Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pitney farm shop - the farm shop we'd all love to have on our doorstep

I’ve been too busy to blog much lately but really wanted to tell you about this fantastic farm shop I went to in Somerset a week or so ago. Not that all of you will find it convenient to get to it but it represents everything a farm shop should be.

It’s run by Lizzie and Rob Walrond who farm their 100 acre farm, Glebe Farm, organically. They have pigs, sheep, cows and laying hens and all their meat is slaughtered locally. They also have a wide variety of organic vegetables as well as - enterprisingly - ingredients like risotto rice and spelt flour which are sometimes hard to find in rural areas.

I bought a joint of beef off them purely on the basis of the name: it's called a 'bread and butter cut' and is apparently designed for slow roasting though I haven't tried it out yet. There’s a good diagram of where it comes from here.

I also bought bacon, a big lettuce, Russian kale - which was delicious and unusually tender (they only pick the tips) and some intensely flavoured (and lethally fart-inducing) Jerusalem artichokes. And I didn't buy the swede but for some reason took a picture of it.

They actually pressed some free eggs on us because they have so many. Apparently conventional egg producers have eggs all year round because they keep the hens under artificial light throughout the winter but organically reared hens lay off until the spring and then go crazy. So if you have an organic flock nearby up your egg purchases to help out the farmer.

Glebe Farm is right in the depths of the Somerset countryside, 9 miles south of Glastonbury but they have directions on the site and it's well-signposted from the main road (the B3153).

While you’re in that neck of the woods you could also go and visit - as we did - Julian Temperley’s Somerset Distillery and the Brown and Forrest smokery where we had some great smoked eel. And we missed it but Moor Beer, to which a beer-loving friend of mine is addicted, is apparently in the same village. You could actually drive round and pick up everything you need for a weekly shop.

The only dampener on the day was that it poured practically non-stop hence the dark, gloomy pictures. But I can imagine it's heaven out there in the summer.

There's a fascinating account of the manors of Pitney which date back to the early 13th century here.

Let's hear it for farm shops - have you got a good one near you?


  1. Julian's Somerset Royal Cider Apple Brandy is fabulous! Diana spent a wonderful afternoon tasting Julian's creations and different chocolate origins to find a perfect pairing.
    Diana used a little feuilletine on top to try and recreate the crunch of the autumn leaves in the orchard. It's been a staple of our Wonders of the West chocolate collection ever since and Julian has of course deservedly won many awards.

  2. that sounds amazing Matthew - shall have to look out for it

  3. The closest one to us is Darts Farm in Topsham, have you been there?