Category Archive: The Paddock Farm Shop

  1. We’ve won a business award…and here’s why it matters

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    We scrub up well, don’t we?!

    This is a picture of us, Anne-Marie and Richard, just last week, collecting our Welsh Women’s Awards 2022 trophy for Food Entrepreneur of the Year, and to say that we’re chuffed to win this fantastic business award is an understatement.

    You see, we don’t think that having a trophy on a shelf (or even a blog about a trophy on a shelf) will make people buy more jam. Neither will it make our jam, chutney, or preserves taste one little bit better. No, the win for us isn’t having something else to dust. Winning a business award is far more valuable than you might think.

    Business awards – what are they?

    Over 1,000 organisations in the UK offer business awards. These are accolades offered to organisations and individuals who have developed outstanding initiative in their sectors. Many companies who offer business awards also offer the chance to go to glamorous award ceremonies, meaning the company makes money on the sale of tickets, and the award winners get a blinkin’ good night on the town! And, let’s face it, if you’re in a business like ours, where we’re either covered in soil from picking our fresh produce for our Farm Shop or covered in ingredients from the jam kitchen, putting on a posh frock is an enjoyable novelty!

    Why do we love our business award?

    Beyond the gorgeous meal and bubbly that we got to enjoy at the ceremony, this business award means the world to a small business like Farmers Food at Home. We started with a small batch of jams and preserves, and now we’re winning awards! But we’re especially thrilled because we were nominated for our business award. This means that one of our customers took the time to contact the company and recommend that we receive an award for the hard work, effort, and quality control that we put into every aspect of our small business. Being nominated for an award from our customers means we’ve done more than just provide food. Just like the wonderful reviews we receive and the media coverage we’ve had over the pandemic, being endorsed by real people who can see the blood, sweat, and tears behind what we’re offering as a small, rural business is priceless us.

    Why the process of the business award matters

    Business awards aren’t easily won. We’re not trying to blow our own trumpet here, but the process of vouching for your nomination is rigorous. Each detail of our business, from hygiene to profits, goals, dreams, and business plans, is scrutinised to ensure that the nominee deserves to be considered by the judges.

    While this process is onerous and may seem like just a lot of hassle, it’s actually a fantastic process for small businesses to go through. We’ve been running our company for quite a few years now, and like most people who have persevered through a pandemic, you can get tied up in the here and now of ordering jam jars and feeding the chickens and working out how to add that great image of the cake you just baked onto your Instagram reels. Phew!

    The process of verifying your nomination gives businesses the opportunity to take a step back and evaluate the successes of your business, the weak spots that need attention, and give focus to where your business has been and where it’s going next. Having the opportunity to reconsider your goals a few years into your business can be invaluable as a tool to help you grow, learn, and succeed in a new economic climate.

    Why our business award means a better service for our customers

    The in-depth investigation into our business, and the subsequent winning of an award because of it, isn’t just a ‘yay’ moment for us. It means that our customers can be sure that the products that they’re buying, and the service they receive from Farmers Food at Home, really is the best!

    And that chance to step back and look at where we’re going only means that we can offer an even better service moving forward. As we write this, an extension is being added to the Jam Kitchen so that we can offer an even bigger range of our award-winning products for the winter to come…so watch this space!

  2. Want to know what we grow?

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    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. 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!

  6. 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.