Ardalanish is a working farm. The estate covers about 1500 acres of wild and farm land, which provide food and lodgings for 60 to 70 heads of cattle (including 20 breeding cows) and 300 head of sheep, mostly Hebridean for the wool, with a few black face sheep which are sent to market every year. Some horses can also be found enjoying the grass about the farm.
All the animals live out all year round and feed off the natural resources on the farm, with the exception of weaned calves and mothers-to-be who get a little extra silage to help fortify them. This approach means the animals eat a good varied diet and help keep the hills in good condition.
Our herd of Highland cattle is of the Kyloe type and they are predominantly black. These were the hardy black cattle which were reared by farmers and crofters in the Western Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Their grazing pattern is more like that of the wild herbivores than of the more modern domestic breeds and their non selective grazing and foraging habits are acknowledged by conservation bodies to enhance the flora on hill ground and to improve the habitat for wild life.
Native Hebridean Sheep
Our flock of hardy black Hebridean sheep are similar to those that evolved centuries ago in the Western Isles of Scotland. Their black wool makes beautiful but hard wearing articles. Traces of similar wool have been found in ancient island burial chambers. As with the Highland cattle the grazing preferences of the Hebridean sheep give them an unrivalled ability to sustain delicate ecosystems.
As well as breeding the sheep for wool, the sheep and cattle are reared for meat. We believe in the idea of slow grown food and we don’t rush the process.
Pure Highland Beef
Cattle are allowed to mature naturally on the heather hill as well as browsing the Hebridean coastline for seaweed. Highland beef has a wonderful flavour and is used in many top class restaurants around Britain. Our cattle are slaughtered locally, the meat hung for 21 – 28 days before being cut and vacuum packed by the Isle of Mull Community butcher.
Pure Hebridean Lamb
Hebridean sheep are slow to mature and so lambs are slaughtered at a much later stage compared to commercial breeds of sheep. Our slow grown mature lamb has a delicious flavour and is very popular with all who have tried it. It is also slaughtered, hung, butchered and vacuum packed on the island.
All our meat is available from the freezer at the farm and we hope eventually to be able to supply fresh meat vacuum packed either at the farm or by mail order.
Ardalanish Farm is featured in the Mull & Iona Food Trail and is getting quite the reputation for its delicious grass-fed and home-bred Highland beef and Hebridean Lamb.
You can buy the meat from the freezer at the farm shop between 10am and 5pm daily in the summer, and between 10am and 4pm weekdays in winter, or by mail order.