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Shop Local: 5 Farm Shops In Kent

Farm Shops, Farm Shop, Shop Local, Farm Produce, Shop in Kent, Kent

I’ve been an advocate for shopping local for a number of years, ever since we moved to rural Kent, and it was really brought home during lockdown when local farm shops really stepped up and kept us all supplied with fresh vegetables, fruit, eggs and meat, and of course, the occasional sweet treat.

I’ve been sharing a few of my favourite places over on Instagram and I thought why not do a blog post, so here you go, five farm shops in Kent that I regularly shop in – giving you the skinny on what not to miss out on. Of course, there are more, but these are my favourite.

I love The Egg Machine for 24/7 convenience, as well as the best eggs out there, and yes, you can tell the difference. The Old Tractor Shed is my local, but more than that it has the best butcher and chutney around. Gibson’s is all about the local fresh fruit and vegetables – the plums we got recently were so juicy. Macknade is like the Harrods of farm shop, if I’m close by I stock up on tea leaves and olive oil. Then there is Perry Court Farm my go-to farm shop for juices, it does the most incredible range of pear and apple juices – can’t leave without a box full.

5 Farm Shops In Romney Marsh, Ashford, Faversham and Canterbury

The Egg Machine

One of the stars of lockdown for us had to be The Egg Machine at Bank Farm in Aldington and its 24/7 vending machine. Yes, this is a farm shop with a difference, it is all in a giant vending machine, but rather than it supplying a curled up sandwich you can buy eggs, milk, jams, fruit, burgers, afternoon tea, brownies, and even salad boxes and pizza kits.

This farm shop offers local produce 24/7 and over the last few months has been expanding its offering, we always pick up something new each time. Things we recommend, other than the eggs, of course, has to be the brownies – so delicious, the strawberries – they come from the farm that usual supplies Wimbledon, the homemade lemon curd, the scotch egg, and the burgers.

The Egg Machine, Bank Farm, Aldington, TN25 7DF

The Old Tractor Shed

This is my new local, I love that I can walk to it, and stock up on supplies. It has its own in-store butcher, and my husband said its sausages are amazing, as is the black pudding, steaks, lamb chops and burgers, so basically everything!!!

The Old Tractor Shed also does its own homemade pies, quiches, chutneys and jams – the damson jam is my absolute favourite. As well as all that it also has fresh vegetables, fruit, eggs, bread, cheese, fish, juices, and a whole host of store cupboard essentials. Also, keep an eye out for its bull, Marshall, who apparently is very good at escaping his field for a wander around the farm and local roads.

The Old Tractor Shed, Rectory Lane, Brookland, Kent, TN29 9RH.

Gibson’s Farm Shop

A new discovery for me, but now a firm favourite if I’m over towards Canterbury is Gibson’s as this is a farm shop, a cafe, butchers, deli, bakery and even a florist. This place is best described as a mini supermarket offering local and Kentish produce with an emphasis on fresh and independent producers.

The meat counter is very popular as they have a range of home referred meat including free range Angus Aberdeen beef, pork and lamb, as well as home cured ham and bacon, BBQ meat packs and sausages, alongside a deli featuring cheeses, olives, and picnic snacks.

They also offer a great panini, and with the seating around outside, it really is the perfect stop off spot for lunch – the bread they used for our panini was delicious – I wish I’d bought some of their bread.

The thing I loved most, had to be the fresh vegetables, salad produce and fruit, highlighting local produce freshly picked, I stocked up on strawberries, plums, tomatoes, courgettes and new potatoes, all of which were delicious and such great value. Apparently come winter time they are renowned for their purple sprouting broccoli, squashes and pumpkins.

They also sell ready meals, flour, bread, cakes, and a range of beer, wine and juices, but I got most excited by their florist stocked with beautiful fresh British flowers.

Gibson’s Farm Shop, Crockshard Hill, Wingham, Canterbury, CT3 1NY

Macknade

For fine farm food shopping, Macknade’s is the place to go, I love their range of speciality items such as a deli counter featuring more than 200 cheeses, the specially blended tea leaves, the bakery and the delicious pastel de natas, I can’t go here without buying one, and then there is the butcher, who does the most amazing Italian style sausages.

The foodhall in Faversham is the flagship, more like a mini superstore filled with fruit and vegetables, artisan pasta, rice and grains, delicious jams, chutneys, and pickles, as well as craft beer, including from Mad Cat Brewery a small micro-brewery in Kent, and they sell a fantastic wild elderflower bubbly that I adore.

The Faversham location also has an amazing cafe, brunch or afternoon tea for the win, as they do amazing eggs and cake!!! They also have a florist, who has the most amazing stock of dried flowers to create floral bouquets that are truly unique.

If you only pick up one thing, make it the olive oil, trust me it is the best.

Macknade has two farm shops, its latest venture is Elwick Place in Ashford is part farm shop, part cafe. Stock up on larder essentials, from fresh bread, fruit, vegetables, and meat, as well as enjoying its all-day dining, it does the best deli platters.

Macknade Food Hall, Faversham, Kent, ME13 8XF // Macknade Elwick Place, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1AE

Perry Court Farm

For rustic and home grown produce you have Perry Court Farm filled with delicious local produce for your weekly shop with a full range of fruit and vegetables, many of which are grown on the farm, They also offer fresh bread, meats and cheese – they have a great cheese room filled with British varieties, and have a fishmonger, who comes to the farm shop on Friday’s and Saturdays.

What I love most about Perry Court is the pear and apple juices, which are all home pressed at the farm. They have so many different varieties, including cox orange pippin, a favourite of mine, discovery, and crowngold apples. But if I could go for just one, pear all the way – it is so refreshing, perfect served with ice cubes on a hot summers day.

Lastly, don’t forget to visit the farms animals, especially the two miniature donkeys Elvis and Murphy and their Tamworth pigs – all along the footpath from Wye.

Which are your favourite farm shops in Kent?

For more on Kent – where to eat, cool shops and places to visit – check out my Kent Life blogs.