When you step onto the farm, you will see the open paddocks, see black pigs under the trees and know that this a place where the people who own the land are passionate about what they do and love their animals. When you taste the pork, you will taste the difference in quality and know that these free ranging animals have been raised ethically with respect to their pigness and is how pork should really taste. The farmstead butchery is the final key point for the beautiful pork being transformed into authentic handcrafted products.
“Bundarra” is Lauren and Lachlan Mathers’ family free range Bio-dynamic farm on the Murray River just outside the small township of Barham in Southern NSW. The farm itself was dormant land that Lauren and Lachy saw potential in with it’s forested areas and chocolate clay loam soil and after years of patience the farm was finally theirs. In 2009 a lone Berkshire sow ‘Doris’ was the beginning of what Lauren envisioned as a whole herd of free roaming black heritage pigs rooting about improving the soil. Today in 2016, the Mathers’ family farm is home to 70 breeding sows which produce around 16 adorable black piglets each year, all born and grown out in the open paddocks.
All of the pigs produced on the farm that are bred for meat are processed on site in the Farmstead Butchery which was established in 2013. Here Lauren learned the skills of butchery to create her own style of cuts for fresh pork that encompassed the whole pig from nose to tail. She developed delicious recipes for sausages, dry cured bacon, smoked ham and later on French charcuterie and Italian salumi.
All of these yummy goods are sold directly to likeminded people at farmers markets in Victoria and the farm gate where you can also come and visit the pigs while you are here and cuddle the cute piglets! If you live in Melbourne or Sydney you can find the pork and small goods at some amazing little stores and sometimes at some very good Melbourne restaurants. If you are planning a visit to Barham be sure to call ahead so that you can catch up with the busy Mathers clan at the farm to taste the charcuterie or you can pop into the local Barham IGA to stock up too.
Lastly, did you know that all of Bundarra Berkshire pork products are gluten and nitrate free? True! Lauren is passionate about using all natural ingredients that are tasty and healthy for her family so you won’t find any premixes or run of the mill goods here, just ask Lucy and Frida their two little girls… they think their pigs taste the best!