Ever wanted to butcher a pig?
Make bacon and sausages?
Pluck a pheasant?
The Empire Farm School was set up in 2006 by Sally and Adrian Morgan, who are passionate about connecting people with their food. The Farm School runs a wide range of courses throughout the year. The theme running through all our courses is ‘From Field to Plate’ . We have a modern teaching room with a demonstration kitchen which, on many of our courses, is used to produce demonstration dishes for you to taste. Outside we have a demonstration smallholding where you can see different styles of housing and pens, allotments and a polytunnel as well as our new ‘mini farm’ which is just two-thirds of an acre. Smallholder courses are ideal for people who want to own their own smallholding, keep a few chickens or pigs, or just want a chance to spend a day on a farm learning about livestock and gaining new skills. We don’t just cover the keeping of the animals, but include a session where you can learn about what to do with the meat that you produce. These costs cost between £30 and £90 depending on their length. The tutor for these courses is Sally Morgan.
Our butchery courses, which include curing & smoking, lamb and pork butchery, sausage making courses and the Whole Hog, are great for smallholders who want to learn how to prepare the meat they have raised, and are also useful for for foodies and chefs who want to extend their skills and get more value out of their meat. These courses start at £130. The tutor is master butcher David Coldman.
Our cider making course is run by local expert Alan Berry of Blackmore Vale Cider.
The price of each full day course includes course notes, refreshments, and a lunch made using as much organic produce from the farm as possible, while half day courses include course notes and refreshments. We offer discounts on most courses for the second and subsequent place booked, which is popular with those wishing to bring a partner or friend. We can also offer special rates for larger groups and for individuals wanting to book a series of courses – please telephone us to discuss your requirements in detail.
You can book a place using our online booking system. Course dates can be found on the booking page for each course.
We get a very diverse mix of people on our courses which is great and makes the courses more interesting. We have had young and old, from 11-year-olds keen on keeping chickens to octogenarians wanting to cure meat. Some are smallholders or farmers, but many are people who dream of owning their own smallholding. We have husbands who have been bought a gift voucher by their wife. Fishermen and gamekeepers pop up regularly. A number have been in the armed forces and are either on leave or taking courses in preparation for civilian life. We get many foodies on our butchery courses – they have no animals or land but want to learn more about their food and impress their guests. Chefs, too, have visited us, looking to improve their skills.
But what they all have in common is a love of good food, they care about animal welfare and they want to be more self sufficient in either producing their own food or preparing it.
Can’t see a course or a date that suits? Don’t worry, we can arrange a bespoke day for groups of between 4 and 8 people. Obviously the price will depend on how many people are attending. We can also run corporate days.