Where to find the best of Norfolk’s larder
Norfolk is home to some incredible fruit and vegetables and Autumn is a fantastic time of year to experience the county’s resplendent larder. Apples and pears are growing in abundance. They can be bought ready to go from a while range of outlets. Perhaps, more fun, you can pick your own at a number of orchards around the county.
If foraging is your thing then now is the time to make the most of the glut of blackberries that are adorning the hedgerows. It is also a good year for Rose Hips. The patient among you can use the little red jewels to make beautiful (and healthy) Rose Hip syrup.
A well-stocked larder
Quince and crab apples are also in abundance at the moment, adding to the wealth that is our natural larder.
It is also the time of year to find mushrooms. Field, verges and woodland floors are alive with all varieties of fungi at the moment – just make sure you know what you are picking!
Where to find the best produce
But, for people who have neither the time nor inclination to pick their own ingredients, there are some wonderful farm shops and greengrocers. You really don’t have to venture far from West Beckham to find some glorious produce straight from Norfolk’s larder.
Back to the Garden at Letheringsett is one of our favourites. Much of the produce in the farm shop is grown on the local farm and the shelves are also packed with produce from local artisan bakers, chefs and growers.
Much of the produce is organic, including the meat on the butcher’s counter. The Aberdeen Angus beef, lamb and poultry is all grown on the farm. The outdoor reared pork is sourced from a local pig farmer. Many of the vegetables – from chard to squash, from carrots to Cavalo Nero – is not only organic, it is grown biodynamically. There is also a cafe, serving food and drink all day.
On the 5 October, back to the Garden will be hosting a Fresh Artisan Market . Here artisan makers and producers gather to meet customers and showcase their goods.
A holistic approach to growing
Just down the road from Back to the Garden is a great success story. Thornage Hall provides a home to adults with learning difficulties. Besides offering the residents a range of art, craft and educational activities, Thornage Hall also has a biodynamic farm and market garden. Livestock, vegetables, fruit and herbs are grown and sold to the local community and beyond. The farm and garden is run by the residents, plus a small team of managers. The farm is run to strict biodynamic principles. In simple terms, biodynamic farming is a holistic approach to growing produce, where soil health and integrity of food production is sacrosanct.
The result is a wonderful array of high quality, seasonal produce.
Customers will find Thornage Hall produce in a number of shops and restaurants, including Back to the Garden, Robert Folland on Norwich Market, award-winning Norwich restaurant Benedict’s, and the Michelin star eatery Morston Hall.
For a more traditional greengrocers, Benbows in Holt is a great place for you to get your fruit and vegetables. The shop, which is found on Holt High street, stocks a lovely range of locally grown produce as well as good range of more exotic fruits. You will also find daffodils and tulips from Rookery Farm on sale in the shop during the spring.