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 and pigs, vegetables and soft fruit, running a farmshop and cafe and conference/education space. Lately we have started to pasteurize our own milk. We now have our own whole and semiskimmed milk, yoghurt. cream and cheeses for sale in the shop and also our own chicken. These small new 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, thick and gorgeous, in glass too
Cream - good whipping properties
Butter - salted and unsalted. Occasional! Limited availability
Patience - semi hard young cheese
Soft Fresh Cheese in the summer only
We have established our own 15 acre organic market garden which surrounds the shop and grow over a50 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 and Rich makes them into jam sometimes too when there are enough to sell in the shop.
We planted 12 apple trees in 2013, 9 more in 2015 and lately another 90 or so with a few plums too just in front of the cafe verandah. The aim - to be apple and plum sufficient by 2025.
We grow lots of flowers mainly from end of March (tulips) through to end of October. This year (2020) we have put up a small second hand tunnel and are hoping to extend the selling season from the autumn. We LOVE flowers, food for the soul, bunched mainly by Bex who loves bunching!
We are the proud owners of 350 laying hens, all sorts! Looked after by Kate and Josh. Often collected and graded by the farm project guests.
All the pork, 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. 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 Mike.