The best farmer’s markets in the South West

The best farmer’s markets in the South West

Farming and agriculture West Country Life

There’s nothing quite like the hustle and bustle of a farmer’s market in the West Country. Seeing the beautiful fresh produce all laid out, smelling the fantastic treats, and even tasting some of them too! These things make a farmer’s market extra special, and way better than any trip to a supermarket!

By paying a trip to your local market, you’re not only getting great food for you and your family, you’re also supporting your community. After a few trips you’ll find yourself nattering away with other locals, and you’ll start to understand what is and isn’t available at different times.

At most farmer’s markets, you’ll discover a huge selection of local produce. From vegetables to cakes, bread to meat, there’s plenty for you to try and buy. Feeling excited? We haven’t even mentioned the cheeses available!

These friendly markets are becoming an increasingly large part of West Country life. In Cornwall alone there has been a 30% increase in people shopping at local farmer’s markets, with visitor numbers averaging 1,500 at some markets.

So no matter if you’re going to be exhibiting your own wares, or just embracing West Country culture, here’s our top five farmer’s markets in Devon and Cornwall for you to sample.

Truro Market

This hustling, bustling market reveals the grassroots of Cornwall’s culinary world. Enjoy smoked fish, preserves, bread, and more at this popular market.
Lemon Quay, Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9am-4pm
http://www.trurofarmers.co.uk/

Ashburton Farmer’s Market

Enjoy a daily dose of farmer’s market happiness at this fabulous market. A vast array of local produce will keep you coming back for more.
Tuckers Yard, Tuesday-Saturday

St Ives Farmer’s Market

If you want great seasonal produce, then this is the place for you! This regular market was created as a community venture aiming to make fresh local produce available to everyone.
The Guildhall, Thursdays, 9.30am-2pm
http://www.stivesfarmersmarket.co.uk/

Exeter Farmer’s Market

If you want a perfect combination of city and countryside, then check out the market in Exeter. It’s a vibrant market with a huge range of produce.
Corner of Fore Street & South Street, Thursdays, 9am-2pm
https://exeter.gov.uk/people-and-communities/facilities-and-events/markets/farmers-market/

Tavistock Farmer’s Market

Described as a “treasure trove”, Tavistock is without a doubt one of the most popular markets in the area. They’re even working towards more gluten free products!
Bedford Square, second/fourth/fifth Saturday of the month,
http://www.tavistockfarmersmarket.com/index.php

Considering a move to the West Country to set up your own smallholding or farm? Here at West Country Dream we can help you find your perfect property. Find out more here or call Helen on 07816 514667.

Some of the best farm shops the South West has to offer

Some of the best farm shops the South West has to offer

Farming and agriculture West Country Life

The West Country is filled to the brim with culinary delights. There are so many amazing foods and dishes to try, it can almost be overwhelming! As well as many wonderful restaurants, there is plenty of perfect produce for you to try.

Across the South West there are some truly brilliant farm shops. When you make the move, you’ll find that the veg tastes that bit fresher, the meat that bit more succulent, and the fruit that bit sweeter. Wherever you go you’ll find a farm shop to get your weekly produce from, but we’ve made things a bit easier for you and compiled a list of our top 7 farm shops in the South West.

Lobbs Farm Shop

This delightful Cornish business in St Austell is a family affair. Brothers Terry, Ian, and Richard directly supply the shop with beef, lamb, and fresh vegetables.
Their animals are born and raised on the farm, feeding on traditional pastures and meadows.

Our favourite: Try the award-winning pork with cracked black pepper sausages. You won’t regret it!

http://www.lobbsfarmshop.com/default.asp

Lifton Farm Shop

From a small produce barrow outside a family home to an impressive shop – it’s hard to deny that Lifton Farm Shop has grown at an impressive rate over the past 20 years! The shelves are filled with homemade chutneys, ice cream, and juices, not to mention that fantastic butchery. You can even get married there!

Our favourite: Embrace your inner Devonian and try a steak pasty.

http://www.liftonfarmshop.co.uk/

White Row Farm

The goal of this Somerset shop is to be the producer of as much as what is sold as possible. To this day, that goal remains at the heart of their ethos. They also sell as much local produce in a bid to support other farmers in the area.

White Row Farm also has a play park, café, and gift shop!

Our favourite: The locally produced ice-cream is a sure winner on hot and sunny days.

http://whiterowfarm.co.uk/

Darts Farm

It would probably be easier to tell you what isn’t in this impressive farm shop! Darts Farm were most recently awarded UK Large Farm Shop of the Year in the Farm Shop and Deli Awards, and they won that for a reason.

Staff collect seasonal produce fresh from the fields every day, and they have done for the past 40 years. They also use this produce in their restaurant – yum!

Our favourite: Their Luxury Westcountry Hamper is packed full of amazing local treats.

http://www.dartsfarm.co.uk/index.php

Boscastle Farm Shop

If you want the full farm experience, then you’ve got to visit this shop. Set amongst National Trust Farmland and just 50 yards from the coastal path, Boscastle Farm Shop is an absolute country vision. Famed for homemade burgers, sausages and cakes, this is the place to go for foodie treats.

Our favourite: The homemade Rolo cheesecake catches the attention of our sweet tooth every time!

http://www.boscastlefarmshop.co.uk/

Greendale Farm Shop

If you’ve been to Devon, you’re likely to have heard the name Greendale. Famous for their exceptional meat, poultry, and seafood, Greendale wins awards year after year. The family have been farming in the area for more than five generations, and the knowledge learnt over the years has been passed down.

Our favourite: The brunch taster selection box provides everything you need to create a delicious brunch.

https://www.greendalefarmshop.co.uk/

Washingpool Farm

Winner of a Gold Taste Of the West award, this Dorset farm shop sources a huge range of products from the surrounding county. From their own meat and vegetables, to ready meals, soups, and cakes. There’s so much to choose from! In total there are over 100 suppliers from the South West stocked here.

Our favourite: Try the raisin and coriander sourdough by The Wobbly Cottage will make your bread-dreams come true.

http://www.washingpool.co.uk/

Wanting to set up your own farm with potential to selling homemade produce onsite? West Country Dream can help find your perfect property with our Land and Property Search Service. For more information give Helen a call on on 07816 514667 or complete our enquiry form here.

Getting the right land for your smallholding

Getting the right land for your smallholding

Buying property with land Farming and agriculture

No matter the size of the smallholding you’re looking to buy in the South West, choosing a property that has suitable land is essential to ensuring your farm and rural dream has the best possible start to life.

We take a look at why you should always bear in mind what it is you want to do on the land and whether the land you’re viewing is completely suited to allowing you to do it.

Purpose

Whilst property may all be about ‘location, location, location’, if you’re buying a smallholding or farm then there’s an added layer of complexity and it comes in the form of terra firma. Coastal areas will have completely different soil qualities to the foothills of the moors, and soil conditions can sometimes differ significantly within a 20-mile radius of a location.

The start of every search should always begin with what you want to do with the land; you’ll not only focus your mind on how much land you’ll need, you’ll also be steered toward the areas most suited to fulfill your dreams.

Acreage

You know what you want to do, so you should know how much you need. Or that’s the logic anyway!

When it comes to acreage, budget and availability may also come into play.

Land prices across the country have stayed relatively stable in recent years, and in the medium to long term have seen a decent rise in value across the board.

It may therefore be tempting to dive in for lower quality land to get more for your money. If you’re thinking about doing this then make sure that your productivity is going to be as high as it would be with a smaller acreage of higher quality land, and indeed that this lower quality land is still suited to your purpose.

Whilst sheep may be happy to graze on such land, it’s probably not going to cut the mustard if you’re looking to grow crops and alike.

Soil

If you’re planning to grow crops, fruit or vegetables, you’ll want soil that’s relatively fertile and can be easily cultivated. Although there’s no easy way of determining the perfect soil for your smallholding, soil testing is commonly used to work out the acidity level of fields and which fertilisers will be needed.

Testing kits can be bought from most agricultural stores, so there’s no need to get the men in white coats out to do it!

If you’re new to the agricultural world then following in the footsteps of the current land usage is a good way of ensuring you know exactly what you’re getting!

Drainage

If you’re wanting to grow crops or keep a large dairy heard, you’ll need land that’s relatively dry with good drainage. Although the South West is made up of wet clay loam, the majority of smallholdings will have drainage techniques in place to manage surface run off.

Poor farmland drainage and soil levels can influence the yields you get from both crops and cattle and the last thing you want, is to be stuck in a muddy bog!

Remember there’s something for everyone!

Devon and Cornwall is home to land of varying levels, from the rolling hills of Dartmoor and Exmoor to rugged the North Cornish cliff lines, with low lying patches in between.

Whether you plan to keep a few hill sheep or need a paddock for ponies, thanks to the South West’s variety of terrain, it allows all types of farming to take place; great news if you’re looking at smallholdings in the West Country.

Searching for a smallholding?

If you’re looking to buy a smallholding in Devon or Cornwall and want a stress-free solution, West Country Dream can carry out a land and property search on your behalf.

For more information email Helen at Helen@westcountrydream.co.uk or call her on 07816 514667.

Top 10 reasons to relocate to the South West

Top 10 reasons to relocate to the South West

West Country Life

Are you considering a fresh start? What better place to choose than the West Country, and thousands will agree… Between 2003 and 2008 the region’s population grew faster than the whole of the UK’s.
So why is the demand to live in Devon and Cornwall so high? We’ve let the facts speak for themselves and highlighted ten reasons you should consider the West Country Dream.

Health

Wanting to live a healthier lifestyle? The South West has some of the lowest levels of air pollution in the UK; on average pollution in the London area is four times higher than Exeter, one of the South West’s most popular city’s. Wanting to live a long life? The South West also has the highest regional life expectancy at birth for women, and second highest for men.

Beaches

Many young families consider relocating to the South West each year. If you’re looking for a balanced quality of life on a smallholding or farm, you’re heading to the right part of the world. According to Trip Advisor’s latest list of top ten UK beaches, four of them are in the West Country and one of those is also included in Trip Advisor’s 25 world’s best beaches. It’s Woolacombe, in case you were wondering!

Commute time

Many families and couples who relocate to a smallholding in the South West will also have a second job or occupation, and for those people, we have some great news; the West Country has the shortest average commute in the country. According to the latest National Survey Travel, workers spend around 56 hours a year commuting. That may seem like a lot of your time, but compared to other areas in the country, it’s the best place to live if you’re looking to get home before nightfall!

Crime levels

Everyone wants to to live in an area in which they feel at ease knowing their children can grow up in a safe environment. Crime rates in the South West are among the lowest in England.
According to Government statistics, household crime levels in the South West are 16% lower than the national average!

Food and drink

If you’re planning on using farmland to grow or sell your own produce you’ll be joining some of the best in the country, and the world! From Cornish clotted cream to West Country lamb and beef — the South West has some of the finest food and drink around.

Things to do and see

When you’re not enjoying the fresh air owning your own land will provide you with, the West Country has plenty to offer any fan of the outdoors. More than a quarter of the region is designated National Park, and well, we’ve already mentioned those beaches haven’t we!

Education

If you have school-aged children, education is going to play a huge factor in your decision to relocate.. 85% of schools in Devon are considered to be ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED, and once they’ve finished their schooldays, some of the country’s best universities are located in the South West, including Exeter University, which has recently been ranked in the Times’ world top 100.

Employment

Worried about finding a job when you move? Have no fear! Among UK regions, the South West has higher than average rates of employment and one of the lowest unemployment rates.

Land prices

If you’re looking to the West Country to continue farming or take your first step in the industry, you’ll be pleased to know that land prices remain stable and are set to rise in coming years which means your investment won’t be susceptible to a fluctuating market.

Tourism

Many landowners diversify into the tourism marketplace; the South West has the highest number of seasonal visitors than any other UK region or country, which is great news if you’re setting up or moving a business to the South West!

Do you need help?

Most of the points above come down to research, and simply knowing the lay of the local land. This is where we aim to help those relocating. We have the knowledge of the local area, we understand agriculture, and we’ve also done it ourselves. We’re here to help you make sure that your dream move becomes a reality.

For more information on how West Country Dream can help you realise your dream of moving to a smallholding, farm or property with land in the South West of England please take a look around our site or call Helen Garrett on 07816 514667.

Five Cornish hotspots for property investment in 2015/16

Five Cornish hotspots for property investment in 2015/16

Buying property with land West Country Life West Country Properties

Many people believe Cornwall is one of the best areas in the UK to live; since the 1960s the county’s population has grown quicker than the rest of the South West, with potential buyers jostling to enjoy some of the country’s best beaches, stunning views, and a more laid back way of life than those living as a commuter in the South East.

With so many great places to hang your hat, it can be difficult to choose exactly where you want to settle. We’ve taken a look at five popular areas for people wanting to take on a smallholding or move their family to the Duchy.

Rock, Padstow

Rock is one of Cornwall’s gems when it comes to coastal villages. Renowned for its celebrity restaurants and sandy beaches, Rock attracts thousands of tourists each year. However, don’t let its tourism spotlight deter you; there are a number of smallholdings and properties for sale in the area with stunning sea-views, although you will of course pay a premium for if your property can see a glimpse of the blue stuff!

Bodmin Moor

Alongside tourism, farming plays a huge part in the Cornish economy, contributing around £366 million a year. If you’re looking for a rural retreat, somewhere to set up your business where space is in abundance, then look no further than the Bodmin Moor area, home to Cornwall’s ‘twin peaks’ Rough Tor and Brown Willy.

Villages such as St Breward, Blisland and St Kew boast some of the best countryside walks with amazing views of the moor. You may seem like you’re in the middle of nowhere, but links to major roads, the A30 and A39, are easily accessible.

Newquay

Considered as the UK’s surfing capital, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to surfing spots and beach walks. Newquay is not only great if you like surfing, it is easily accessible from across the country — great if you’re looking to set up a business, drawing in customers far and wide. Unlike many coastal parts of Cornwall, major roads go directly into Newquay and the nearby airport offers all year round direct flights to London and Manchester.

Falmouth

Located on Cornwall’s south coast is the county’s largest port, Falmouth. If you’re looking for a smallholding or farm, but don’t want to miss out on Cornish culture, Falmouth is the place to be!

With Cornwall’s capital just a 30-minute drive away and one of King Henry VIII’s finest fortresses nestled nearby, there’s plenty to see and do. If you have a children, education will likely have a huge influence when it comes to your decision to move, so you’ll be pleased to know Falmouth University has an international reputation for excellence. The town also has great rail links; making journeys of hundreds of miles seem less daunting!

Cawsand, Rame Peninsula

If you’re looking to relocate to Cornwall, but want to remain relatively close to a city, Cawsand is just a ferry ride away from Plymouth; ‘Britain’s Ocean City’. By bordering Devon the town offers the best of both worlds when it comes to beaches and the Tamar Valley, an Area of Outstanding Beauty.

If you’re looking for things to do when taking a break from work on the farm or office, Mount Edgcumbe House is well worth a visit or take a stroll through the gardens of Antony House, which you may have spotted in Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland!

If you’re looking to move to the Duchy, whether to find the perfect family home or to buy property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream, on 07816 514667.