NOV, 20, 2002
SECRETTS FARM SHOP, MILFORD, SURREY.
Also a posh garden centre. They grow a lot and have a large PYO section. They also sell a lot of other people's produce. This really is a farm supermarket, with different sections on all sides of a courtyard. There are fruit and veg, fresh and frozen, fruit juices including:
OWLETT APPLE JUICE, LAMBERHURST, KENT
DUSKIN APPLE JUICE, KINGSTON, CANTERBURY, KENT,
GRANNY STEAD'S GINGER, SHOREHAM, W.SUSSEX,
Free range eggs from CHAPEL FARM, NORMANDY, SURREY.
All meat comes from a local butcher, WAKELING of GODALMING, who also does frozen meals under the name of COUNTRY COOKS.
Fish shop run by REX GOLDSMITH
Dairy (very good and comprehensive) Fine selection of cheeses, including:
SUSSEX HIGH WEALD, DUDDLESWELL www.sussexhighwealddairy.co.uk
LYBURN, HAMPTWORTH, SALISBURY. WILTS. www.lyburncheese.co.uk
Milk from GT. HOOKLEY FARM, ELSTEAD, SURREY.
NATURE MADE, DEVON (Sheep)
WOODLANDS PARK, WIMBORNE, DORSET (goat and they do goat butter)
GREAT DORSTONE, HEREFORDSHIRE.
OLD PLACE FARM, ANGMERING, SUSSEX.
WEYDOWN, HEADLEY, HANTS.
MANOR FARM ORGANIC, DORSET.
Ice cream from
ROCOMBE ORGANIC www.rocombefarm.co.uk
MEADOW COTTAGE, HEADLEY, HANTS
LOSELEY, GODALMING, SURREY
DUCHY ORIGINALS. GLOUCESTERSHIRE
NOV. 20. 2002
SUSSEX WEALD AND DOWNLAND MUSEUM, SINGLETON.
They sell their own stone-ground flour from the watermill, and charcoal and logs from their woods. They have Sussex cattle, Southdown sheep, heavy horses, Light Sussex hens, and an exhibition by Richard Harris about the history of farming, illustrated with local examples.
I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to understand the direction farming took in the twentieth century and how it got there. I was struck by the traditional interdependence of humans, animals and the landscape, so recently ruptured and now so irrecoverable.
The primeval forest, which is still a feature of Sussex, was partially cleared to produce the sheep runs. The sheep manured the weald for crops. The wood from the shaws (the belts of uncleared woodland) became building material, fencing, hurdles, charcoal for the blast furnaces. The animals' needs designed the landscape. Their manure and meat, wool, milk, eggs fed the people who tended the animals, the fields, the woodland. The country supported its population and was supported by them.
Now, we have broken the cycle and we won't get it back. If it wasn't for museums like this, we might not even know it once existed. The question is: What can we put in its place?
APPLEGARTH FARM SHOP, GRAYSHOTT, SURREY
Sell their own cakes, pies, jams, chutneys and, among many other things, milk from
PENSWORTH FARM DAIRY, REDLYNCH, WILTS
HAMMER TROUT FARM AND SMOKERY, HEWSHOTT, HANTS.
Trout and watercress in a beautiful, wild valley. They also have a smokery.
PETWORTH FARMERS' MARKET. W. SUSSEX.
Petworth and Midhurst farmers' markets are under review. They have been going for a trial period and I went to the last one in Petworth. In spite of deluging rain, it was a cheerful and genuine affair, filling the town with enthusiastic visitors, who also shop in the town. It is popular with stall-holders and customers. If there are any objectors they will be local shop-keepers. This market is only once a month, so I don't see that objections are rational. If you feel strongly about this, phone Thomas Lane, the Environmental Officer in Chichester on 01243 785166. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Free range and organic meat was well represented by:
UPTON REDHEADS ORGANIC POULTRY, WONSTON, WINCHESTER, HANTS. Free range chickens and good information about them.
CHANCTONBURY GAME, with venison and venison burgers, pigeons, pheasants.
LOWER ROUNDHURST FARM, HASLEMERE, SURREY. Free range beef.
HARTING FARM, E. HARTING, HANTS, who have their own Southdown lamb and some beautiful sheepskins.
PIG IN A BUN from WESTLANDS FARM, SHEDFIELD
PETWORTH BANGER CO. Very good sausages but quite hard to find out who they were.
Some of the most genuine farmers are poor on advertising.
There were two cheese stalls, both using professional sellers:
MONASTERY, NETHER STOWEY, SOMERSET and TWINEHAM whom I've listed before.
If I were selling cheese, I'd want someone else to do it for me, but I still feel this is not what farmers' markets are all about.
DAYLANDS FARM, ASHURST, vegetables
VALMORE NURSERY, NEWICK, flowers, both growing and selling their own.
WILDWOOD COPPICE selling their own coppice products and charcoal.
ANNE BROCKHURST, CLOVER COTTAGE, FERNHURST, SURREY selling rugs and skins from her own Shetland and Shetland X sheep. Also clothing spun, dyed and knitted by her. She will spin and knit to order. 01428 653355.
BALLARD'S BREWERY, NYEWOOD, HANTS with local beer
SLINDON BAKERY again had a fine display of bread.
Various local firms sold excellent pies and quiches.
And I bought a crab from SELSEY WILLOWS, who is a fisherman.
There was no fruit and no fruit juice.
FARNHAM FARMERS' MARKET. SURREY
A lot of the same traders as at Petworth, but this time, there were three stalls selling apples, pears and juices. All excellent:
NEAL'S PLACE FARM, CANTERBURY, KENT
FLOWER FARM, GODSTONE, SURREY
RINGDEN FARM, FLIMWELL, E. SUSSEX
Also new to me were:
GARLIC FARM from the ISLE OF WIGHT selling garlic and garlic.
SHOUTS FARM, LINGFIELD, SURREY with "traditionally reared" lamb.
HUNTS HILL FARM, NORMANDY COMMON, GUILDFORD, SURREY, with honey, free-range pork, lamb, beef, chickens and ducks, and free-range eggs.
NEWDIGATE EGGS I was doubtful about. They said free-range on the box and "farm fresh" on the placard. People were queuing up to buy them because they were cheaper.
I have this dilemma again and again: I tend to pass over people who don't say who they are, don't use the words free-range, don't give an address. But some of these may be the most genuine farmers who haven't got round to advertising. If there's a queue, I don't ask them. On the other hand, I also avoid people who try to sell me two for the price of one and people who assume I care more about taste than animal welfare.
There was no shortage of customers in Farnham, in spite of the usual deluge. It would be interesting to know what others go for.
"As a housewife, I'm furious that I'm being lied to and exploited." Dot Boag.
Dot has been doing a survey of housewives in her hospice. She finds that 90% of them would buy local food if they could get it. Dot feels that housewives are used by big business as the excuse for their rapacity, but they are never consulted. Perhaps, if they were consulted, their views could change the face of British farming.
For example, if they knew about the crisis in dairy farming, quite a small number of housewives putting a card in the box of their local supermarket saying they would pay more for local milk could change supermarket policy.
NOV. 26 With Dot in mind, I did this in Tesco's in Petersfield.
NOV. 28 In Tesco's in Cirencester, I found a whole display of "speciality" milks. There were two sorts of Jersey milk, one unhomogenised, there was organic milk and unpasteurised milk and milk from CRAVENDALE, the only named dairy.
This is not exactly what I meant. Fancy milk at more than double the price is making the two-tier system stronger, without telling the consumer how intensively the cows are farmed or how the milk is marketed.
I have brooded all week on the fact that salesmen are very quick and farmers very slow to grasp an advertising opportunity. I don't think we have taken in the scale of the deceit. We are lied to daily by the media, by politicians, by advertisers, and we get used to it. We soon become as incapable of distinguishing lies from truth as the liars themselves.
For example, ASDA have toy, crowing, and very free-range hens on the roof of their display of battery eggs. They have a toy cow surrounded by buttercups boosting their cut-price milk sales. Kids love it. As I never tire of saying, we long for contact with the natural world. But this is a phoney substitute for the natural world, designed to stifle questions, not promote them.
What if they knew the reality?
CHELTENHAM FARMERS' MARKET. GLOS.
Very traditional and well supported, in the Promenade. Several farmers who also go to Stroud were there. New ones included:
BURLEY FIELDS LAKE, LECKHAMPTON. GLOS with "traditional" pork, sausages, bacon, lamb, and chickens
CROFT FARM, ASHLEWORTH, GLOS. Fruit.
DUNTISBOURNE TRADITIONAL MEATS
SCRUBDITCH FARM, CIRENCESTER, GLOS. "Organically fed, free range animals reared naturally without the use of growth promoters." I haven't seen their animals, though I mean to. Both their bacon and sausages are very good. They also had pheasants at £2.50 a brace.
FIVE TREES OSTRICH FARM, TRELLECH, MONMOUTHSHIRE WITH LOTS OF OSTRICH PRODUCTS. I don't know how their ostriches are kept, but I'll get there one day.
SHURDINGTON APIARIES, GLOS, with honey and wax products.
NORBURY'S NORREST FARM, STORRIDGE, MALVERN, HEREFORDSHIRE
Apples and cider.
CLIVES FRUIT FARM with apples, apple juice and eggs.
ST. ANNE'S VINEYARD, NEWENT, GLOS. With their own wine.
VERZON'S FRUIT FARM, LEDBURY, HEREFORDSHIRE, with fruit and veg, and apple pie.
SUDELEY HILL FARM, SUDELEY, GLOS. "home produced" lamb.
COCKLEFORD TROUT FARM, COWLEY, GLOS, with very good smoked trout pate.
PINKS FRUIT FARM, HENLEY IN ARDEN, WARWICKSHIRE, with fruit syrups.
LIGHTWOOD CHEESE, COTHERIDGE, WORCS. I'll go there too.
I am also brooding on the misunderstandings that make farmers such an easy target for the purveyors of lies. I only have to use the word farmer and somebody takes offence. This is because there are many different shades of opinion within the farming argument. I have narrowed them, arbitrarily, down to four:
1- Intensive farmers who believe their own economic arguments and think globalisation is the only possible future.
2- Traditional farmers who have been duped into using methods they hate and feel thoroughly let down by all sides.
3- Meat eaters who care about animal welfare and organic farming. To them, farming is part of a whole way of life.
4- Vegetarians who believe all farmers are cruel to their animals.
All groups have sub-sections, often at war with one another.
The fact that group 1 is in the ascendant at the moment means that they control the lies. It does not mean they are right. In fact, you only have to step back a little to see that intensive farming is a dead end. And I do mean dead.
Thanks to all who wrote in about animal welfare. I understand that conventional farmers don't want to be associated with animal rights activists, vegans don't want to be associated with farming at all, industrial farmers don't want to be associated with hereditaries, hard men don't want to be associated with anything soft, pacifists don't want to be associated with politics, powerful people don't want to be associated with losers, even if they are right.
No wonder truth doesn't get much of a look-in.
Keep em coming.
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