Food from the farm
We are proud to be producing/raising much of the food for sale in the shop from the farm. It is very labour intensive and not at all good for 'economies of scale' to have a lot of small enterprises but we are working our way towards becoming a really sustainable farm which can feed the local community with all its fresh food.
Our aim is to grow everything we need for a full meal. This is not easy. To make a farm pay, most farmers concentrate on one enterprise. We are doing the opposite. When we took over the farm in 1990, it was sheep, dairy (sold off farm) beef and arable.
We have introduced and learnt about laying hens, table birds and pigs, vegetables, top and soft fruit, running a farmshop and cafe and conference/education space. We pasteurise our own milk and have our own whole and semi skimmed milk, yoghurt, cream and cheese for sale in the shop.
These small enterprises are challenging, labour intensive and financially risky for us. But we believe farms are for feeding the local population, not for growing one thing that is sent all over the country or the world, often benefiting the middleman more than the producer.
With thanks to our rare breed organic shorthorn cows, approx 33 milking at any one time.
Milk non homogenised, now available in the shop from our lovely vending machine, whole or semi, half or whole litres....glass bottles to buy in the shop or bring any container you like so long as is not higher than a wine bottle so it fits under the machine AND IS SQUEAKY CLEAN!
Yoghurt, natural, strained so thick and gorgeous, or just set, and sometimes with blackcurrants or strawberries too. ALL IN GLASS, with a deposit for bringing back clean unlabelled jars.
Cream - good whipping properties
Butter - salted and unsalted. Very occasional! Very Limited availability
Cheese made on the farm
Patience - semi hard young cheese
Wiggold Cheddar - usually quite mature
Soft Fresh Cheese in the summer
We have established our own 15 acre organic market garden which surrounds the shop and grow over 80 varieties of fruit and veg and herbs through the year.
Our stocks are supplemented by other organic growers from uk and abroad to offer a good range of organic fruit and vegetables at all times. Seasonal produce is our priority.
The vegetables are sold in the shop and supply our cafe. Any slight defects and its off to the cafe to be made into some delicious meal - a no waste mantra.
Strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants, all sold fresh, frozen through the winter although sometimes run out before the next fresh crop starts. Rich makes them into jam sometimes too when there are enough.
Apples, Pears and Plums.
We planted 12 apple trees in 2013, 9 more in 2015 and in 2021 and 22 around 108 mainly apples with a few plums too just in front of the cafe verandah. The aim - to be apple and plum sufficient by 2025.
We have planted 30 more rhubarb crowns so each year there will be more rhubarb now so hopefully we dont have to buy in any more.
We grow lots of flowers mainly from end of March (tulips) through to end of October. We have put up a small second hand tunnel and extend the selling season a little. We LOVE flowers, food for the soul, grown by Libby and bunched mainly by Bex who loves bunching!
We are the proud owners of 350 laying hens, all sorts! Looked after by Oli and Pawel mainly. Often collected and graded by the farm project guests.
All the beef, chicken and lamb you find in the shop has been reared at Abbey Home Farm, giving complete ‘traceability’. Our organically reared animals benefit from a safe additive-free diet, homoeopathic medicine and no fear of overstocked fields. Our pigs now come at 10 weeks or so from a neighbouring organic farm and we raise them till they are ready to become your bacon and more. The meat is butchered to an extremely high standard by our butcher Gary on the farm.The chicken is reared, slaughtered and processed on farm, next to the butchery unit, just minutes from the shop. All the meat is ours, and all is Soil Association certified.
From bees on the farm, who hopefully haven't strayed onto chemically sprayed crops (why would they?!) but not able to call organic. Produced by Liz.