Fans of Jono Walker’s superb bacon and sausages will enjoy Nadene Hall’s excellent profile of Soggy Bottom Holding in the summer 2016-2017 issue of New Zealand Lifestyle Block, “Bringing home the heritage, cured, tasty bacon”. It’s a very interesting read.
Jono spills the beans on how this English forester ended up on a small, hilly farm near Ngaruawahia, producing the best free-range bacon in New Zealand and selling it at the Hamilton and Cambridge farmers’ markets.
Jono’s enthusiasm for great food shines all the way through. He talks about how his popular sausage making courses were inspired by attending one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage workshops. (I’d wondered about that.)
In the article Jono does some plain speaking about the problem of the lack of abattoirs in this region which are willing to work with small local meat producers. Last year he was having to make monthly trips to an abattoir in Auckland. According to Jono, one company has bought all the abattoirs in this part of the North Island and they are only dealing with large factory farms. “Ruakura in Hamilton is pigs only, but they’re only going to do the big factory farm pigs.” A similar problem has stopped him producing free-range meat chickens.
Jono and Sarah Walker are also featured on a recent episode of Country Calendar. They described the process of being filmed as “hugely enjoyable”.
Here’s a link to the Country Calendar episode about Jono and Sarah Walker.
And here’s a link to my earlier Waikato Foodbasket post about Soggy Bottom.
Soggy Bottom Holding