FARM SHOPS ARE A BIG THING IN CORNWALL.
There are probably 7 or 8 close to David’s kitchen studio, ranging from teeny tiny shacks with some eggs and maybe a few vegetables to bigger ones stocking larger scale local producers, that have enough stuff that you could almost do your weekly shop there. No two are exactly the same, and you can never be sure what you might find in one.
There are a whole host of reasons you should use more local produce – from the environmental (it’s got a smaller carbon footprint), to the taste related (if it came from two fields away, it’s fresher than what’s in the supermarket). We visited just a few of the farm shops close to the studio to see what goodies we could find. Some of them are hidden down the muddiest, windiest lanes in Cornwall, so if you’re planning to head out and visit any of them, be sure to check where you’re going.
PADSTOW FARM SHOP, PADSTOW
This farm shop has a huge range of locally made goodies, including chocolate, alcohol and spices. They stock locally grown veg – the proprietors know all the people they buy veg off, if it isn’t grown on the farm – and all the meat they sell on the counter is reared on the farm itself. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is that they grow their own durum wheat, have it milled locally and make their own pasta from it. You can buy the pasta, or the pasta flour if you fancy giving pasta making a try at home. It’s a great place to pick up a thoughtful gift, or to treat yourself to some local produce.
TREVATHAN FARM SHOP, ST ENDELLION
There are lots of pick your own opportunities at Trevathan: they recommend you call first to check what fruit and veg is available. If you don’t fancy that, there’s a huge range available in the shop itself. There’s a lovely tearoom selling homemade cake and a play area, so it’s definitely somewhere you could spend a few hours. They also sell lots of their fruit frozen out of season – we picked up some gooseberries for jam making. It’s definitely worth checking out their fridges and freezers as they have delicious locally made ice cream and yoghurt,
HILLTOP FARM SHOP, CAMELFORD
This shop is a bit smaller than the first two, but still has lots of interesting things. Their freezer has plenty of different meats to choose from and they’ve got shelves full of local produce. Be sure to check out their veg shed – we missed it on my way into the shop, it’s on the right and it is full of veg they’ve grown on the farm. They also have a tearoom with lots of homemade cakes available: they do quiches and sandwiches and the lovely owner is a dab hand with gluten free or dairy free cakes, so it’s a great spot if you’ve got any specific dietary requirements.
ST EVAL FARM SHOP, ST EVAL
This was definitely the smallest operation we visited. It’s upgraded in the last few years – it used to be in a very ramshackle shed, but the owners have installed a larger, slightly lighter shed with more space. It’s a great place for veg, but there isn’t much else there – they sell eggs, a couple of cakes and some preserves, but the main draw is the homegrown vegetables. There’s a huge variety and they’re very reasonably priced, and you know what you’re getting is straight from the field. If you visit on a wet morning most of the veg will still be damp.
We expected that all the farm shops would have pretty much the same offering, but that wasn’t the case at all. They all had different merits, and we’d probably visit all of them again depending what we were after. It’s great to get to know your local farm shops, as you can feel very virtuous for buying local produce and what they have on offer might actually surprise you.