Down on the farm - Goodwood Farm Shop

In a world trying to keep food miles down, it doesn't come much fresher than straight from the farm. Kate Eastman discovers a world of organic produce at the Goodwood Farm Shop.

In a world trying to keep food miles down, it doesn’t come much fresher than straight from the farm. Kate Eastman discovers a world of organic produce at the Goodwood Farm Shop.

SET IN the heart of West Sussex just outside Chichester is the Goodwood estate. Within the estate is a fabulous farm shop, right in the middle of a working farm. Home Farm is a 1,100 hectare mixed farm comprising dairy, beef, sheep, pig and arable enterprises, and with full organic status, it is possibly the largest lowland organic farm in the country.“The farm shop has been part of the estate for three years, this will be our third Christmas here,” explains Lizzie Vinnicombe, the farm shop manager. “We are quite far out but I think it is a unique selling point to be a farm shop based in the middle of a working farm. The introduction of the shop is to make the farm’s wholesome and traceable food available locally all year round.”The Goodwood farm produces its own organic beef, pork and lamb to sell directly in the shop. Available for Christmas, the shop also sells pheasant, wild mallard, partridge and for the first time this year, organic turkeys and geese. “This is the first time we’ve ever had our own organic turkeys and geese which is really exciting. We will have about 200 birds that customers can order online or directly in the shop,” says Lizzie. “Our customers love the fact they know exactly where the meat is from.” A few hundreds yards down the track is a processing plant on the dairy where the farm pasteurise their own milk. “We sell a skimmed, semi and full-cream milk plus a cream and raw milk. The raw milk hasn’t been pasteurised and comes straight from the cow. We would recommend ordering the raw milk because we have a big following for it,” says Lizzie. “Other products that we produce here on the estate include Goodwood butter, hopefully arriving before Christmas, a range of Goodwood cheeses is being developed and we produce Goodwood ale, lager and honey.” “Everything we buy from beyond Goodwood has been selected for its taste and integrity from producers we trust,” explains Lizzie. “Our aim is to have natural products with no additives or preservatives, with an emphasis on items with a bit of story behind it. There is a reason behind every item sold here, from Cocoloco chocolate, desserts, cakes and savouries from the Fab Food company and fine wine from Bookhams. We believe that organic principles ensure that we can produce the best tasting, most nutritious food, with simple cooking and production methods preserving the flavour and goodness of the ingredients.”One of the more popular Christmas gifts are the shops hampers. “We have started a range of pickles and preserves for our Christmas hampers,” explains Lizzie, “and we use local produce in our preserves depending on what’s in season, like the red cabbage grown here in the estate gardens.” The shop has a team of six staff but during the festive season everyone is run off their feet. “Christmas is a really busy time for the shop – from the middle of November right up to Christmas Eve we’re busy with people buying stocking fillers and picking up their turkeys. I like making people feel welcome with a community atmosphere”.

Don’t miss the Christmas preview evening on 4 December from 5-8pm. The farm shop Christmas opening times are: 15th-19th Tues – Sat 9-6, Sun 10-4. 21st-23rd open 9-6 and Christmas Eve 9-2.