How you doin'?

How you doin'?


How are you? You ok? A bit tired? Shuffling towards the end of 2022? Gotta admit... us too. I keep seeing a post going around socials, reminding us that we went into the year depleted (because 2021! oh and 2020...) and to be kind to ourselves and each other - always a good rule in our book... but especially relevant right at the moment.

It certainly has been a surreal few years, and as we inch closer to 2023, we really are looking forward to a break in which we truly do nothing; no house tasks, no 'active relaxing', just sinking into a chair (lounge, beach, pool, deck - take your pick) and breathe. Also, eat.

But! We have a couple of big weeks to get through first... which includes another delicious newsletter still to come! We'll try to keep them light, something fun to read with a few yum ideas thrown in.

As always, we love chatting with you so don't be shy - get in touch!

Have you got your Christmas ham yet? Our 2022 stocks are pretty much all out in the wild now, and once they're gone, they're gone. Call your local ham merchant to see what their stocks are like or if they can put one aside for you.

Wondering who is stocking our hams in your local stores? No sweat... we've got you sorted! Fill in our ham finder form and we'll email you a list of all the grocery stores, butchers and specialty food stores in your area who have placed an order with us!

Last week we sent out our Official Festive Ham Email, with everything you need to know about your Christmas ham. If you missed it, read the newsletter here.

End of year party season is well underway, with more freedoms (ha! pun!) than we've had in years. But that means there may be a few more dusty heads around, so for you, we present:

Party foods to line your puku

These snacks will have everyone crowding around the food table at your next shin-dig (which is generally where you'll find us...).

Breakfasts to revive

Brunch has got itself a reputation for being a bit meh. But we maintain it's the best way to start the day after a big night. Think about it - there are no rules, you can basically put together whichever food combinations you feel like, in the quantities that you desire, and there is no side eye if you are stacking you plate high with sweet and savoury and salty food. It can start with the earlybirds (who can do all the work, thankyouverymuch) and continue through til the stragglers arise. Chefs might hate it, but bunch doesn't have to be limited to eggs bene or pancakes and bacon (thought it totally can - we're quite partial!).

Here are some easy ideas to add to your next brunch spread:

  • Barely a recipe, but we reckon coffee glazed bacon ticks two requirements off the morning menu!
  • A pancake tray-bake that's basically one giant pancake, easy to make and will feed a crowd.
  • Breakfast tacos are an excellent way to approach feeding people when you're not sure when they're going to drag themselves out of bed, and are also a great option for reviving leftover salads. We're also 👏 about leftover ham, scrambled eggs, refried potatoes and a generous christening with hot sauce.
  • Flip french toast on its head with this Savoury Green Curry French Toast which is unreasonably delightful topped with a crispy fried egg and a shower of maple syrup.
  • Knock your guests socks off by dishing up a plate of Paneton's Cinnamon Swirls (in the freezer at your local grocery store) topped with crumbles of Freedom Farms streaky bacon and a drizzle of maple bourbon glaze.

Or the most low effort, high reward option...  chuck a fried egg on top of some leftovers and call it a day!

1/ The toastie I dream about each year is back on the menu at Auckland's Cheese on Toast. Their Christmas spesh makes for great eating, and brilliant inspo for your boxing day leftovers!

2/ If you still have a few gifts to tick off your list this year, we're continuing to #shoplocal and are loving that ceramics are still having a moment. We are loving the organic shapes coming through from NZ makers, and wouldn't mind if this Claybird Ceramics platter or basically anything by Rachel Carley ended up under our Christmas tree.

3/ While we approach Christmas with boundless enthusiasm... it's not all sunshine and rainbows for many families. If you're partial to giving and in a position to do so, we reckon the Kindness Collective's Joy Store and Auckland City Mission are good options to create a few smiles this Christmas.

4/ We've recently partnered with the delightful team at Libby's Pork Crack to bring you a collab pork lard made with 100% Freedom Farmed freshly squeezed pig oil. While ham is obviously the rockstar on our Christmas table... if you're that way inclined, schmear the skin of a free range turkey with a bit of pork lard, season generously with s+p, stuff it with a bit o' lemon and fresh herbs action and hey presto! you've got a crispy, golden, flavoursome bird with minimum effort.

5/ This last one is technically not a good thing (it's quite embarassing really). Last week the US Court of International Trade implemented an immediate ban on US imports of New Zealand-caught snapper, tarakihi, spotted dogfish, trevally, warehou, hoki, barracouta, mullet, and gurnard from inshore trawl and gillnet fishery off the west coast of the North Island. Why? Because the protections applied to keep the critically endangered Māui dolphins in New Zealand safe, are less than would be required under US law.

We think this is a good thing for two reasons. Firstly, there are only around 50 Māui dolphins left – and advocates have been saying for a long time that the status quo doesn't go far enough to protect them. Once they're gone, there's no going back, and that loss would be an avoidable tragedy.

But secondly, it also sets in motion an important precedent. Local regulators are currently working through an extensive set of changes to the welfare standards for pork production in New Zealand. We're 100% behind any plan to support local farmers making incremental and ongoing improvements towards higher welfare, environmentally sustainable farming practices. But the floodgates remain open for low welfare pork imports from overseas. There is no requirement that imported pork meets the welfare and environmental standards of what we farm locally, which hogties local producers in a system where they will always be undercut on price.

We don't always agree with the local pork industry on welfare issues – but we're clear on this: we want it to be easy for New Zealanders to feel confident that the pork they buy was raised on farms that follow the good robust welfare and environmental science. We feel proud to be able to say we work with a group of farmers who meet that goal. But the current proposals, without action on low-welfare imports, aren't going to make things better for consumers.

A Freedom Farms sow nursing her piglets in her individual straw-lined hut. 

Doing our bit in 2022

As we've mentioned previously, we're big supporters of LegaSea, a non-profit dedicated to restoring the abundance, biodiversity and health of Aotearoa's marine environment. Supporting LegaSea has lead to an introduction to another organisation doing incredible mahi: Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae. The marae is a certified Hua Parakore food producer, and also distributes fish heads and frames from the Kai Ika Project to the local community. We're making a very special delivery of 80 Freedom Farms hams (along with 80 homemade jars of ham glaze) out to the marae just before Christmas, for them to share with their community. We love the work that they are doing building food soverignty and connecting people to growing food – and are chuffed to be able to support them in this way.

Thats all from us this week – look out for one final 2022 dispacth from us on Monday 19 November... and keep being kind to yourself and each other til then!

Hilary and the team at Freedom Farms 🤟🐷🐥💚

If you’re not familiar with Freedom Farms… we’re a 100% NZ-owned company that set out over a decade ago to bring you bacon farmed the Freedom way… from NZ farmers who care about the same things we do. Simply put, that is farming that is kinder for farm animals, and takes it easy on the environment. When you buy our bacon, eggs, pork, sausages and ham you are supporting a wonderful little group of NZ farmers… and for that we’re really really grateful!