Meat, Two Veg - and Jam
I have said a few things about the lovely farm shop, Harker's, that we go to before.
@Bizzy_Fizzy said this morning - after his toast and lemon curd - that we ought to go to Harker's today as we don't have very much meat left. It generally works out that we go around every four weeks but it depends on how many meat dinners we've had. Apologies here if you are vegetarian as this post will have some meat content - we only end up eating meat 2-3 times a week, so shopping every four weeks or so is just right. Harker's is near Nottingham, about 45 minutes from Oakham where we live, so it does have to be a decision to specially go there but it never disappoints.
As I have said before it is a proper Farm Shop. Not a shop on a farm. There are no greetings cards, books, toys, farm related or otherwise, no selection of silk flowers, dried flowers, wicker baskets ( except to put your shopping in ) . . . and no coffee shop with over priced drinks and mass produced cakes masquerading as 'home-made'. Sorry, I slipped into bitterness there for a moment. They do have a coffee machine if you absolutely cannot undertake any activity without a hot drink and they have a delightful farm walk where you can take little ones to see the various animals.
The entrance to the farm with a welcome sign and the entrance to the farm shop
Very generous opening times and help-yourself-to-herbs from the herb garden to go with your casserole
There aren't many signs to Harker's but when you get there it is always busy with good natured customers relieved to be able to buy real food from real experts with no fuss and bother. Even at Christmas when the queue was lengthy, we all chatted whilst waiting, nobody got pushy or annoyed, it was fine. Anyway, I digress. The point is , it is a real farm, run by farmers, all of the meat is either from their own farm or their near neighbours, it is slaughtered locally and then returned to the farm to be butchered.
There are all sorts of cuts of meat you rarely see these days, you can ask for things that maybe isn't on display and they will most likely have it, or prepare it. The butchers there ( and there seem to be about seven or eight) are very kind and don't snigger when I ask for things with their Southern names ( I'm from Hampshire ) and when you have finished your shopping you receive a hand written receipt which has been added up using that mysterious skill - mental arithmetic. It's not even called arithmetic any more but part of the charm of shopping at Harker's is the tradition, the politeness, the desire to serve. Yes, there I've said it. Serve. What is wrong with service? Why is it so frowned upon nowadays? Why do people think that it demeans them to provide a service? Apart from basic politeness, I think it is a demonstration of their skill, their knowledge, and gives job satisfaction which can't be a bad thing.
Seasonal fruit and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . local cheeses
Eggs from the farm and some of Trev's purchases - asparagus and locally made Raspberry Crumble . . . . . . . and now the meat
Good, clear displays with weights and prices in new and old 'money'
Details of where each type of meat has been reared. They have free range chicken and all kinds of game in season
Now, listen up jam makers - the only thing that they struggle to find locally is artisan jams and preserves. Which is a pity as I am certain you are out there. If you have products that you would like this superb establishment to consider then get in touch with Tracey at the address below who will be delighted to have a chat. I would love to see your products taking their place on the shelves - naturally I wouldn't buy any because that would be silly!
Footnote: We had the treat we always have on 'Harker's Day' - a rib eye steak for dinner and very delicious it was too.
Harker's Farm Shop, Blackberry Farm, Clipston-on-the-Wolds, Nr Keyworth,
Nottinghamshire, NG12 5PB
0115 989 2260
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