Much more than just roadside food stalls these days, Kent’s Farm Shops have become destinations in their own right
1 Perry Court Farm, Wye
Farming has been in the Fermor family’s blood for so long that they can’t remember a time without it. Even the surname itself is a medieval spelling of “farmer.” The current farm was purchased by the family in the 1940s, and after a period of growing mainly strawberries, it now focuses on heirloom varieties and sustainable crops – with the famous homemade apple chips, juices and fruit bars. With a farm shop in operation since 1965, this must be one of the oldest in Kent. Just outside Wye and featuring a tea room, well worth a visit. You can buy everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to bread from local bakeries, meat from MB Farms in Faversham and even cut flowers and animal food.
Canterbury Road, Wye TN25 4ES perrycourtfarm.co.uk
2 Groombridge Farm Shop
Opened in 1993 as ‘The Asparagus Hut’, this former seasonal stall located at a crossroads between Tunbridge Wells and Groombridge has become a much-loved hub for local growers. From its own local asparagus, harvested each spring, and berries during the summer months, to an extensive range of locally sourced produce, its focus is on seasonality, environmental protection and support for small businesses. local businesses. Embracing the farm shop philosophy that you have to know where everything you eat comes from, it sources around 90% from Kent and Sussex.
Groombridge Farm Shop, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9LY groombridgefarmshop.co.uk
3 Lower Ladysden Farm, Goudhurst
If you are looking for a pick your own in this part of Kent this place comes highly recommended. As much a family day out as a farm shop, alongside a wide range of fresh, local produce, you can get lost in the corn maze in the summer months, grab asparagus straight from the field in the spring, raid their pumpkin patch in October and pop in for a delicious coffee and snack at their cafe. Selling lots of their own fruit and veg and hosting regular events throughout the year, it’s a popular choice.
Winchet Hill, Goudhurst TN17 1JX lowerladysden.co.uk
4 Broadditch Farm Shop, Southfleet
Another established family farm that opened a shop in 1990 to offer its harvest direct to customers, Broadditch offers a mix of produce grown in their own fields, artisan foods from local growers and selected items from other Kentish producers. Located on a 470 acre farm that has been owned by the Harris family for over 170 years, they also enjoy hosting family events. Although its famous spooky Halloween event has been scrapped after 21 years, from the summer corn experience to its Christmas market there is often something going on, so check the website for details.
New Barn Road, Southfleet DA13 9PU broadditch.co.uk
5 Macknade Food Hall, Faversham
More of a foodie destination than a farm shop, this sprawling food hall – one of the largest in the Southeast – has grown over six generations from a humble agricultural enterprise to a thriving farm shop and has now become the one of Kent’s leading brands. When it comes to quality food and drink, you’ll find it all under one roof here. There is an on-site butcher, florist, delicatessen, basic necessities, a wine shop and of course all kinds of fruit and vegetables. And there’s even a collection of street food stalls, where you can order wood-fired pizzas, pancake tacos and bao buns, as well as great coffee.
Sale Road, Faversham ME13 8XF macknade.com
6 Silcocks, Tenterden
In the village of St Michael’s, Tenterden, Silcocks has run its farm shop since 2003. Selling meat and dairy products from its own organic farm, it is known for its cheeses, meat and ice creams in particular. And with all the fresh produce you’d expect, there are also plants to browse in the courtyard shop and a lovely cafe – there’s even a function room to hire if you fancy somewhere special to the farm for an event.
Grange Road, St Michael’s TN30 6TL silcocksfarm-organics.co.uk
7 Algar Lodge, Deal
One of the county’s newest farm shops, Algar Lodge opened in 2020 after delays caused by the lockdown. On the site of a former farm shop but completely rebuilt from scratch, it is now a sleek, modern building with a spacious shop and a popular cafe. Right at the start of its journey, especially when compared to some of the oldest shops in the county, it has already gained a great reputation for its cooked breakfasts.
Sandwich Road, Deal CT14 0AS Search for ‘Algar Lodge Farm’ on Facebook
8 Haywards, Hadlow
Operating alongside their established butchery business, Haywards opened their farm shop in 2016 and achieved a lot in a relatively short time. In addition to offering plenty of fruits and vegetables, pantry items, ready-to-cook items and more, they’ve expanded the outdoor space to create a courtyard for public events, including South African braais. in summer. They even do catering outside with pork roasts and barbecues.
Tonbridge Road, Hadlow TN11 0AH haywardsbutchers.co.uk
9 The Egg Machine at Bank Farm, Aldington
A farm shop with a difference, this one is best described as a vending machine for fresh, local produce. The revolutionary idea sees a giant bespoke machine with many compartments filled with fruit punnets, local jams, meat pies and of course eggs. Changed every day, you just pay the machine for the compartment you want and it opens. You can also order online and the team will fill a bucket where you can collect. Best of all, it’s open 24 hours a day. We’re told Scotch eggs are particularly tempting.
Bank Road, Aldington TN25 7DF theeggmachine.shop
10 Quex Barn, Birchington
Another big name in this sector, Quex Barn is a large boutique with a delicatessen, a fresh fish counter, a butcher, a bakery, a café, fruits and vegetables, cut flowers and its own pizzeria. All housed in a historic barn and its outbuildings, you will also find a barber and a beautician on site – so in theory you can do your nails, do your shopping and then have lunch.
Quex View Road, Birchington CT7 0BB www.quexbarn.com
Others to try
But that’s just a sampling of Kent’s huge list of farm shops, with other favorites including the quaint Old Tractor Shed at Brookland on the Romney Marsh, the small but mighty Biddenden Farm Shop, Chart Farm in Seal, Fuller’s in Eridge, Frankie’s in Staplehurst, Cranbrook Farm Shop, Kelsey’s in Sidcup, Hartley Dyke in Cranbrook, Flint & Oak in Westerham and Taywell in Goudhurst.