Farming Matters: Microwave meals don’t have to come from the supermarket

Gloucester Old Spot
Gloucester Old Spot

People living alone don’t always have the time, space or inclination to cook tasty and nutritious meals.

As a result, in recent years, ready meals have really taken off, with most of the supermarkets now producing superior versions of what once was considered a last meal resort.

There are whole ranges of quality meals available.

But you don’t have to go to the supermarket to find them.

Elizabeth Eichler, who runs a 10 acre smallholding in Mursley with her farmer partner James Tutt, has been producing top quality meals using local produce for almost a year now.

The couple breed Gloucester Old Spots and although Elizabeth uses the pork in her meals, she also creates meals with locally sourced beef, chicken and eggs from her own hens.

Elizabeth said: “I started around the time when all the horsemeat scandal broke out, and I thought I could make good quality ready meals with local produce.

“I cater for quite a few elderly people, and for people who are too busy to cook.”

The meals are available in single or double size portions, fresh or frozen, for microwave and oven cooking.

And the selection is long, including steak and mushroom pie, beef lasagne, cottage pie, shepherd’s pie, chicken and bacon pie and pork casserole made with Gloucester Old Spot pork.

As Elizabeth has a young baby, works two days a week as a veterinary nurse and attends Winslow farmers market, she says the cooking involves a lot of late nights.

But it’s something she loves to do, and she is passionate about providing local produce.

You can order her meals, costing from £3.50, on 01296 720127.