Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A copywriter discovers the joys of organic Shetland lamb, beef and wool

 
My stomach’s full of delicious organic Shetland lamb and a dram of Ronnie Eunson’s best Scotch. It’s nearly 11 p.m. The summer dim is a blur of hazy greys as night falls over Clift Sound. The terns and oyster catchers have long-since finished fishing the beach at my feet and the tide line’s yet to reveal a glimpse of an otter in the July gloaming. Regardless,  I’m a happy man...
  


Crofts, local free range lamb and the slow pace of island life at 60 degrees north.  It’s a very different world to that of  copywriters in Gloucestershire – a refreshingly novel perspective from our rented house on the shore near Scalloway. On this long-awaited vacation, the contrast with my urban writer’s life couldn’t be more different than in this windswept outpost atop the UK – closer to Norway than my Cheltenham office.

My introduction to Shetland organic lamb, beef and wool­
High on the hill across the sound, where the winding gravel track ends, I’ve spent the evening at Uradale. It was an eye-opener, a privileged view into Shetland’s only source of organic-dyed organic native Shetland wool. And the tastiest organic lamb and beef I’ve ever eaten.
At Ronnie’s croft, I’ve been inducted into the tasty, ever-expanding world of organic Shetland lamb, beef and wool – and invited to write this guest blog post. No problem!  The welcome’s been warm and the food (as in-the-know mainlanders have learned through booming sales to a leading London butcher) was delicious. A few generous words are the least I can offer in return. 

Something genuinely exciting
Uradale organic produce, from the herds of cattle and gimmers (Shetland native sheep) I saw through the farmhouse window, is unique and different.  For a vacationing scribe, it’s something genuinely exciting to write home about in an age where the labels ‘new’, and ‘unique’ are too easily used.  As I’ve just discovered, Uradale’s delicious sustainable meat and colourful organic Shetland wool have earned their right to these descriptors. Truth is, they’re as unique and authentic as Ronnie’s after-supper stories – the spellbinding tales of fishing and crofting, smuggling and wartime submarines gathered over his Shetland lifetime.



The proof’s in the testing
As you’ll read elsewhere on the blog, Uradale lamb is organic and healthy – it’s proved by independent testing.  And if you thought oily fish was a great source of healthy fats, just try this mouth-watering light lamb. The beef’s equally good:  authentic rare breed, melt-in-the-mouth meat from native Shetland cattle. ’ If you don’t eat it, it won’t be around much longer,’ says Ronnie.  And he’s right. So dig in.

 
Shetland lamb and beef: no one does it like Uradale

I’m not a fan of wool but Mrs H adores the stuff and she’s been wowed by the vibrant colours of the wool that comes down off Uradale’s mountain for sale in Lerwick – or online, direct from the the farm. It’s not just another ‘Shetland wool’.  This is demonstrably the first organically-dyed wool from organic native-sheep. No one offers quite what Ronnie and his family do.


Words can only say so much: the real proof is in the way the beef parts to your knife; how Uradale’s Shetland lamb seduces your palette; and the caress of that wool.  And of course, the great feeling you’ll get from enjoying something truly green, Shetland and special, Uradale style.   You’re in on the secret. Enjoy.