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Monday, 15 April 2019

Exploring Local Farm Shops

Hannah Barnes

When it comes to farm shops, I'm really lucky to have one right beneath my feet most days of the week. As odd as that sounds, it's because my gift boutique; The Loft, is located in an old mill, right above Robins Mill Farm Shop. There's also a cafe downstairs, so I'm spoiled for choice come lunch time. 

          I've started picking up as much of my shop as possible from there. Which means I've cut out a lot of plastic packaging from meat - by taking my own containers - vegetables (why is it all covered in plastic at the supermarket anyway?) and even things like biscuits and bread. 

I can't get everything I need though, so I decided to take a Sunday trip out with Nathan to explore a few more local farm shops. One thing in particular that I'm finding hard to track down is fresh salad leaves. Which I find really odd, as I recently heard that bagged salad is a breeding ground for bacteria. If so, why is everyone so intent on covering it in plastic? Even the farm shops are doing it. It's just coming up to summer, and I love a fresh salad so I'll have to think of some new options on that one. 

I did however pick up plenty of fresh veg and even bagged myself some spring lamb. The first place we visited had by far the best selection including ready meals and artisan bread. I actually already pick up a lot of ready meals from Robins Mill after work, but haven't done so since minimizing how much I throw away. Seeing all the delicious meals on offer, I think I'll have to hatch a plan to get my own containers filled at the mill from now on. Plastic free lasagna here I come!

What's great about shopping around at local farm shops is access to fresh, seasonal produce and we really made the most of it. Entranced by carrots straight out of a Beatrix Potter book, we stocked up and even tried some wet garlic...although I still don't know why it's wet. As well as picking up the essentials such as mushrooms and potatoes. 

I took my trusty cloth produce bags along but did top up with the paper bags on offer. They might not make your shop entirely waste free, but plastic free is better than nothing! Along with the salad leaves, I was also unable to find any cordial. Which we've basically just stopped using since going plastic free. I know I've seen glass bottles of the stuff before, but I just can't track it down and might have to resort to bulk buying some on Amazon.

We had a great day out checking out all of the different farm shops near us - and there were plenty. I'm sure you can track a few down too and I'd really recommend seeing what's on offer. We took the dog and had a walk in the woods whilst we were out, but more on that next time! 

Been down to your local farm shop lately? Let me know how it went in the comments! 

Hannah Barnes / Author & Editor

I keep myself busy with my small business; The Loft Gifts, the period poverty charity I run; The Crimson Wave, writing here and for vaious platforms and a growing menagerie of household pets.


  1. I am not sure whether we have any local farm shops around us, I will have to check, thanks for the reminder!


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