paper towel to remove excess oil
  • If necessary, you can dry them further in a oven @ 100 degrees Celcius for a further 20 min to get them extra crispy.
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We are very proud of Tambo, who runs our irrigation system at Farmer Angus. He broke his own record in a personal best of 1:58 for the 800m. He came in just a few seconds behind the winner, and now has his sights set on qualifying for the Olympics, which is set at 1:45. The Eikiestadnuus ran this article recently about him. To read more click here

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