This is an archived post, moved over from my old Blogger account- hence the lack of photos! If you’d like to see it in it’s full glory, you can still access it at www.GoodEggFoodie.blogspot.com.
The town where I live has lots of supermarkets (5 at the last count and 2 more under construction) but luckily there are also a couple of very good farm shops just a few minutes drive away which anyone in the area should be supporting.
Kenyon Hall is a multi-tasking farm shop on the Lowton/ Warrington border. At this time of the year, is it worth the trip just to stock up on their delicious asparagus which they pick daily from the fields around the farm. It is a million miles away from the Peruvian spears which are available year round in the supermarkets. It smells delicious and when lightly steamed or griddled, has a wonderful fresh snap. Today, as well as a bundle of chunky spears, I was upsold a massive pack of ‘soup grade’ thick spears for just £1- and given a recipe for asparagus soup which I was assured owner Barbara Bulmer swears by and is pretty simple. I will be trying it later in the week.
They also have flowers, veg plants and herb pots right now for those of us who like to try and grow our own.
Later in the summer, Kenyon Hall becomes a pick-your-own mecca with strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants and gooseberries drawing in the visitors. And year round the farm shop has a stock of home-made jam (the Raspberry jam won a Food NW Fine Food Award in 2010). That same farm shop is currently a small marquee, but a big purpose built shop and café is currently in construction and due to open in a matter of weeks.
It is also worth mentioning that Kenyon Hall is the brains behind Northern Harvest – the home delivery service which promises to bring the best produce from across the North West to your door and which has won a Radio 4 Food & Farming Award in the past for its service.
Red Bank Farm in Newton Le Willows sells meat reared on the farm. There is 28-day hung beef, lamb, pork and chicken, which is all excellent quality. It is now almost inevitable that we will go down on Sunday and pick up a shoulder of lamb or belly of pork for a roast. Run by two young sisters, it is also nice to see female butchers as I can’t actually think of anywhere else I have seen a woman in the role.
The meat is the main attraction at Red Bank, but there are also eggs from the birds on site which are much cheaper than in the shops (the duck eggs are my favourite; soft boiled with rye soldiers and Cornish Sea Salt). They have recently started stocking a small range of cooked items from the Cheshire Smokehouse, a few bits of cheese and veg, and some general items such as stock, chutneys, local jams etc. And I noticed today that they have started with fresh breads. It is bake off (i.e. bought in frozen and finished on site) but is still a nice addition and better than a white sliced (see my previous post about bread love here).
So today, we have eaten exclusively from these two farms. Brekkie (ok it was 2pm but still…) was eggs, pork and leek sausages, black pudding, smoked back bacon and sun dried tomato bread all from Red Bank. Dinner is slow-cooked shoulder of lamb from Red Bank, with Kenyon Hall asparagus, carrots and Cheshire new potatoes. Total food miles: about 5.5.
Kenyon Hall Farm
Winwick Lane, Croft, Warrington. WA3 7ED
Red Bank Farm Shop
Winwick Road, Newton-le-Willows, Warrington. WA12 8DU