PUBLISHED: 05:44 09 March 2015

Vegetables from the farm shop at Beeston St Andrew.  Photo: Bill Smith

Vegetables from the farm shop at Beeston St Andrew. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2012

What springs to mind when you think of a farm shop, asks Judith Taylor, our voice of farming from Ludham.

Farm shops come in many different guises – from the very flashy, to a draughty barn on the farm, filled to the brim with mouth—watering, freshly harvested fruit and veg and home-reared meat.

Thankfully, farm shops continue to increase and flourish as farms diversify. Selling to the consumer is good for all. The farmer retains a larger percentage of the profit than he would by selling to the wholesaler or larger retailer; the consumer enjoys high quality, fresh, seasonal produce, choice and convenience safe in the knowledge of exactly where and how their food has been produced. The environment benefits as the produce on sale is low in food miles, with less waste, and the money stays in the local economy for longer, as farmers and producers work together to keep each other in business and increase employment.

Many farm shops started as a farm gate stall. These gradually grew into proper shops, either by moving into an existing barn or by erecting a purpose-built building. Some have gone further by incorporating cafes and gift shops, and offering educational visits to schoolchildren and other groups. This was something I especially enjoyed when I had my farm shop at Beeston. It became apparent how little children know about the food they eat – so we showed them. I’ll never forget the day when one of the British White’s delivered her calf in the meadow in front of a whole class of eight year olds – and by the look on their faces, I doubt they will either!

Taylor taste test

Yetman’s Brewery is in a 200-year-old farm building, originally built by French prisoners of war, on the Bayfield estate, near Holt. Here Peter Yetman produces 40,000 bottles of beer, using English Maris Otter malted barley and whole hop flowers.

Yetman’s Red (Alochol by volume 3.8pc) – a nice head, mid-brown colour, bright, fresh and citrusy with bitterness gently coming through in the aftertaste. This beer is made using Whitbread Golding hops and is available in both casks and bottles.

Yetman’s Orange (ABV 4.2pc) – is Peter’s best-seller and our favourite too. It has extra alcohol and a bit more bite. A good, full, hoppy flavour with a pleasant bitter aftertaste. This is made using Fuggles and Golding hops with a small amount of crystal malt for colour and flavour.

Yetman’s Green (ABV 4.8) – which Peter describes as his “falling over beer”. It has lots of head and is darker. Stronger, with a round mouth filling, just sweet, fizziness and long-lasting hoppy aftertaste, this beer is made using Golding hops for the base and Northern Brewer for the aroma.

Buy Yetman’s beers from farm shops, delis and fooderies, especially in north Norfolk, or direct at or 07774 809016.

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