As one of New Zealand’s original high country runs, Middlehurst Station is the cornerstone of Merino meat in Aotearoa.
Born in Marlborough. Raised in Canterbury. This prized merino lamb meat is processed at Harris Farms in North Canterbury making it a real local affair. The team at Middlehurst have started selling meat delivery boxes throughout the country, with options of half or whole boxes that include everything from rack, backstrap and fillets to the slow cooked heroes like shanks, knuckles and short ribs and their legendary merino mince.
Susan and Willie along with their four children – Sophie, Henry, Lucy and Skye – took over the high country run in 1998. Their Merino lamb is grass-fed, free-roaming and sustainably farmed, and its characteristics are reflected in the flavour and tenderness of the meat itself. As a rich source of protein, it’s also high in zinc, iron and vitamin B12. Middlehurst Delivered are passionate about educating New Zealanders to embrace the lesser known cuts and be inspired to use the whole animal.
The Merino sheep are perfectly suited to live amongst the varying high country terrain, across steep hills, valleys, rivers and creeks, while they graze on mountain herbs and grasses. This creates the well-rounded flavour Merino is known for.
Middlehurst Station covers 16,550 hectares in the Upper Awatere Valley in Marlborough, extending to the top of the Kaikōura Range and varies in altitude from 550 metres to 2,500 metres. With the family spread over the various sites, Susan and Willie are based at Middlehurst, son Henry is at Cheviot, where all of their Merino lambs and hoggets are finished, and sisters Sophie, Lucy and Skye are based in North Canterbury and Christchurch, covering operations.
It’s always been a dream of Susan and Willie’s to have their product available direct from the station to the plate, to ensure Merino meat is both traceable and accessible to the people of New Zealand. They’ve worked hard to build their Merino stud and transform the flock genetics to create a distinctive NZ breed that suits both environment and market.
Middlehurst Delivered are committed to constantly reviewing what they do and how they could do it better. They currently use a home compostable woolcool as well as 100% recyclable chilltainers as a solution for chilled transit, as it’s kinder to the environment. They also have a savvy collection process: when you have 20 ice packs or 5 cardboard boxes they’ll arrange a courier to collect and deliver them back to the farm. Meanwhile, they’re working towards entirely home-compostable packaging. Due to their perishable products the team are only able to deliver to urban addresses but they usually find a solution for those who are rural as well.
Farming with the seasons, they work with the environment to ensure the land is preserved and nurtured for generations to come. By putting animal welfare first they want kiwis to be better connected to where their food comes from and to taste the difference in a product raised with care.
Why North Canterbury? Great spot to live as it’s nice and central to most things.
What’s your favourite thing to do in North Canterbury? We love going on walks up Mt Grey or heading down to our local beaches. The local Wineries are always nice on a Summer’s afternoon.