Field to Fork in Action | A Trip to Mash Direct

Mash Direct is a family-run farm in Northern Ireland. They pride themselves in providing fresh produce of the highest quality to stores around the globe. We were invited to spend a day exploring the farm, seeing their kitchens and experiencing the reality of field to fork. We live in an incredibly rural farming community, but it is all livestock, predominantly sheep and cows. To see a farm which produces food was a really exciting prospect for us. Martin and his wife Tracy have been working for over 25 years successfully growing and selling vegetables.

Harvesting potatoes

When I spoke with Martin about how much fresher food from the garden tastes, he pointed out that it's because it's still growing when you cook it. I hadn't contemplated that before, but it's true. I pick the veg and a few minutes later they are being cooked for our tea. This is why Mash Direct harvest and cook their produce on site and it means that their food really is incredibly fresh and you know you're getting good food.

Potato harvester

First on the field to fork journey we went out to the fields to see the potatoes being harvested. We were lucky enough to get to ride in a potato harvester. I'm pretty sure I was more excited than the kids. Tracey was fantastic with both children and after we hopped out of the harvester, she set my son to work digging, whilst my daughter chased seaguls with worms in her hands, trying to feed them!

Potato production

The potatoes are brought straight from the field to be washed and sorted. They then go into the kitchens, ready to be peeled and cooked. I've never been in a professional kitchen with such huge amounts of production before and it was incredible to see how quickly and efficiently the vegetables were sorted and then cooked. We experienced each stage of production, from the initial sorting, to peeling, preparing, cooking and then packaging. It was a very smooth production line. The food is steam cooked and are free from artificial flavourings, preservatives and colourings. They're also low in salt. My favourite part was seeing the sweet potato fries being made. It smelled soooo good and I was astounded at how quickly such huge quanities of food could be prepared, cooked and packaged.

Mash direct tractor

After our tour the children were encouraged to make scary food, using the potato croquettes and potato rosti. I was impressed to find out that thee entire range is gluten free. It wouldn't have crossed my mind that the crumbs on top would be made without gluten, but it was really refreshing that they are and it ensures that my mum, who is coeliac, can enjoy the same foods as us at home.

Mash Direct food

Lunch was Mash Direct's produce, which was delicious. My absolute favourite is the red cabage and beetroot, which I'll definitely be buying again soon. We're incredibly lucky that we have three Mash Direct stockists relatively close to us. The food tastes fresh and I love that because everything is made on the farm, you know exactly where it all comes from.

Mash direct pumpkins

The process of field to fork was amazing to see in action. It's far quicker than I would have thought, and Mash Direct ensure that they retain as many of the nutrients in their food as possible. For more information, check out The day was rounded off with a pumkin carving contest and some apple bobbing, as it was just before Halloween. We had an absolutely incredible day and both children have asked to go back since. Given that it was a week ago that we visited, I'm pretty impressed with this. I also fell in love with the Northern Ireland countryside and we're already planning a family visit next year. I've made a short vlog of our day which shows in greater detail the experience we had. I hope you enjoy it.

Huge thanks to Mash Direct for an incredible day out on the farm. It was also my birthday that day and it was made really special.

Disclosure: We were provided with a trip to the Mash Direct farm for the purpose of this post. This had no impact on my post, which is honest and fair.