St Kew Harvest Festival

All ideas have their seed. Mine for this blog was a visit to a great little farm shop hidden in the wilds of North Cornwall. Yesterday I went back.

St Kew Harvest Farm Shop is on the A39 between Wadebridge and Camelford in Cornwall. And it is brilliant.  It’s owned by local farmers Jeremy Brown and his Polish wife Antonina. It was while shopping for some dinner here last year with my girlfriend that I thought: “I’d really like more people to shop here you know. Maybe I should write about it. ”

And lo, this blogospheric behemoth was born.

I was there with Cornish food blogger Charlotte Barry (Twitter: @growingownfood to say hello to a Twitter compatriot and talk about her own project, but more on that at a more appropriate time.

Nature's harvest - my tea

What kind of place is the Farm Shop? Well, I’ll use a little dramatic license as it is currently undergoing what will be an extension (planning permission permitting), but put it this way, the lettuces it sells are grown literally a stone’s throw from the shelf they sit on, waiting to be bought. Jeremy’s family own a lot of land around the area – his turf is the shop and land behind it, where he grows a variety of vegetables and keeps his secret stash of Gloucester Old Spot pigs.  It was hard, in the glorious Cornish sun, to avoid mentally jointing the pigs as we stood there. It also sells a lot of other locally reared meats, beef, pork and others.

But back inside is where my wallet got busy. My main joy was a bunch of beetroot, their claret-infused leaves still attached. I’m still working out something special to do with them. I also bought a lettuce, so local it could have skipped into the shop in seconds – if it wasn’t an inanimate lettuce of course.

In addition to the hyper-local veg you might expect in a farm shop, it does a roaring trade in other local goodies. The fantastic asparagus comes from Gill and Roger Derryman at Lower Croan Farm about two miles away. The farm also sells from the gate, and I was planning to drop in there as well until I found it on sale at the same price as from the source. I could eat asparagus all day every day, though I’d pity the fool who shared my bathroom if I did. Into the bag that went.

Bitchin' bangers

Then some viandes to counter the veggie fayre. I love veal, but must admit I’d never come across veal sausages. But there they were, sitting proud and plump in the chiller cabinet, courtesy of Looe’s Real Veal Company, who, like the asparagus people, are worthy of a blog entry themselves. The bitchin’ bangers are now in the Foodies’ fridge, awaiting an opportunity. Barbecue anyone?

Last but not least, a cracking wholemeal loaf from local baker Su Pu (pronounced Sue Pew I am assured). Lovely firm loaf, perfect for sarnies.

Er, it's a loaf of bread.

The scene was completed by the arrival of Jeremy as Charlotte and I drank the coffee. He casually wandered through, his calloused hands rimmed with freshly disturbed soil. In his hand was a huge basket of freshly picked basil from his polytunnel – soft and pungent, flamin’ gorgeous.

So as the St Kew Harvest Farm Shop epitomises Foodies South West, I urge any of you passing, be it for work, holiday or whatever, to drop in and try some of their goodies, you won’t be disappointed and you won’t end up broke either. Go on, dive in.

David.

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