Charlie Ewing - Cattle Flat Station
Location: Cattle Flat Station is in the southern portion of the South Island near Lake Wanaka. It is situated in the Matukituki Valley, which was formed by glaciers millions of years ago.
About the Farm: Our family has owned this farm for 30 years and we’ve farmed deer for the last ten of them. Among those who work the farm with me is our daughter Pip, making the fourth generation of the Ewing family to farm in this area. The station is 10,000 acres with about 50 paddocks, the largest ones being up to 500 acres. It is in a beautiful setting surrounded by mountain ranges with the 10,000 foot high Mt. Aspiring right in our backyard.
Our deer graze on improved pastures and over-sown hill country up to 5,000 feet. We grow supplemental winter feed on our farm, mainly Swedes – a kind of turnip – and brassicas, which is in the cabbage family, in addition to silage. We normally “break feed” the deer, allowing the stock a portion of the paddock for part of the day before moving them.
Last year we raised 4,000 deer for the Cervena label.
The Rewards of Deer Farming: We are proud to be part of such a quality product as Cervena and believe it is a privilege to be able to work outside with our healthy herd in such a beautiful environment. Originally we farmed just cattle and sheep, but diversifying into farming deer on the hill country where our farm is located seemed a natural fit.
Favorite Venison Dishes: Our family enjoys the clean flavor of the venison so much that we prepare it very simply. This also makes it a really easy-to-prepare dinner as well! Our favorite cut to serve at home is the whole fillet. Lightly oil the meat and sprinkle well with sea salt crystals; sear the meat and then move to the oven or a covered barbecue and cook to rare.