Summer at Fearn Farm
Tucked away at the bottom of the Tarbat Peninsula in Easter Ross is Fearn Farm, is a family run business that houses a collection sheep and cows as well as arable crops. It’s been in the same family for four generations and is currently run by John Scott and his wife Fiona, with help from their four children as well as a small-close knit team. We had a chat with John to find out what the farm is like during the summer and to discover his favourite Scotch Beef and Lamb recipes for the BBQ.
The longer summer days must make summer a very busy time of year for you. What are the most important tasks over the summer months for the health and welfare of your animals?
Throughout summer, we check our livestock daily to make sure they have plenty grass to eat and fresh water. This is particularly important in summer when the weather is hot and dry as water consumption increases.
Shearing is also a big job for us in the summer. We gather all our ewes into the yards to shear them which gives us an excellent chance to monitor the condition of all stock whilst removing the wool. We usually go through our lambs weekly to select those that are ready for processing- it’s important to do this weekly as it ensures that we deliver our product at its optimum weight and condition.
What is the most rewarding part of your job in the summer?
Shearing is one of the best jobs in the summer as you get a real sense of achievement at the end of the day when the ewes run back to the fields without the weight of their fleeces on their backs! Driving around the farm on a summers evening and seeing the stock happy and thriving on grass that is being managed really well gives me a real buzz too.
What do you find most difficult about farming in the summer?
One of the most difficult things about early summer is managing cash flow. Until we start selling lambs, finances can be tight which can be a struggle. Also sometimes when its particularly hot, it can get very dry which can be challenging when you are trying to grow top quality grass.
Why should people buy Scotch Beef/Lamb?
It’s easy for me to say that people should buy Scotch Beef and Lamb as I produce it but I really think people should eat more of it. It’s a top quality product which is reared to some of the highest welfare standards in the world by the best stockmen and women in the world. Farmers like me, generations of my family that have gone before me, and those that will likely follow me, have been and will be committed to producing the best, and only the best, Scotch Beef and Lamb.
Do you have any time for barbeques in the summer with friends and family? How would you cook Scotch Beef/Lamb on the BBQ? What would you usually have this with?
It’s hard to beat home grown lamb chops but Moroccan lamb burgers and lamb kebabs are also up there with my favourite Scotch Lamb BBQ dishes. On the Scotch Beef side of things, it would have to be a steak of some sort. Depending on the mood, it could be a ribeye medium rare or a simple minute steak which would only need a few seconds on each side before being placed in a local bakers roll ready to eat.
What’s your favourite recipe using leftovers from the BBQ?
We have a family of six in this house so leftovers are at a premium. Anything that is left over is likely to be eaten cold with a salad for lunch the next day.