Who is this Gareth Barlow?

Hi! I’m Gareth Barlow, that’s me in the photo – well, it would be slightly weird if it was someone else…

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At the age of seventeen I started my own farm from scratch and six years later I sold the business.

It wasn’t the most normal journey… My family aren’t farmers – I should imagine the last time the Barlows took to the land was during our hunter gatherer days. But I wanted to farm nonetheless.

So I sold my XBox, as most seventeen year olds do, to buy six rare breed sheep. With no land of our own I rented fields from my neighbours, rebuilt a compact tractor and got farming!

Over the course of six years my flock grew from six to six hundred and what a journey it was.

I  trained as a butcher, worked in an abattoir, my lamb was eaten by royalty and I supplied thirty restaurant customers, including numerous Michelin starred establishments. In 2011 I won the Outstanding Newcomer to Food and Drink award.

So if I’m no longer running my own farm what am up to? Whilst I was getting my hands and wellies dirty on the farm my unusual story attracted the attention of the press, television and radio. A process I discovered I adore.

So I’ve combined the two: farming and the media. What could be better!

You can here some of my outings with the BBC here. I produce and present weekly food and farming audio for BBC Radio York, I’ve also presented a couple of films for BBC Countryfile, aired 26th October and 2nd November 2014.

In October 2015 as a result of my work as a farmer and now telling the story of food and farming for the BBC, I was honoured to receive the 2015 Yorkshire Award for The Countryside.

Through this blog I’m tackling the lack of information regarding food, its production and how it ends up on our plates. You can follow me on Twitter and read a lot more about me on Google. Any of the pictures used on this blog that are not owned by me are linked to the source/owner of the image.

There’s SO many food, rural and farming stories out there and I’d like to help tell. If you want to jump onboard and do that with me, give me a tinkle!

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Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Hi. What type of lambs did you rear when you were keeping sheep, and did you experiment much with different breeds re. eating qualities?

    I’ve currently got the carcasses of two 4 year old native breed Shetland ewes hanging in the chill in my local slaughterhouse (I’m in Shetland) and they look very good; decent fat cover, good dose of fat around the kidneys, meat’s a good colour and the fat’s very white (whiter than I thought would be for sheep of their age).

    The lady in charge of the slaughterhouse says that she’ll cut them up for me on the 17th of this month – they were slaughtered Tuesday of this week. Really looking forward to sampling the mutton off them, esp. the loin chops & one of the legs, which we’re planning to have for our new year’s roast dinner.

    Have you ever tried a similar meat, and how was it?

    Jonathan Duncan.

    Reply

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