All posts in Farm Shops and Markets

National Vegetarian Week: Farmshop Vegetables Offer Best Value

Vegetables Borough Market
Image by wine_scribbler via Flickr

In the latest of a series of independent reports commissioned by the Regional Food Group for Yorkshire and Humber (RFG), farmshops in Yorkshire have been found to offer the best value when it comes to vegetables.

Yorkshire farmshops were found to be better value than major supermarkets for baking potatoes (an average 33% less expensive), tomatoes (an average 36% less expensive), loose leeks (an average 14% less expensive), onions, savoy cabbages and cauliflowers.

RFG’s Chief Executive Jonathan Knight said: “Farmshops can offer shoppers fantastic value on many products, and in the lead up to National Vegetarian Week I’m delighted to see that our research has highlighted that Yorkshire farmshops offer particularly good value when it comes to vegetables!

“Local food can benefit local economies in a number of ways, creating jobs and opportunities in the local community, which in turn will have a positive impact on future investment and opportunities in the area. Support for local food is good news for the environment, as well as the economy: local food production often means lower distribution and travel miles – and as we have seen with this latest research the cost savings are passed back to the consumer.”
Matthew Machin from The Balloon Tree Farmshop and Cafe, York, who took part in the farmshop research said: “We take part in RFG’s farmshop comparisons to help dispel the myths that farmshops are more expensive than supermarkets.

“Farmshops provide better value for money on a range of staple goods, not just vegetables. As a business we are transparent about where our products and ingredients come from and customers can feel reassured that they are helping to boost the local economy.”

The RFG research was conducted on a range of farmshops from across the region.


Pure Flavour Ready Meals

Pure Flavour has launched a range of ten delicious seasonal, home-made ready meals made with super-fresh, locally sourced vegetables and meat from farmers they know and trust, and with fish from MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified sustainable sources. The wholesome, local ingredients are then put together by Pure Flavour’s Roux brothers-trained chef into a range of dishes suitable for all palates, and blast frozen to preserve quality and flavour. Available from farm shops (listed in Notes) and www.pureflavour.co.uk for £5.99 each, deliveries can be made anywhere in UK within 5 working days of order (£7.50 delivery charge for orders up to £75 and thereafter free delivery).

Pure flavour has created delicious frozen ready meals to suit our busy lives with ingredients we would choose to buy from farmers markets, farm shops and local producers. Meaning that you can feed your family delicious, wholesome meals on those days when the pressures of work or other commitments mean that you don’t have the time to cook.

Local is a key ingredient in the Pure Flavour range, a philosophy that Founder, Emma & Chef, Nicci pursue themselves, having worked with many of their suppliers they are really excited about the growing list of local producers from Stratta’s Red Currant Vinegar, Quex Park Rapeseed Oil and the famous Biddenden Cider. Locally grazed Aberdeen Angus beef, Kent Lamb and free range chickens come from Farmer Palmer, in Smarden up the road from Pure Flavours Kent Country Kitchen, and every meal has at least one portion of the recommended 5 portions a day of vegetables. Nicci either uses vegetables from her small holding or calls David Catt & Son’s to check what has come in from local farmers this week, ensuring really seasonable meals.

With meals ranging from English classics, to the more geographically adventurous, Pure Flavour have created something for every taste.

∗ Kent Free Range Chicken, Seasonal Herb and Field Mushroom Pie
∗ Kent Free Range Chicken in a Creamy Biddenden Cider and Seasonal Vegetable Sauce
∗ Creamy Fish Pie using Sustainable Fish and Seasonal Vegetables
∗ Sustainable Pollock baked in our Creamed Local Chard
∗ Kent Lamb Stifado with Puy Lentils
∗ Kent Lamb Nirah Masala with Seasonal Vegetables
∗ Kent Aberdeen Angus Classic Beef Lasagne
∗ Kent Aberdeen Angus Beef Stew with Crispy Dumplings and Seasonal Vegetables
∗ Kent Seasonal Vegetable Lasagne
∗ Thai Green Curry using Kent Seasonal Vegetables

Pure Flavour’s history of ‘free from food’ means that all the meals cater for food intolerances, thereby ensuring that all the family can enjoy the meals, including those with wheat, gluten and dairy intolerances. Pure Flavour has recently partnered with Oatly milk, a delicious milk alternative made from oats, to produce even more dishes that are tasty, healthy and also dairy free.

Emma Slinn, Founder and Managing Director of ‘Pure Flavour’ talking about the idea behind the Ready Meals said, “With so many time-starved people, eating healthily often takes a back seat to take aways or ready meals that contain poor ingredients. I knew that we could produce delicious meals, using fresh ingredients from our local farmers and producers, then blast freeze them which is a natural way of preserving. We were so excited by the tremendously positive response from our focus group when we blind tested all our meals against leading ready meals brands – look out for Pure Flavour ready meals in a farm shop near you soon!”

Pure Flavour ready meals can be purchased online via their website.

Langley Chase Organic Farm

langley chase ram

I run a small organic grassland farm in Wiltshire, rearing majestic four-horned Manx Loaghtan rare breed lamb and mutton. This year my lamb won the Meat Category of the National Organic Food Awards awarding us the most tasty organic meat in the UK! My mutton was highly commended at the Awards and I have now have ten National Organic Food Awards for my lamb and mutton.

This is how our meat has been described:
- Mark Hix, Hix Oyster and Chop Bar: “Langley Chase Organic Farm’s wild looking lambs taste delicious with a little hint of game.”
- Rick Stein: “Langley Chase Organic Farm is one of my favourite sources for organic lamb.”
- Hardeep Singh Kohli, a judge of this Year’s National Organic Food Awards said:
“I am a big fan of mutton and we should be eating more, especially when it is as tasty as Langley Chase mutton. You can taste the love in great food and you can certainly taste it in Langley Chase mutton!”

Ours is a specialist, organic meat, high in taste and low in fat and cholesterol. Everything we sell, we have reared ourselves on our herb rich pastures and meadow hay. Our lamb and mutton are perfect alternatives for Turkey for Christmas, make a totally traceable organic feast for Easter, provide delicious dinner parties and fine lamb and mutton bangers and burgers for the Summer barbeque. I’ve also been developing our other delicacies including Langley Chase Smoked Lamb and Manx Loaghtan Salami.

I sell direct to customers across the country. The farm’s website – http://www.langleychase.co.uk – details everything we do, how I rear my sheep (including data on the low fat and cholesterol of the breed) and run our Soil Association registered farm. You can watch a short video of sheep and farm
here: http://www.langleychase.co.uk/film.htm

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Real Food Festival 2009

real_food_festival_2009The UK’s most exciting food and drink event – The Real Food Festival – returns to London Earls Court, London, over the 8-10 May 2009.

With over 400 carefully selected small producers of every kind of food and drink, offering everything from grass-fed beef to perfectly distilled cordials you can see, taste, smell and buy produce that you’ve never had the opportunity to sample before.

Come and experience it at the UK’s most exciting food event – its the biggest producers market you’ve ever seen. With the UK’s top chefs in action, livestock ranging from water buffalo to chickens and hundreds of the best food and drink producers from across the UK and abroad.

Highlights of this year’s Festival…

- Over 400 Producers bringing you the best food and drink from across the UK and abroad – you won’t find this in your high street!
- Livestock – Meet Petal the Water Buffalo, see the Sheep Show, Rare Breed Pigs, Daisy the Cow and chickens.
- The UK’s Best Chefs in action – including Raymond Blanc, Willie Harcourt-Cooze, Giorgio Locatelli, Thomasina Miers and Fergus Henderson
- Barny Haughtons Bordeaux Quay Cookery School – Learn how to beat the credit crunch and still eat wonderful food
- The Real Food Debates – listen to passionate speakers like Zac Goldsmith, Patrick Holden, Joanna Blythman, Rosie Boycott and Graham Harvey debate the central issues around our food today.
- Growing Food with Garden Organic – A Kitchen Garden, with practical demonstrations on growing your own, composting and planting seeds.
- Education Area for kids – will include cookery lessons, demos of milking a cow, making butter and growing food

It is cheaper to buy tickets online prior to the event rather than on the door.

New Lancashire Food Centre

Bashall Barn LancashireLancashire-based farm shop, Bashall Barn, is soon to open a major million pound extension, to include a deli, butcher, restaurant, ice cream parlour and bar.

Established in 2001 Bashall Barn sits at the centre of the Bashall Hall Estate, in the beautiful Ribble Valley.
Situated in the Forest of Bowland (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), Bashall Barn is surrounded by miles of green and pleasant countryside with wonderful views and scenery.

Here at Bashall Barn we are committed to selling locally produced goods. Products on sale include speciality bacon and sausages, cheese, pickles, preserves and sauces. We also make our own cakes, scones, ready meals and award winning ice creams on site in our open plan kitchen.

Since opening their drive has been to produce things themselves. Now a range of ready meals, puddings, cakes and a number of deli items are made at the site.

The food centre will take things further by allowing people to see how goods are being produced – for example, visitors will not only see pigs and little piglets, they will also be able to find out how the butcher makes sausages. We’re trying to link the whole production process

Bashall Barn, Clitheroe, Lancashire. The new extension is planned for a March opening.