Our Story begins started when we moved back to Mark’s home island of Guernsey back in 2011 after we had both spent many years working overseas in our respective careers as a Professional Sailor and Corporate Lawyer.
Our dream was to own a small farmstead and live off the land. Soon after buying our farmhouse in St Pierre du Bois, the heart of rural Guernsey, we set about turning our dreams into reality. Our farm buildings are nestled into the hillside of a tranquil valley and our pigs roam free range in our fields, benefitting from arguably the best sea views on the island!
Our passion for ethical, local produce with provenance is absolutely key to what Wallow stands for. Right from the beginning, we were both adamant that whatever we produced on our farm had to be created with respect to both the land and livestock, all contained within our little parcel of this wonderful island just as our Guernsey ancestors did for generations.
Mark spent many years in his previous career in the Mediterranean, mainly Spain, where he fell in love with the cuisine and, in particular, the Charcuterie. Back then, the idea of making his own produce was just a dream, let alone using his own pigs sustainably raised on his own farm.
After many ideas of how to best live off our land, the pigs came out on top and Mark purchased two wearers from a local farmer as a Christmas present for April. “The pork that came from these was the best we had eaten in a long time.”
The mysteries behind the “perfect cure” are a well-protected secret of any artisan producer. Everybody has their way of ensuring their own unique texture, flavour, aroma and appearance.
After some experimentation with producing Charcuterie, it was unanimously decided that Mark needed to immerse himself in the heart of Europe’s finest Charcuterie producing regions to perfect the dark art of curing his fantastic home reared meat.
Whilst in Europe, Mark made it his mission to meet as many local artisan producers as possible and was privileged to work with some true masters of the trade from whom he obtained much guarded techniques and centuries old family recipies.
Upon his return to Guernsey, Mark spent considerable time further developing the Charcuterie recipes to create Wallow’s distinctive range of products.
The farm where this all happens is in the heart of St Pierre du Bois. We started with just 2 pigs and now we have up to 25 at any given time. The constant need for resting land and looking after the pigs is big task for Mark and April who both still work full time.
The breed of pig chosen for the making of the charcuterie is Oxford Sandy and Black or “Plum Pudding”. This is an English rare breed. Our pigs come from pedigree stock and born and raised outdoors here in the Bailiwick. Most pork that you would buy over the counter whether it be free range, organic or otherwise has a very short life of up to 6 or 7 month maximum.
In order to get the best flavour from our pigs we keep them for 12 -14 months. This means that they grow in to the meat and the flavour is so much more intense.
We believe that slow reared pork that lives 100% outside and is free to root and wallow makes the very best charcuterie.
Fantastic pork great seasoning and plenty of time!