I recently veered off my usual route home and stopped by a local farm shop called Maple farm. I was expecting to find yet another swish ‘farm’ shop with shelves full of £5 chutneys, freezers containing the local butcher’s joints and workers in branded uniforms. What I actually found however was a small barn (in fact, I’ll call it a shed, because it was only about 6ft x 8ft inside) which was an unmanned ‘honesty’ shop, with a few buckets of veg, shelves of eggs from the farm’s hens and even home-milled flour. The prices were chalked up on black-boards and there was a ledger book on the cash desk with a tin for putting your payment in.
Even though this was a tiny and totally unglitzy farm shop, I was able to find a few things I needed to buy and I chose a knobbly butternut squash to make into a lovely autumnal soup (blog post coming soon!). As I was buying my produce, I noticed that the farmers had even taken the time to write out a recipe for baking butternut squash and provided a few copies for buyers to take with them. How lovely!
I have since found out that the farm generally makes most of its money through selling produce in their little shop – not a lot, but enough to keep going, so I will certainly be returning regularly to buy my potatoes, eggs and veg – and they are even taking bookings for Christmas turkeys now..!