The creation, launch and expansion of www.holt-farm.co.uk has been incredibly rewarding as we get to deal directly with you, our customers. It is a refreshing change from dealing with larger businesses and being able to talk about how and why we farm with you.
As we develop the business we are taking on board your thoughts, comments – and criticisms! As well as supplying fruit & veg and our juices and spirits, we see our role allowing us to bring together other local producers to allow you to source a range of produce for your homes. We are proud to welcome Hillfarm Oils and Wick’s Manor to the fold and have many more wonderful new producers joining the service in the near future.
We have also been working on sourcing better produce for our boxes and planning new options. One issue has been getting used to handling short shelf life produce. Our wholesale customers (now suppliers of fruit & veg we don’t grow) are used to supplying restaurants, so they offer produce which is ripe and ready to eat, unlike the retailers who stock produce chosen to have more ‘legs’ on it so it doesn’t go over on the shelf. This means while our produce can have better flavour it can also go over quicker so we are tweaking what we buy and pack in our boxes.
We are pleased to be working with other growers to bring in more locally grown product. This week saw the introduction of Fairfields Farm potatoes from Wormingford to add to our own salad onions, rhubarb and spring greens while some of you enjoyed Wild Garlic from Wrabness. We have an eye on some lovely strawberries growing in Newbourne over in Suffolk which we think will be ready for the end of next week. As the days stretch and we move into mid-Spring there will be more and more to add as some of our trial crops and innovation work bears fruit.
Look out for the new box additions available very soon; ‘English Grown, ‘Just Fruit’ and ‘Gourmet’ and we are working on a ‘Summer Salads’ box too. Our fellow producers will soon include bread, brownies, snacks, dairy, mixers, eggs and other lovely goodies. All will be local or have a close tie to our farm, like some of our old customers.
In the meantime farmwork continues at a frantic pace. The spring onion harvest is moving into gear, orchards in beautiful flower need thinning, summer crops planting out and lots and lots of irrigation! It has been great to see so many new young local faces signing up to work on the farm. Even if some of them are having to don masks and visors to work in our packhouse! We will make sure they get time out in the sun as well.
Thank you for your custom and support and we look forward to supporting you in finding local produce for your homes and plates.