Category Archive: Ingredients

  1. Jam: a potted history

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    Jam: a potted history

    Ah, jam. The sweet, spreadable treat whose sugary delight is dotted throughout our childhood memories. This wholesome confiture makes us think of cooking with grandparents, picking fresh ingredients from the hedges, and homemade gifts from neighbours. Whether oozing from a freshly baked doughnut, spread on hot, buttery toast or dolloped on grandma’s delicious homemade scones, we all have that warm, fuzzy memory of old that involves jam. As humans, we’ve loved jam for longer than you may think, though; here’s a potted history of our favourite potted preserve.

    Jam with stones in

    Can you believe that the earliest known jam came from the Stone Age. Yes, 2.6 million years ago, we were making jam! Not quite the recipes we use at our Jam Shed at Farmers Food at Home, but a more rudimentary version that probably involved honey. Around this time, the Ancient Greeks discovered how to create syrups by encasing fruit in honey, preserving the fruit due to the lack of moisture. A very early version of our favourite treat was born!

    When in Rome

    We think of Rome as the gastronomic home of carbonara and great wine, but the potted history of jam shows that it was the first place in the world where a jam recipe was created. Marcus Gavius Apicius wrote it in a 500-page recipe book called ‘De Re Coquinaria’, or ‘How to Cook’, as far back as the 4th-century AD in the Italian capital. Much like the Greeks before him, it showed how to gently heat soft fruit in honey. Unlike our modern-day usage, the Romans used to consume their version of jam as a highly luxurious desert after their meat-filled main course.

    Traditional English jam

    Sugar reached mainland Britain from the Middle East in 1099 via the Crusaders. It was first described as a ‘new spice’ which was admired for its rejuvenating qualities…the English were having a sugar rush! It only became available for the public to buy in 1319, though, and was such a rare ingredient that it cost a whopping £36 a pound in today’s money!

    It’s my jam

    The potted history of jam is dotted with famous admirers, some of whom loved jam so much it became their downfall! Some famous jam addicts include:

    • Joan of Arc was said to consume large quantities of quince jam before going into battle.
    • French astrologer Nostradamus thought that cherry jam could attract love.
    • Mary, Queen of Scots, was the first person to eat marmalade. It was made for her by her physician as a remedy for seasickness by crushing oranges into sugar.
    • Louis XIV of France used to like to show off his enormous wealth by displaying jam with silver spoons at the end of every meal. Sugar wasn’t cheap, so it was a way of bragging about his money and plentiful fruit garden at the palace of Versaille.
    • Napoleon Bonaparte, a noted jam fan, tasked inventor Nicholas Appert to find a way of preserving food for the French military. He quickly became the ‘father of canning’, and now jam and other foods could be stored for long periods of time.
    • Other jam enthusiasts include Henry VIII who liked jam on his pudding, Queen Elizabeth II who has strawberry cream tea every day, actor Rachel McAdams, footballer Harry Redknapp, and model Kate Moss.

    If, like others ins our potted history of jam, you’re also a fan of the sweet, spreadable stuff, check out the tasty range of products in our shop and get yourself some delicious seasonal jam made fresh in our kitchen!

  2. Want to know what we grow?

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    we grow

    As with most small, local shops, you’ll find an array of goods on our shelves – from fresh produce to tinned goods, local meats, and dairy products. And while we support many other small businesses such as Carn Edward Meats and Dough bread suppliers, we pride ourselves on the fact that the majority of the fresh produce and ingredients in our jars have been grown on-site at The Paddock. Want to know what delicious, freshly picked produce we grow? Here’s what you should be adding to your shopping list!

    What we grow in the field

    Summer is the time for salads and BBQs, so what better to add to your outdoor dining than our very own new potatoes? That’s right, we grow our own here at The Paddock, and they’re at their best between May and July. These sweet, smooth, delicious earlies are a great addition to al fresco meals – we love our new potatoes smothered in butter. Pembrokeshire new potatoes are known for being the best salad potato, and if you’re lucky enough to live here or be visiting at this time of the year, you can enjoy the freshest crop picked straight from the field, popped into our shop, and straight to your plate.

    What we grow in the polytunnel

    If you’ve visited The Paddock Farm Shop before then you’ll have noticed our polytunnel sitting next to the Jam Shed. This is where the magic happens! Here you’ll find a plethora of perfectly fresh, lovingly grown produce.

    Row upon row of crisp, green salad adorns the inside of the hoop house in the summer, while creamy cauliflower, tree-like broccoli, and deep red cabbages develop in the autumn, ready to keep us all going over the winter months.

    From courgettes to peppers, runner beans to tomatoes, our rainbow array of produce is fresh and vibrant, giving you a great choice of your five a day!

    What we grow for our jars

    Of course, our fresh produce is not just for our veg boxes in our shop. What we grow on our land also goes into our famous jars to create our award-winning range of jams, chutneys, and preserves.

    The fiery chillies adorning our polytunnel go into making our popular Chilli jam. The cool cucumbers are pickled and the ripe red tomatoes are mixed with chunky courgettes to make Mediterranean chutney. Fresh strawberries, raspberries, currants, and gooseberries are the core ingredients for our acclaimed jams. In fact, without the fantastic Pembrokeshire soil and a sunny summer that produced a glut of red and purple berries, we wouldn’t be here at all!

    We grow our fruit and veg for you

    Whether you’re looking to buy jars of delicious produce or you want the freshest, most nutrient-dense vegetables for your plate, get in touch! We can put together a weekly veg box for you to collect, or come and have a freshly brewed coffee and some homemade cake on the porch of our farm shop with views over bucolic Pembrokeshire countryside before choosing your groceries from our seasonal pick. Either way, we’ll keep growing to keep you stocked up on the best fresh fruit and veg in the West!

  3. 6 Jubilee recipe ideas fit for the Queen!

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    Jubilee recipe ideas

    The Queen’s Jubilee is fast approaching, and, for many, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Queen Elizabeth II is the first monarch to ever reach her Platinum Jubilee, meaning she’s been ruling Brittania for a whopping 70 years. If that’s not worth a bit of cake, we don’t know what is. So, if you’re planning a street party or gathering, or even if you’re not, here are 6 Jubilee recipe ideas to mark this special occasion and our remarkable Queen.

    1. Scones with jam and cream.

    This is at the top of our list of Jubilee recipe ideas, not only because it is quintessentially British, but because apparently, the Queen LOVES a scone! At around 3 pm every day, the Queen enjoys an afternoon tea complete with her favourite cakes…we daren’t ask if she likes jam or cream first! However way round you like it, we’ve got the perfect strawberry jam, made from our fresh crop grown at The Paddock Farm, that we think even the Queen would enjoy.

    1. Cucumber sandwiches

    If you’re running with the British afternoon tea theme, then come and pick up some of our freshly grown cucumbers. We grow these beauties in our on-site polytunnels, and you’ll never have tasted anything so fresh! Slice them thinly for your sandwiches, which you can make with bread from our shop, made by our local artisan bread company, Dough. Alternatively, add some strong cheddar to your sandwich and some cucumber slices to your gin. Cheers!

    1. Victoria Sponge

    Our Queen wasn’t the first to enjoy a bit of cake in the afternoon. Her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, loved a jam sponge so much that it was named after her! The Royal Victoria Sponge, as its name should be, was enjoyed by the famous monarch with her traditional English afternoon tea. We love our Victoria sponge with a generous layer of rich, tart raspberry jam in the middle. Come and grab your jars from The Paddock Farm Shop, and while you’re here, grab some fresh eggs from our hens, too! We also stock Freee flour for our gluten intolerant customers – cake should be for everyone!

    1. Sausage rolls

    Despite the fact that we think of sausage rolls as the ultimate British snack, it was, in fact, the French who began wrapping meat in pastry. Hot sausage rolls became a thing in the UK in the 1800s, and now, a British party wouldn’t be the same without a tray of mini pork goodness. Not only do we provide sausages from Carn Edward meats, but we also bake our own sausage rolls, available in our shop on selected days. Why not put our a jar of Beetroot and Apple chutney to give your guests an extra treat with their snack?

    1. Eton Mess traybake

    The traditional pudding of the cricketers of Harrow, you cannot get more British than a good old Eton mess. However, if you’re trying to serve it up at a party, this traybake variety, with a layer of firm sponge underneath, makes it easier to dish up and eat. Pop into the farm shop for a selection of our fresh British berries, such as our delicious, plump strawberries which are grown on-site, to sprinkle over the top. A colourful, creamy winner!

    1. Bramble cocktail

    You’ll need something refreshing to help wash down all that delicious food, and what’s more fitting for a British celebration than a Bramble? The last of our Jubilee recipe ideas is sure to be a hit! Mix 4cl of gin with lemon juice and sugar syrup, and finish off with 1.5cl of berry liqueur, preferably blackberry. Garnish with fresh raspberries from our grower’s garden at The Paddock for a fantastic fresh drink for your Jubilee party guests.

  4. Farmers Food at Home – providing a dollop of happiness into your everyday meals with our award-winning jam.

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    We’ve been busy over the last year helping our community to access the freshest local produce via our newly-formed Farm Shop, The Paddock.  While it’s been wonderful to collaborate with lots of local food producers to create a community hub for fresh food, we want to draw your attention back to our roots (if you’ll pardon the pun)…jam.

    Yes, jam season is upon us – with a little Spring sunshine comes berries galore, and our courgettes aren’t doing too bad, either.  We’ll be putting together fresh and fruity jars of goodness together ready for your afternoon tea or al fresco light lunch, so we thought we’d remind you of the delectable range of delicious flavours we offer, including a fruity new treat for 2021!

    Soon to be In Season

    Blackcurrant Jam

    The blackcurrant bushes will soon be overflowing with small purple beads; rich, dark and distinctly earthy.  This is the perfect season for British blackcurrants – they make an excellent, tart addition to a hot, buttery crumpet.

    Gooseberry & Elderflower Jam

    Another late Spring giant is the intricately unfolding elderflower, lending its musky-sweet taste to tone down the totally tangy and undeniably British gooseberry flavour.  These two are a match made in heaven and are a great substitute for strawberry jam packed inside a lovely sponge cake.

    Runner Bean Chutney

    One of the easiest vegetables to grow and with it yielding an early crop, these finest beans give our chutney a yellow-green glint.  Perfectly paired with a strong cheese and some freshly baked bread from our friends at Dough.

    Great taste award-winners

    Rhubarb & Ginger Jam

    A firm favourite, this sticky-sweet and warming jam is perfect on a round of toast for those not-quite-warm-yet mornings, teamed with a nice hot cup of tea.

    Chilli Jam

    Aye aye aye! This spicy little number will really warm you up!  If you’re looking to start barbecue season early, then you must have a jar of this to add to your meat and veg skewers.

    Summerberry Jam

    This jar is jam-packed (ahem) with all of our favourite seasonal berries – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and currants.  Order a jar today in readiness for showing off your recently learned baking skills when you invite the family around to the garden for afternoon tea.

    Courgette & Tomato Chutney

    A Spring picnic isn’t complete without a good, tangy chutney to go with your favourite cheese and a slab of locally-sourced ham.  This award-winning chutney is the perfect concoction of everyone’s all-time favourite garden delights.

    New Product Alert!

    We’ve been busy creating the perfect new flavour to really get your tastebuds active after lockdown, and we think we’ve nailed it with this fruity, cheeky, and very yummy Fruity Banana Chutney!  The sweetness of the banana contrasts well with the vinegar and is sweet, salty, and moreish in perfect proportion.

    We think you’ll go bananas for this new flavour, so we’re offering a 15% discount if you buy today – check it out here.

    Come and say hello and pick up your favourite flavours today!

    farm shop

    We’ve been open throughout lockdown, but if you’re only just venturing out, we’d love to say hello in the sunshine at our place – come and visit us at The Paddock Farm Shop!  We’re open from 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday, and we know you’ll be tempted by the locally sourced fresh bread, meats, fruit, veggies, and cakes we have in store, too!

    Still not sure about the outside world?  Then just order your jams, chutneys, and preserves online here!

  5. Anne-Marie’s Favourite Easter Recipes

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    The sun is shining, the daffodils are springing from every hedgerow, the lambs are prancing through fertile green fields and Easter is nearly upon us!  For this blog, I wanted to share my favourite Easter recipes with you for your family feast.  None of us knows what the next few weeks and months will bring in terms of who we’ll be able to have around our dinner table, but that’s no excuse to just pop a pizza in the oven.  With my favourite Easter recipes, you’ll be able to create a delicious meal for your family without slaving in the kitchen for hours, and you’ll be able to get most of the ingredients right here from us at The Paddock Farm Shop.  Take a peek at our social media pages for our opening times or message us for the ingredients you need for your easter recipes.

    One of the best traditional Easter recipes:
    Lamb dinner

    Easter recipes

    As I said, you can have all the joy of a delicious Easter dinner but without having to go to too much effort, and with this one-pan Easter lamb recipe, it’s almost as easy as the pizza option but will seem as though you’ve been working for hours!

    The trick with this recipe is to make small incisions into the lamb joint and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour before you begin to marinate the meat in the oregano, lemon zest, rosemary and oil.  Then all you have to do is to add the other ingredients to the pan and place the lamb on top!  45 minutes of roasting at 200C and make sure you’ve saved some of that wine for pouring on the lamb, as well as the stock.  Then you have 45 minutes of additional roasting at 200C – just enough time to lay the table and prep some additional veg like vibrant fresh carrots if you want, and voila – your one pan lamb is ready to serve!


    1.6k bone-in leg of lamb

    50ml olive oil

    3 oregano sprigs

    4 rosemary sprigs

    1 lemon, zested

    1 garlic bulb, separate cloves

    1kg potatoes, skins on, cut into wedges

    3 fennel bulbs, cut into quarters lengthwise

    250ml white wine

    250ml chicken stock

    Goes well with: a large helping of our delicious apple-based Mint Jelly.

    Easter recipes for a sumptuous fish supper:
    Salmon and Spring Veg Stew

    easter recipes

    Starting with a suitably Welsh leek, onion and thyme combination, frying it gently over low heat for 6 minutes before adding some beautiful early Pembrokeshire potatoes and boiling the mixture in white wine creates a perfect, zesty base for one of the most sumptuous Easter recipes.  When the potatoes are tender, add the cream and mustard to the pan before adding the thick salmon fillets and pressing them gently into the vegetables.  Cover and cook for 6 minutes, allowing the fish to steam in the beautiful fresh sauce.  Then add the peas and cook uncovered for a further 3 minutes and add some seasoning before serving.  This fish dish is a  delicious alternative to more traditional Easter recipes.


    1 finely chopped onion

    1 thinly sliced leek

    2 chopped fresh thyme leaves

    500g Pembrokeshire earlies, halved

    100ml dry white wine

    250ml fish stock (veg will also do)

    100ml single cream

    1 tsp dijon mustard

    4 salmon fillets

    150g frozen peas

    Goes well with: some fresh chunky bread to dip in the rich creamy sauce – we stock local suppliers Dough’s fantastic baked goods.

    Easter recipes for the little bunnies in your life:
    Vegan Carrot Cake

    easter recipes

    It’s not just the bunnies who love our freshly grown carrots, and in this recipe, you get all the goodness and all the sweetness for half the hassle with this one-bowl cake recipe – gorgeous!

    Just mix the oil, sugar and vanilla in the bowl.  Stir in the almond milk and let it all dissolve.  Separately, sift the flour, baking powder, spices and salt and combine with the wet mixture before stirring in those gorgeous vibrant carrots and some walnuts.  Honestly, that’s it!  Pour into two 8” round cake tins and bake for 25 minutes at 180C, allowing you some time to make whatever topping or filling you’d like – I suggest a twist on the usual with a lemon drizzle frosting and a whipped oat cream filling, with a few extra walnuts on top for good measure.


    300g / 4 medium carrots

    125 ml vegetable oil

    175g light brown sugar

    2 tsp vanilla essence

    300ml almond milk

    375g plain flour

    2 tsp baking powder

    1tsp each of ground ginger, cinnamon & nutmeg

    ½ tsp salt

    70g chopped walnuts

    Goes well with: some lovely fresh lemons for your drizzle topping, adding even more Vitamin C to our fresh carrots!  A great way to get your kids to eat veggies as well as chocolate this Easter!

    Child-friendly Easter Recipes:
    Easter Egg Nest Cupcakes

    easter recipes

    There’s nothing like ending Easter Sunday with a cup of tea and a little slice of sugary loveliness, and if it helps to keep the kids entertained with some family baking, too, then everyone’s a winner with our Easter recipes suitable for all ages!

    Beat the softened butter and the caster sugar together until smooth, and then add the 2 large eggs, mixing thoroughly.  Add the vanilla before carefully folding in the self-raising flour and adding the salt.  Spoon the mixture into 12 cupcake cases and bake for 15 minutes at 180C – for a little twist to thrill the kids, why not add a little food colouring for some colourful cakes?

    Then make the buttercream: whisk the remaining butter with the icing sugar and a little drop of vanilla and a splash of milk and then spoon the mixture over the cooled cupcakes, using a fork to rough up the top to look like a nest.  Then add some mini eggs and a few chocolate sprinkles for effect and there you have some delicious Easter Egg Nest Cupcakes to round off your delectable Easter meal!


    110g softened butter

    110g caster sugar

    2 large eggs

    ½ tsp vanilla extract

    110g self-raising flour

    For the buttercream:

    110g softened butter

    300g icing sugar

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    3 tbsp milk

    Goes well with: a nice cup of Chandler tea –  well, you wouldn’t be able to fit anything else in now!

    For more recipe ideas, nutritional and growing information, industry news, farm shop updates and more, visit our social media page and give us a follow.  Happy Easter everyone!

    Anne-Marie x

    Jam, Marmalade, Chutney, homegrown, Chilli
  6. For the Love of Food

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    As Valentine’s Day approaches and we all prepare to woo our loved one with a romantic ‘night in’ and our attempt at home-cooked, restaurant-quality meals (thanks, Covid), we examine why food seems to be the universal language of love.

    Whatever you’re planning as your Valentine’s celebration this weekend, we can guarantee that it will involve food.  Whether you buy your beloved their favourite chocolates, make their favourite dinner for two, or surprise them with our fantastic breakfast in bed package, it’s typical for us to celebrate special occasions with food.  Think about it = it’s someone’s birthday? Bake a cake.  It’s Easter time?  Chocolate eggs.  Christmas?  Well, we really do go overboard with our foodie festivities at Christmas…bring on the sprouts!

    How did food become more than just fuel?

    The use of food during celebrations is a well-used tradition.  The idea of ‘breaking bread together’ goes as far back as the time that the Bible was written and indicates that people were sharing food to denote an occasion, whether it was a celebration, ritual, or tradition.

    It’s thought that, unlike spoken language or writings, food has always been a universal necessity, therefore it was an easy way of showing respect to people who didn’t share your methods of communication to provide them with food.

    After all, in by-gone centuries where food was not as readily available as it is now, having enough food to share was a sign of abundance that was beyond sustenance.  Sharing food became more than just a sign of respect to your guests.  It also denoted someone’s success and power – look at all this food I have because I am a successful person who can provide for my family.

    It can even be argued that the providing of food is due to in-built animal instincts.  Taking your partner to a posh restaurant on a first date isn’t necessarily the same as a caveman hunting and killing a Mammoth to feed a family, but the basic psychology about providing and sustaining basic human needs is the same.  

    We don’t think that ordering a Domino’s or cooking up some quick scrambled eggs has quite the same effect today, but it does show the power of food on our social behaviour. 

    Love sweet love

    It is interesting to note that we turn to sweet things when we choose food for celebrations.  Our jams are a good example of this and are often bought as fillings for birthday cakes or elaborate anniversary puddings.  Perhaps this is an evolution in the use of food – cakes, sweets, and puddings aren’t necessary for the survival of the human race (although a fair few of us have bought an extra tin of Quality Street to get us through Lockdown 3), but they are something special, a nice addition to our array of required sustenance.  Could it be that because these are treats rather than fundamental foodstuff that we choose them as our celebratory options?

    We know from the (slightly cheesy but we’re not telling you not to) tradition of buying chocolates that food is used as a romantic tool.  From the dopamine hit we get from eating our favourite food – and the aphrodisiac effects of certain food types – to the time, money, or effort someone has spent on that lovely meal for us, our love of food also helps us demonstrate our love, too.

    Whatever lovely dish you’re serving up to your dishy love this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget that we have all the fresh ingredients for a 3-course feast and a nice bottle of fizz available in The Paddock Farm Shop – visit us or call now to get all the ingredients for your romantic night in!

  7. Why we should prioritise eating fresh local produce in 2021.

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    It’s the New Year, and while we’re all nursing some pretty heavy sugar hangovers from all of our lockdown Christmas baking, we may be looking to change our sugary ways and get more vitamin-dense fresh local produce in our diet.  The ‘new year, new me’ fad of replacing chocolate orange segments with carrot batons is all well and good, but have you ever thought about whether where you buy your fresh produce from makes a difference to your overall health?

    local produce

    While Tesco deliveries are handy during a lockdown, the veg that arrives in plastic bags might not actually be fulfilling the health benefits tick list you’ve set for yourself this January. A combination of travel, chemicals, and commercial growing can mean that your celery stick isn’t as healthy as one bought just down the road from the local farm shop (yes, we mean us).  But we’re not just trying to get you to ditch supermarket food; while the big boys offer food cupboard essentials which we know we can’t do without; we also know that eating fresh local produce such as fruit and vegetables pulled from the ground in your area has benefits far beyond the waistline.

    So, what do we mean by local produce?

    ‘Local’ is a term which, in the food industry, broadly signifies anything produced within a 150-mile radius.  What we mean, though, is a little more specific to your region.  For us, local produce means that it comes from the fields, hedges, and soil around us here in North Pembrokeshire.

    What are the main benefits of eating local produce?

    • It tastes better.

    It’s true – food that comes directly from the soil to your plate has not been sitting in transportation containers losing moisture, slowly degrading any valuable nutrients.  This means that local produce usually tastes fresher, greener, and more, well, fruit and veg-y!

    • Local produce lasts longer.

    Another upside to not being transported vast distances is that our food has a much better shelf-life quality.  No soggy cabbages that have sat in hot supermarkets for weeks here!

    • It’s better for your body.

    The more picked fruit and vegetables are away from the root, the more degradation of that produce occurs, and the fewer nutrients are available.  Ripe fruit and veg contain the most nutrients, so eat food that’s freshly picked to get the most nutritional value from that plateful.

    local produce
    • Get back to seasonal eating.

    We’ve got far too used to being able to have whatever we want whenever we want it.  But that is not actually naturally very good for us.  The natural cycle of complex food supply which exists directly around us has been perfectly designed to suit our immune systems. Eating in season actually supports our organic health – Mother Nature knows exactly what we need and provides it.

    • Local produce, smaller carbon footprint.

    We won’t spell it out, but cutting out overseas transportation, air miles, storage facilities, refrigerated vans…well, nipping up the road for your carrots and spuds is bound to be better for the planet!

    • Pesticide and preservative-free.

    Most small businesses selling locally grown crops aren’t having to smother their offerings in chemicals to withstand transportation or to keep them artificially fresh in readiness for a long shelf life at a store.  Equally, when the soil is as lush and fertile as it is in Pembrokeshire, pesticides are also redundant, meaning that eating local produce negates harmful chemicals on food, which in turn helps with digestion and allergy complaints.

    •  Eat local and support local.

    Supporting local businesses by eating local produce has far-reaching effects.  Firstly, it empowers us as consumers as we know exactly where our food has come from – not something we can usually tell.  Supporting local businesses such as The Paddock Farm Shop not only makes our local businesses thrive and boosts our immediate local economy, it also helps support other small businesses such as our friends at Lochmeyler Ice Cream, who we supply with produce to add to their delicious ice creams, or other local suppliers who stock their local cuisine at our shop.

    There we have it – eating carrots grown from the farm down the road won’t just help you to see in the dark! Local food production and consumption enhances a cycle of nutritional, environmental, economic, and communal benefits that enhance the welfare and well-being of everyone.

    For more information on The Paddock Farm shop opening times and fresh local produce, as well as our famous Farmers Food at Home preserves, please visit our website here.