Cross Lanes is the hub of a bigger project. Simon Hare is married to Stevie, daughter of Peter & Sue Coverdale the owners of Cross Lanes. Simon is brother to Deb’s Hare the Manager of Cross Lanes. Simon farms with his father John Hare on the land joining Cross Lanes at Trees House Farm & Dent House Farm, Brignall.
The farm has established an organic grass fed beef shorthorn herd, and rare breed pig stocks, with the aim of stocking the ever increasing demand in the in-house butchery at Cross Lanes. The aim is for food miles to be virtually zero with the animals raised on pastures next to Cross Lanes, giving a real focus on shortening supply chains from farm gate to consumer. Provenance as well as local is high on the agenda with all stock, born, reared and finished on the farm.
Shorthorn Beef is 100% Grass Fed & Certified Pasture For Life Our beef is certified by the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association, listed on their site under Simon Hare, Trees House Farm. The Pasture For Life Certification Mark ensures that produce that genuinely comes from 100% grass-fed animals is given the distinction it deserves. Our production systems have been independently verified and prove our animals have only ever eaten pasture and are kept according to the ‘Pasture for Life’ standards. Our shorthorns are born and raised on natural grass clover rich meadows without any supplementary feeding, producing tender, flavoursome marbled meat.
Pasture Beef is the healthiest kind of meat you can buy, it is better for human health than grain-fed beef in ten different ways:
- Lower in total fat – cholesterol content proved to be lower than conventionally fed animals.
- Lower total and saturated fat content
- Higher in total omega-3 fatty acids (good fats)
- A healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids
- Higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)an anti cancer agent
- Higher in vaccenic acid (which can be turned into CLA)
- Higher in vitamin E – grass fed beef incorporates up to five times more than grain fed
- Higher in B vitamins
- Higher in beta-carotene – grass fed beef incorporates up to ten times more than grain fed
- Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium
There are many other benefits to pasture farming including many environmentally-friendly aspects, click here to read more about the benefits.
Research has shown that even if animals are only fed grains/cereal for a short time at the end of their finishing period they lose a lot of the previous benefits from being grass fed. More and more meat is being promoted as grass-fed, however, until now, the term has not been clearly defined and can be applied to virtually any farming system where grass forms just part of the animal’s diet. The Pasture for Life Certification demands the animals only ever eat a natural diet of fresh or conserved pasture for their entire lives.
Simon chose Shorthorn cows as they were one of the traditional breeds of Teesdale, evolving over the last two centuries from Teeswater and Durham, cattle which were found originally in the North East of England. With farmers over the years favouring the more continental breeds, Simon wanted to help the traditional breed make a comeback. When cattle roamed the countryside, grass was their natural diet, traditional breeds like Shorthorn do well on this diet as it allows them to grow at a natural rate. Shorthorn beef are renowned for their superior meat eating qualities in terms of both taste and health benefits.
Simon has gradually established his rare breed organic pig herd of Berkshires, Tamworths, Gloucester Old Spots and Mangalitsa pigs. He started crossing them with an Oxford Sandy & Black boar, and in 2014 a new Hampshire boar joined the herd to improve the breeding quality, it is a sire that will add eating quality and efficient growth. ‘Coaleat Golden Eagle’ won Best Male Pig at the Great Yorkshire Show and was overall Reserve Supreme Champion. The Hampshire pig is a variety of saddleback that is mainly black with a white ‘saddle’ around its middle. Old English hogs wandering the New Forest of Hampshire in England are thought to have been the forerunners of the Hampshire breed, the original breeding stock was recorded from Wessex, UK in 1832.
Simon feeds the pigs a diet full of mixed vegetables and greens giving them a varied and interesting diet. This helps provide quality and good tasting meat. We grow strips of forage crop and rotate the pigs, pigs are natural foragers & enjoy rooting, we leave them free to roam the fields allowing them to express their natural behaviour, providing very high welfare standards for them.