Surrey Food and Farm Week showcases local producers
As the war over milk pricing continues, reconnect with local producers in Surrey Food and Farm Week, says Catherine Whyte
The crisis facing dairy farmers across the country really makes me blood curdle. Surely, it’s not too much to ask that they receive a fair and sustainable price for the milk they produce?
Thankfully, the SOS Dairy campaign, run by the Dairy Coalition, seems to be making headway in naming and shaming those retailers who still insist on buying cut-price milk and thereby driving dairy farmers out of business.
In recent decades, Surrey has lost many of its dairy farms, that used to stretch across the county from Reigate to Guildford. A few still remain, however, and some of them will be opening their doors to the public this month for Surrey Food and Farm Week. Goldstone Farm near Great Bookham (07587 189135), with its champion Ayrshire dairy cattle, is hosting trailer tours, while Pierrepont Farm in Frensham (07922 132115) will be showing off its Jersey cows and some local Jersey ice cream! This annual event provides a great opportunity to meet the farmers in person and get a sense of how things work on a real farm – a good thing for us urbanites to do from time to time.
It’s not only dairy farms that get involved. Over in Chertsey, Hardwick Court Farm (01932 571237) offers a glimpse of our agricultural past. The farm is steeped in history – it has a 15th century barn that was once used as the manorial court, as well as a medieval field system. Likewise, Tuesley Farm down in Milford (01483 410940) has 469 acres of juicy berry-producing fields. It works closely with Waitrose as one of the supermarket’s Demonstration Farms – businesses that are held up as models of sustainable farming. Or go for a sausage-making demonstration at Hunts Hill Farm, Normandy (01483 811840).
All the events are free, with a separate charge for food. You must call to say that you’ll be attending.
Surrey Food and Farm Week runs from September 15-23. It culminates in the Surrey County Ploughing Match and County Fair at Loseley Park, nr Guildford on Sept 23; surreycountyshow.co.uk