BUYING fresh locally produced food from farm shops is a great way to help the environment – and the quality will keep you going back for more. Here’s some of the region’s best.
Brockbushes Farm Shop and Tea Rooms in Corbridge (30 minutes from Newcastle on the A69) boasts award-winning quality homemade fine foods, as well as a fully-stocked farm shop. The farm has 35 acres of soft fruit and five acres of vegetables and is renowned for its pick-your-own facilities from mid-June to the end of October. New for this summer are tractor and trailer rides. Quad bikes are on site every weekend.
A relative newcomer to the farm shop scene is Kirkharle Farm Shop, at Kirkharle Courtyard near the junction of the A696 and B6342 north of Belsay. This pretty shop specialises in regional and British foods with an impressive cheese counter, local beers and English wines. There are 12 art and craft shops and a coffee house.
“Low on mileage but high on taste” has always been the ethos at Blagdon Farm shop. The shop is committed to bringing lots of fresh and tasty food to the plates of local people and to top restaurants. Here you’ll find free range and rarebreed meat including pork, chicken, guinea fowl and duck plus fresh seasonal vegetables.
Most of the produce on sale in this Routier-listed family run farm shop at North Acomb, near Stocksfield, Northumberland, is either grown or made on the spot. Ham and bacon are cured on the premises and own-recipe sausages are sold alongside milk, homemade butter from the farm’s Friesian herd, British cheeses and free-range eggs.
Vicky and Peter Moffitt run Vallum Farm Shop and Cafe, near Stamfordham, Northumberland. About 50% of the stock on their shelves is from producers who trade at the Hexham Farmers’ Market.
The pair use as many products from Northumberland as possible: vegetables when they are available, local jams, chutneys, oats and flour from Heatherslaw, Chainbridge Honey, salmon and bacon from the Bywell Smokery, cheese from the Northumberland Cheese Company, sausages from Ian Byatt of Stannington and Doddington ice cream.
Why not try some of their famous pork and chestnut stuffing made from a family recipe? You’re sure to come back for more at Christmas. Or sample the Vallum yoghurt which comes in four flavours – honey, stem ginger, maple and natural.
Vallum Farm also has a cafe, and they are right on the Roman Wall with great views.
Chirton Fisheries specialises in fresh fish and shellfish caught locally and off the shores of Scotland.
The family business, run by Paul Robinson, recently moved from the Greenmarket, after 31 years, to the Grainger Market. Paul said: “It’s a really positive move for the business. We have a much bigger display here and are benefiting greatly from passing trade, which we didn’t get much of tucked away in the corner of the Greenmarket.”