You only have to think back to the first lockdown of 2020 to recall how our farm shops saved our bacon with theirs! When supermarkets had empty shelves (and some of them still do) and queues went around the block, our local farm shops stepped up and helped out.
My personal hope is that this would mark a change in our habits and attitudes. It’s just too easy to feed ourselves from supermarkets and I know I’m guilty of that. But farm shop products taste better, are invariably locally produced and therefore environmentally better, and are a great way of supporting our local community. With that in mind, and by way of a “three cheers for local producers”, here are three great local farm shops that I’ve encountered on my travels recently along with a few suggestions of things to do as part of a visit.
Cowdray Farm Shop, Midhurst
There are a lot of reasons to visit this part of Sussex, which include a walk over to see the Cowdray Park ruins and the incredible horse’s head sculpture by Nic Fiddian Green, or one of the many walks around the Cowdray Estate. Why ever it is that you find yourself here, quite frankly, the farm shop just teases you in with its large selection of goodies.
Once drawn in, you’ll find they have everything you want from a farm shop including a butchery, deli counter, in-house bakery, pizza, and café!
Jeremy’s Two, Cowfold
On the Brighton Road, as you head out of Cowfold on the way to Henfield, it’s all too easy to whizz past Jeremy’s Two but it is worth making it a stopping point of your journey. Run by the same people that own Jeremy’s greengrocer in Henfield (argh, that explains the name then), it may be small but it is packed with local produce. There is a meat counter and in-house butchery, cheeses and preserves, and a fabulous fruit and veg section.
If you want to make a bit of an outing of it, there’s a bridlepath just to the side of the shop, which joins up with a host of other footpaths so that you could actually walk all the way to Partridge Green for a pub lunch!
Westons Farm Shop, Itchingfield
Just outside Horsham, this farm shop is a short distance from the Downs Link so ideal for replenishing supplies on a long bike ride or walk. Last time I popped in, it was clear work was afoot and I’m told that a coffee corner will be opening in November this year!
If you can’t wait that long, they have lots of local treats including cakes and bread (from award-winning Jengers Craft Bakery) as well as local wines, beers and ciders.
Don’t worry if you live in East Sussex. We haven’t forgotten you and we’ll be heading off around the East Sussex farm shops soon.