Highland Geese is listed as one of the best poultry producers in the annual BBC publication:
Rick Stein's Food Heroes
Recipes inspired by the champions of good food including a directory of the best producers.
If you would like to order some Fine Foods from France or a goose from us, you can print out our 2011-12 order form, complete it and post it to us with your cheque. Just click here.
Your Scottish source of free-range geese!
We raise domestic geese in the Highlands as well as specialising in finding French farmers in traditional areas producing particularly fine examples of their regional foods. These included in various sizes: Goose Rillettes, Goose Pate de Foie and Goose Bloc de Foie Gras, First Pressing (Virgin) Walnut Oil, Freshly Shelled Walnuts, To order, phone us on 01852 500609 or 07733430403, or print out our order form.
We have been rearing domestic geese from day-olds at Corranmor Farm for some years now. They range freely on the fields surrounding the house. Our market is steadily developing to include customers from all over mainland UK. In 2002 and 2003 we had a stall at the Edinburgh Farmers' Market, and our profile in the east of Scotland has grown as a result. The natural seasonal production of domestic geese means that there is an annual pattern to goose-rearing. The geese are fresh for Christmas and then frozen for the rest of the year.
The farm is situated on the Craignish Peninsula, 100 miles from Glasgow and 24 miles south of Oban by road. This is still a quiet part of Argyll,frequented by holidaymakers who enjoy hill-walking, bird-watching and photography. The views from the farm are spectacular, and never less than impressive even in cloudy weather.
How To Contact Highland Geese
Send us an email (click here to do that), or phone or fax us your enquiry. To place an order, contact us by one of the methods below
Don't forget to give us your full name and address, with postcode and telephone number, together with the best times for us to ring you about your order. Your email address would also be useful. If applying by post, please enclose a cheque with your order. We do not currently have online payment arrangements in place.
Our postal address is:
Telephone and fax: 01852 500609
GEESE FOR THIS YEAR (2012)
It is with much regret that, due to illness in the family, we are not able to offer geese this year. We are particularly sad to disappoint our customers who have suppoerted us regularly over the eleven years that we have been trading. However we are continuing to import Fois Gras, Pate, Rillette, chocolatesand wallnuts as well as still producing and selling The Commanders Dressing. With our very best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a good New Year. Hew and Barbara Service.
Corranmor House welcomes discerning visitors who are interested in staying in quality accommodation on this very special farm.
To find out more click here.
An affectionate appreciation of the domestic goose
Geese have a wonderful natural arrogance. This can be the source of endless amusement to the onlooker and a long line of sedately pacing geese proceeding in great state nowhere in particular is always a joy. Having an eye on either side of their head they do not see well to their front. A goose walking towards a large stone when flustered is a dreadful moment. You know, almost beyond doubt, that it will trip over the stone and it does. Geese are not quiet in the face of outrage and the ruffling of feathers, flapping of wings and defiant cackling indicates the degree of loss of dignity.
During the breeding season and when with young, the goose can be very brave and aggressive and you are unwise to turn your back on them. They can deliver an agonising bite to the soft spot at the back of the knee and on one occasion to the back of the neck. However few geese are truly bad but they are bullies and it is important to establish who is boss. The would-be goozard, (a goose minder or guardian), must establish his/her position firmly, early and whenever challenged. A grown man or woman holding a goose by the upper neck and speaking forcefully to it, is not unknown although it can appear a little absurd. It is the bully aspect which makes the goose the scourge of children and those who they sense are frightened.
The goose is one of the few farmyard animals which man has not managed to fully domesticate. They do not, like so many other poultry, lay for most of the year and their breeding season is short. Eggs are laid from about March to late May although, laying being triggered by the lengthening days, geese can be stimulated to come into lay a bit earlier by the use of artificial light. Each goose up here in Argyll seems to lay about twenty eggs although if their eggs are not removed from the nest they will usually stop after about twelve, sometimes less. The large goose egg is about the weight of three hens eggs and makes wonderful scrambled egg and omelettes. A boiled goose egg is good and after one, you realise that you have had a meal. They are much prized for baking and cooking.
Geese are poor parents and manage to rear few of their young to maturity. If they are at all upset in the nest, they will tread on their young killing them. The crows around us love gosling and, given half a chance, will fly in and steal them. However, there are few more charming sights than a column of yellow bundles marching along behind a proud mother and father.
Goose as a meat is at its best in the first year. It is a moist, very tasty meat almost like really succulent lamb but with its own individual and unique taste. Not in the least like the often bland and sometimes dry turkey. Once geese begin to mate or lay the quality of the flesh toughens and never really regains its delicacy. Old goose quickly achieves qualities between boot leather and dog rubber which is why eating wild goose is somewhat of a lottery.
How geese came to Corranmor
Our neighbours, Bill and Jane had two black and white geese and a white gander which were the bane of all who visited their farm. They were noisy, boisterous and aggressive. The gander hated polished cars and always attacked his own reflection to the detriment of paintwork. On arrival there was much hissing, spread wings, honking and cackling if they were in the yard.
In about 1994 Bill, our neighbour, a really splendid man, who had lost a leg in the Second World War and farmed with a peg leg, died. When packing up the farm prior to returning to live near her family, Jane mentioned that all was more or less arranged but she was not sure what to do with the geese. Since I never polish my cars and I have always had a sneaking regard for geese, I volunteered. Barbara was somewhat alarmed at the thought but, loyal to the core, agreed.The geese duly arrived and took up residence. Indeed they took over. After a year of periodic war and strife, I called a halt. Not only was there a face off on a regular basis but not an egg had been laid. The gander had to go. With highland frugality we decided that we would eat the gander. My Mother-in-law was staying at the time, as well as one of our daughters and it all seemed an excellent idea. The day arrived and plucked, eviscerated and trussed the bird duly arrived on the table, beautifully crisp, roasted and looking splendid. It was only as I started to carve I realised that all was not as it should be, I could hardly set the blade into the breast. I plied the steel with a will to sharpen an already keen blade and tried again. Finally, after a terrible tussle every plate had a helping of meat and we all set to. After a few minutes of trying to chew what had already been difficult to cut, we all gave in. The consistency was more or less that of dog rubber and such taste as we could get was uninteresting to say the least. It was the old gander's last revenge.
To keep our geese company I bought six white geese from Donald MacDonald from Skye. The two old geese surveyed the new comers with heads on one side and then moved in. They cut out one young gander and herded him away. He was horrified and rushed back to the others where upon the old geese pinned him to the ground and both hammered him. Somewhat dazed he was herded away to their goose house. Three times he ran away and each time the performance was repeated. After that he has dutifully undertaken his responsibilities to his harem and they have laid eggs every year since and produced a number of goslings. We reckon that those geese are at least thirty years old.
Over a number of years we built up the flock to about twenty-eight birds and we and some friends ate goose each year for Christmas. In 1999 we decided to go commercial and went to stay with my brother in France in a goose producing area to pick brains and see how it is done and in 2000 we bred some geese and bought 200 day old
Goslings. The rest is history. .