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Farm Shops

Hi All

I just wanted to ask a quick question; I saw a thread on here regarding what people look for in a garden centre (i.e. what would a garden need to have for you to recommend it to a friend), so I was curious what you all would look for in a farm shop?

I realise the two are a bit different, but I saw that people were really keen to contribute their views on the other post, so hopefully you all can weigh in on another kind of rural retail outlet?

Many thanks




  • For me its the feeling that I am getting, by and large, local produce in season.

  • ClaringtonClarington Posts: 4,949

    It has to be local. I went to a farm shop near me a few months ago to find them selling vegetables from Spain and lamb from New Zealand. We're in Yorkshire! They didn't even have any hendos!

    They were nothing more, after I looked carefully, than a small shop with more interest in decorating the shelves with straw so it looked rural and thus they could charge more than for supporting British farmers.

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 19,269



    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,036

    Our local butcher (not a farm shop) has a white board on the wall listing the farms - with farmer's names - of the sources of all their meat. This question is so frequently asked they find it easier to just write it on the wall.

    I think sourcing is everything for a local shop - call it farm shop or whatever. They may need to source a few things from further afield in order to have a reasonably comprehensive 'offer', as there are items most people buy regularly which simply can't be produced in most parts of the UK. Spanish or Italian citrus, for example, sold alongside locally grown apples or strawberries, doesn't seem to me to be a problem. South African apples or Kenyan strawberries would bother me. I'd rather they sold early rhubarb, or local plums, or even mulberries rather than air freight stuff halfway round the world. Because if they really are local, they could easily sell the sort of things that don't have the shelf life of supermarket 'fresh' produce, albeit in small quantities and infrequently. I'd go out of my way to that sort of shop, just to see what 'special' thing they have in this week, and get my potatoes, carrots and onions while I was there (as long as those were all British grown).

    I know that there are a great many people in this country who simply don't accept seasonality though, so I understand the bigger shops have to bow to the pressure to sell strawberries at Christmas. I wouldn't necessarily boycott such a place, but I'd only go there if it happened to be handy. 

    “There is no military solution
    Doesn't always end up as something worse”
  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489

    There is an excellent farm shop, half an hour away.  You can see the produce growing in the fields and, because the vegetables aren't washed and packaged  they stay fresh for longer. They sell eggs from their free range  hens.  

    SW Scotland
  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Clarington, tha needs be a re'et t'died int t'wool Tyke to like  Hendo's, Mother used it she was a Tyke, Dad preferred t'ther stuff t'same bottle, he was Tyneside, me born in Durham liked Brown Sauce. No accounting for taste is there.

    Our local butcher sells all local produce even has his own farm and small registered slaughter house. In my youth, often ill spent, the killing was done on the premises and we youngsters watched no H&S to stop us but then we killed our own stock at home it was part of life as we knew it. They have just won more prizes for best shop best pies and sausage. You cannot get near the shop at lunch time as van loads of workers come from all over for food to eat sitting on the Green.

    The local Farm shop take in local fresh produce from small holdings and farms around here, of course they have to import things customers want but the emphasis is on local. You can get a range of potato's with the soil on them just dug up, the only way to taste them, cabbage still has holes in the leaves and morning dew, far better than the perfect tasteless super market ones. You pay a bit more but eat fresh and it does not go to waste as you buy what you need not two for one then bin one. I have heard people complain about the price then buy the same stuff from the market stall, it must be cheaper off a stall? They should check first.


  • B3B3 Posts: 19,936

    Produce has to be local or what's the point

    I can understand that they might as well supply the eejits who think they can buy local strawberries, courgettes etc in December, but what bugs me is seeing foreign produce - not just in farm shops- when a local alternative is available.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,025

    In order of importance to me:

    Local, choice, coffee shop with cakes and lastly price. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,504

    B3. I think you are right. ASDA was Associated Dairies, selling a lot of local (or at least British)  produce. When Walmart took over ASDA, the first year they were selling tasteless  Strawberries flown from California, in the middle of the English Strawberry season.  I notice Warren Buffett, has ditched all his Walmart shares and bought Apple. (the computer firm not the fruit)

    If I can buy local I do. If I have to buy new Zealand Lamb, I get it from the cheapest supermarket. Some of the best Lamb I have had was from the Chatsworth farm shop.  Guaranteed to have been born and bred on the Chatsworth estate. It was also some of the most expensive, but their little loin rolls are divine and make a good easy carve roast for two.

     Around here you can buy 25kg sacks of dirty potatoes from the farm gate for around a fiver.  I don't get through enough to use a sack in a reasonable time, my mum often splits a sack with my sister, and when we were a family of eight at home,(Grandparent, parents, and four kids, ) it was the only way to buy.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,942

    There is an excellent farm shop near me. It belongs to a local farmer and sells locally produced products. Unhappily, the prices are so high that I only buy my Christmas turkey there. While I am not rich, we have a perfectly adequate income, but I would be paying three to four times the supermarket prices : not Lidl, Tesco.

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