Saturday, 24 September 2011

A funny farm shop

There's a farm shop near me.  I won't name them, because I've been a bit disappointed with a discovery I made yesterday.  I love going in there and buying things.  I like knowing that I'm buying things with low food miles, things which are seasonal and grown in my area.  

They also sell frozen things, meats, bread, chutneys and jams and much more and have a lovely "coffee bothy" (cafe).  I thought they could make an improvement.  They sell some fruit and veg which is clearly not local, either because it doesn't grow locally (pineapple, kiwi etc) or because it's sold out of season.  I thought that they could make things better by clearly labelling the foods which were grown locally - I'd be more likely to choose those ones where possible.  So when I was there yesterday, I asked the lady behind the counter whether this would be a change they would consider making.  Imagine my disappointment when she told me that none of the fruit and veg comes from local farms.  It all comes from the wholesale fruit and veg market in Glasgow!  Excuse me?  What makes this farm shop any different from a normal greengrocer then?  Is it the chutneys and jams?  If so, then surely they are a green-grocer-come-deli.  What makes this a farm shop apart from that it happens to be located on a farm?

I looked on where it says that "Farm shops sell local foods grown, picked, reared or produced usually on the farm where the farm shop is located."  Having said that, they go on to list this particular farm shop on their listings, which are "members of FARMA, meaning they have been through a selection process to ensure they are the 'real deal' in selling actual local foods,".  So now I'm completely confused - is it a proper farm shop or not?

Wikipedia says that "Farm shop is a type of retail outlet which usually sells produce directly from a farm. Some farm shops also resell related goods such as locally produced groceries, foods and drinks and delicatessen products."


  1. Sigh. I am often disappointed with farm shops too - as if putting a few shelves of Scottish jams and oatcakes makes it different. Most of the stuff you can get in Tescos anyway. I often think they miss a big trick by not attempting to bemore local. I was once in an Award-Winning establishment one early June day, and was delighted to find bunches of asparagus - only to discover they were from the USA!!
    Sorry for ranting, Mel. This is one of my do not press buttons :)

  2. Exactly - gutted. Where can we get the local stuff then? We holidayed just on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales this summer, near Scarborough. Around every corner on the country lanes, there were honesty barrows selling the stuff from the farm gate. Aside from eggs, there's none of that here and it's a shame.