To honour the quality of organic produce in our valley we asked our neighbours, friends and farmers at Dolwen Welsh Lamb and Beef what makes their produce special, what is agri-environmental farming and why you should be spending the last days of summer dining out in Llanarmon DC.
Glenda and Mike Crawshaw and their son Llion have been running their organic farm near the beautiful village of Llanarmon DC, near Llangollen for almost 20 years producing Welsh Lamb and Welsh Black Beef which is sold locally around North Wales.
What is different/unique about your farm and its produce?
“We are organic and registered as PGI, which means our lamb and beef is born and reared here at Dolwen. PGI status guarantees the authenticity and integrity of the brand.
You are involved in agri-environmental schemes, what does this mean and how does this benefit nature?
“Alongside producing top quality produce, we also farm with conservation in mind. Our agri-environment schemes have allowed us to plant hedges, dig numerous ponds, plant small woods, provide wildlife cover crops, and wildlife corridors which allow insects to move around the farm whilst still being safe. We know this is working as we have recently had a moth and bee survey with some very encouraging results.
What happens on the Farm in September?
“In September we are giving all the ewes a health check, ready for the tupping season (mating season). We will be searching for some new tups for our flock, at the many ram sales that happen in Sept/Oct. We begin to sell our 2021 lambs in this month. The Welsh Black Cows will stay out on the hills for as long as the weather stays good, this shortens the time they will be inside for the winter. All the implements that have been used over the Spring/Summer will be cleaned and packed away for the Winter.
What is the best thing about your job?
“One of the most fulfilling parts of the job, is receiving amazing comments from our customers about our lamb and beef. Pride in knowing that we have produced it here at Dolwen and it is much appreciated.
How has the unstable climate of the past year affected you?
“It was very worrying to begin with, not knowing how it was going to affect our business, however, our experience was that more people wanted to know where their meat was coming from, and how it’s been produced, and our sales increased fortunately.
What would you recommend for anyone visiting the Ceiriog Valley
“We would probably recommend that people enjoy the wonderful countryside up here in the Ceiriog Valley, and support local businesses whilst up here”.
From field to fork
Dolwen: The ‘local speciality’ at The West Arms
Dolwen Welsh Lamb and Beef’s meat is served every day and is a firm favourite at The West. Chef, Grant Williams, changes up his menu regularly using Dolwen’s seasonal Lamb, Beef or Hogget and local ingredients farmed or foraged from the surrounding hills.
‘Slow-roast Pressed Shoulder of Dolwen Lamb, local organic Summer Vegetables with a Pesto Mash is a signature dish on The West Arms’ menu. The Home-Made Dolwen PGI Welsh Mountain Lamb Burger is also a popular choice.
Dolwen Welsh Lamb and Beef can also be delivered straight to your door (free if you live within a 25 mile radius). Find out more here.