Some of the best farm shops in Sussex
11:16 23 February 2017
Copyright remains with Mark Huntley. Middle Farm East Sussex are permitted to use the photos in their promotional material onlin
We love to celebrate all things Sussex, so we’ve rounded up a few farm shops in the county where you can find a whole range of fantastic local produce.
Middle Farm Shop, A27, Firle, near Lewes
For more than 50 years Middle Farm’s shop has brought the best in home-grown, home-produced and carefully selected meats, cheeses, dressings, pickles, preserves, confectionary and seasonal fruit and vegetables to its customers. It boasts of holding more Sussex produce than any other retailer. And if they can’t find it in the county they source it from British farms. Among their specialities is dairy products from their herds of Jersey cows, local fruit and vegetables, including the apples and pears which form the basis of their National Collection of Cider and Perry in the adjacent Cider Barn. The shop also has a butcher and bakery on site.
Open Mon to Sun 9.30am to 5.30pm, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Sussex Produce Company, Steyning
Originally opening as a greengrocer in 2007, Nick Hempleman’s Sussex Produce Company has become much more over the last decade. The shop sells a range sourced from Sussex farmers and producers, from sausages to ice cream. And the café, which is open seven days a week, showcases what is sold in the shop, selling breakfasts and lunches and seasonal evening meals on Friday and Saturday nights. Nick’s approach has clearly paid dividends. Sussex Produce Company has been named Food Shop of the Year twice in the Sussex Food and Drink Awards, National Greengrocer of the Year and Best Independent Retailer in the London and South East in the 2014 Farm Shop and Deli Awards, scooped the 2014 Field to Table category in the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s Sussex Countryside Awards, and was named by The Observer as one of the best independent retailers in the South.
Shop open Mon to Sat 8am to 8pm, Sun 9am to 5pm, café 8.30am to 5pm Mon to Fri, 8am to 5pm Sat, 9am to 4pm Sun, 6pm until late Fri/Sat. Call 01903 815045.
Charlie’s Farm Shop, Bury, Pulborough
Charlie Hughes’ family has been farming dairy cows for three generations since 1919. His farm shop, which is managed by his wife Sarah, opened in 2013 specialising in quality local produce including Charlie’s own milk, yoghurt and luxury ice cream. The shop has its own resident butcher, Mike Davis, selling the farm’s own beef, pork and rose veal, as well as bringing in lamb, game and more meat from local free range suppliers. The shop also sells seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables, local wines and beers and bread from Jengers of Billingshurst, and welcomes Andrew Johnson’s mobile fish stall to the car park every Thursday from 11am to 2pm. Open Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 5pm, Sunday/bank holidays 10am to 4pm.
Orchard Farm Shop, London Road, Hurst Green
With customers travelling from as far afield as London and Tunbridge Wells, John and Christine Matthews are currently preparing their shop for Christmas. The on-site florist offers poinsettias and Christmas wreaths. And the farm shop sells Harveys gift packs, decorations and hampers which can be ordered in advance. The couple took on the farm shop seven years ago, and pride themselves on selling exclusive and local produce. “We get our pies from Bodiam, our bread from Rye, and we make our own quiches, sausage rolls, scones and cheese and bacon flans,” says Christine. The shop also sells local ciders, beers and wines, and animal feed. Open Mon to Sat 8.30am to 5.30pm, Sun 9.15am to 4pm.
Buster’s Farm Produce, Parsonage Farm, Salehurst, near Robertsbridge
Since the 1880s six generations of the Hoad family have farmed in Salehurst’s Parsonage Farm, producing a mix of livestock and crops. Among their specialities are Sussex cattle, Romney sheep, barley, beans, maize, straw and hops for among others Harvey’s of Lewes. Unsurprisingly the farm shop reflects this variety of produce, selling both traditionally produced meat and delicatessen items. Among their specialities are beef and rose veal, lamb, hogget and mutton, free range chicken, pork and home-smoked bacon, and homemade sausages, burgers, pies and pastries. The shop’s butcher Roger can also provide joints and cuts for special occasions and hog and lamb spit roasts.
Runcton Farm Shop, near Chichester
Runcton Farm Shop offers a year-round selection of home-grown fruit and vegetables from asparagus to purple sprouting broccoli. But Becky Kendall, who has run the shop with husband Simon since 1998, says they have everything for a weekly shop – including fresh meat, ready meals and a delicatessen. “We have about 70 local suppliers,” she says. “All the fruit and vegetables are as fresh as they can be.” The Pagham Road shop had a six-week refurbishment in May. Open Mon to Sat 8.30am to 6pm, Sun 10am to 4pm.
Tablehurst Farm Shop, Forest Row
Tablehurst is a biodynamic farm, which means unlike organic farming, where the farm purchases organic seeds to grow, the whole farm produces everything on the premises from scratch ready for the Forest Row shop to sell. The shop’s best-selling product is their meat, with beef, pork, lamb and chicken available all year around. On a Friday fresh oven-cooked pizza is sold daily. The café has a garden which overlooks the animals and farm and has a slide and a tractor for youngsters to play on while their parents shop.
01342 823173; tablehurst.farm
Holmansbridge Farm Shop, Barcombe
During the summer this farm shop is popular for its delicious locally made wines, beers and ciders. When the weather is nice handmade burgers, ribs and Cajun chicken skewers are made to roast on the barbecue. To accompany the feast they offer a homemade meringue or cake prepared with natural and fresh ingredients, including their own free-range eggs. At this time of year the farm starts to focus on rearing the turkeys for Christmas. However, hot pies, pastries and Scotch eggs are always ready to take away.
01273 401964; www.holmansbridgefarm.com
Park Farm Shop, Falmer
This year marks 35 years since the Lenihan family took over Park Farm. The shop followed a year later. Top sellers include the farm’s potatoes, which come in up to six varieties and are sold in 25kg bags for £10. The shop also sells a range of dairy, eggs, meat and pies, firewood, logs, hay and straw to customers from Lewes, Peacehaven, Newhaven and Henfield as well as Brighton and Hove. “We are getting a lot of regulars coming to do their weekly shop,” says Mat who took over two years ago when parents Peter and Veronica retired. “We offer traditional English food and seasonal fruit and vegetables.” Open Mon to Sat 8.30am to 5pm, Sun 9am to 12.30pm.
01273 671002; www.parkfarmshop.co.uk
Adsdean Farm Shop, Funtington
Adsdean Farm has been selling its own beef and pork direct to its customers since Dennis Hoare opened the shop in 1970 at the height of the freezer boom. Now Dennis is 92 his son Tim has taken over. The shop has three butchers: Paul Leaming and Trevor Jones, who share a 40 year history with the shop, with newcomer Rob Hyde. As well as lamb from a neighbouring farm the shop sells its own cooked ham, pastrami, salt beef and ox tongue, and offers unusual cuts. Home-made sausages, bacon and gammon are popular, with cheese, ice cream, and Springs’ Smoked Salmon also available. Open 9am to 5pm Wed to Fri, 9am to 4pm Sat.
01243 575212; www.adsdeanfarm.co.uk
Salts Farm Shop, East Guldeford
This well-stocked farm shop near Rye sells a great range of produce from the local area. In May (2016) local asparagus will be on sale along with barbecue food and locally made charcoal. One of their most popular products is half lambs, available in autumn either fresh or frozen. The cafe hosts events including a monthly book club and a weekly coffee morning.
Crossbush Farm Shop, near Arundel
This well-stocked farm shop also has a lovely café attached where you can catch up with friends and family. They stock organic fruit and veg from Wayside Organics in Oving, beef from Crossbush Farm and Knepp Castle and milk from Goodwood Estate. Wines, beers and liqueurs are from Sussex too. The cakes and pastries served in the café are from Loaf and Leaf in Bognor Regis. Children will love the rescued animals on the mini farm - they can feed them too with special feed bought in the shop.
01903 883991; crossbushfarm.co.uk
Denniker Farm Shop, Fletching
The aim at Denniker Farm Shop is to provide top quality, individually sourced meat and other products from local suppliers wherever possible, including on the farm itself, where they produce as much free range pork and lamb as they can.
The butchery is run by Graham Smith, formally of High Street Fletching, who continues to prepare top quality meat, including the locally renowned Fletching Banger. As well as selling meat in the shop, they also supply the award-winning Griffin Inn in Fletching, The Hurstwood in High Hurstwood and the Lamb at Piltdown.
01825 722038; www.denniker.co.uk
Hen on the Gate, Mayfield
As they put it, “if you value quality, traceability and authenticity you can do no better!” and it certainly is a charming place to visit. From woodland-reared pork and home-cured smoked meats to “the best free range organic bronze turkeys you will ever taste”, everything is made to exacting standards on their own farm.
01435 874849; www.henonthegate.com
Goodwood Organic Farm Shop, Goodwood
Set at the heart of the 12,000 acre estate, Goodwood Home Farm is the largest lowland organic farm in the UK. It achieved full organic status in 2004 and boasts the first dairy herd to be totally organically fed in this country.
The farm shop’s door is open to customers who are after the dairy, ales and meat products that are produced by the team at Goodwood. However, due to growing demand for their goods to be delivered elsewhere or collected in larger quantities, they are now only available for you to buy when pre-ordered. So check out their extensive range on the website, and then drop in to collect your spoils.
01243 755153; www.goodwood.com/estate/home-farm
Heaven Farm Shop, Uckfield
Tracey and Graham are on hand to offer you the warmest of welcomes in this charming little enterprise not far from the Bluebell Railway. There’s a fantastic farm shop selling all the essentials and some little luxuries, all made locally, but also a craft shop, a camp site, a farm museum, nature trail and even a restaurant and tea room. We recommend setting aside at least a whole morning to enjoy all that’s there on offer.
01825 790331; www.heavenfarmshop.co.uk
Garlic Wood Farm Butchery, Steyning
Wherever possible their produce is sourced from carefully selected partner producers farming slow maturing native and rare-breed livestock. Whether it’s free-roaming grass-fed Longhorn beef from the Knepp Castle estate, lamb from the flower-rich meadows of the Sussex Weald or local rare-breed free-range pork.
Having sourced the finest meat from the best producers, their team of butchers age and prepare everything on site – from traditional roasting joints right through to the curing of their own bacon, gammons and salt-beef. You can buy online too, and even have a go at butchery yourself on one of their courses.
01903 812685; www.garlicwoodfarm.co.uk
Rushfields Farm Shop, Poynings
The shop stocks award-winning homemade pies, cooked daily in the kitchen; sausages made by their own butcher; and artisan breads cooked in their own bakery. But that really is just the tip of the iceberg. All their meats are locally sourced, and the beef in the shop is from just down the road at Grange Farm, Poynings. It is hung for 21 days. They’ve got a great range of Sussex cheeses too, but there’s lots, lots more besides.
01273 857445; www.rushfields.com
Townings Farm Shop, North Chailey
Their logo reads, “meat for the connoisseur”, and they have plenty of it. They specialise in meat from traditional breeds, which are reared on the farm as naturally as possible to give the very best flavour. This includes lamb and mutton from Hebridean and Southdown sheep; beef from Sussex and Longhorn cattle; pork from traditional English breeds of pigs; and turkey from slow-grown, home-reared turkeys.
Vegetables are sourced locally wherever possible and pumpkins are grown on the farm. There are lots of other treats in the shop too, including cheese, milk and ice cream, ham, preserves, apple and pear juice. They even sell knitting wool from their own sheep.
01444 471352; www.towningsfarm.co.uk
West Dean Stores
Sally and Brodie Pearmaine sell high quality local produce and offer a lifeline to many local people. The shop also has a tearoom that sells reputedly delicious cakes. Local resident Marcella Craven says: “Sally and Brodie are so welcoming and friendly. They have created an amazing atmosphere and sense of community. It is a joy to be able to visit them and buy their produce.”
01243 811233; www.westdeanstores.co.uk
Grange Farm, Funtington
They sell their own fruit and vegetables, straight from their gardens, fields and orchards, as well as a wide variety of produce from other Sussex growers. You can pick your own fruit through the summer too. To their credit, The Timesvoted Grange Farm one of the top 30 farm shops in Britain – quite the accolade, which we feel is well deserved.
01243 575372; www.grangefarmshop.com
Eggs to Apples, Hurst Green
This newly-opened shop is a member of the Guild of Fine Foods. They will focus on fresh, local and seasonal food based on the key principles of quality, traceability and affordability, while at the same time keeping up with global food trends.
The name Eggs to Apples comes from the Latin phrase Ab ovo usque ad mala, literally translated as “from egg to apples”, meaning from the start of the meal to the end. Eggs to Apples offers the feel of an outdoor market in a beautiful and environmentally focused indoor space. As Susannah Hewett, one of the shop’s owners puts it, “Eggs to Apples is the farm shop come of age. This is about the full basket shop and allowing our customers to buy everything they need to cook and eat fantastic food using high quality, affordable and where possible locally-sourced produce from within Kent and Sussex.”
07779 014720; email@example.com
Plaw Hatch Farm Shop, Sharpethorne
Peruse a full range of Plaw Hatch Farm’s produce such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, meat, fruit and vegetables, eggs and even sheep’s wool, when in season. They sell meat from Tablehurst Farm and source from other local biodynamic and organic producers whenever possible. An extensive range is available, including juices, sheep and goats’ dairy produce, honey and freshly baked bread, cakes and biscuits. The team aims to supply high-quality farm produce to the local community and to provide a friendly, knowledgeable service.
Bluebell Farm Shop, Bates Green Farm, Arlington
Michael and Philippa run this extremely friendly little enterprise, which has everything you’d expect from a farm shop and much more. Their passion for locally-grown and sourced quality ingredients means that the shop stocks a range of exciting foods, from home-made sausages, pies and tarts to artisan, hand-made bread and delicious cakes. Essentials such as olive oil, spices and herbs, charcuterie, flavoured oils and vinegars, coffee, rice, pasta, pulses, flour and eggs are always available too. Pre-order Philippa’s takeaway food service, which can include tarts, cakes, casseroles, pies and speciality breads.
01323 483145; www.bluebellfarmshop.co.uk