The farm shops in Fife have it easy. The Kingdom of Fife’s vast coastline and fertile farmland means there is ample supply of locally produced food and drink. The long and glorious rugged coastline and the waters of the Firth of Forth and the North Sea supply fresh prawns, lobster, crabs, razor fish, clams and langoustine which are used in restaurants across the region as well as Michelin star restaurants and five star hotels. There are whisky and gin distilleries such as Eden Mill, Kingsbarn Distillery and Lindores Abbey who use fresh local water supplies to make their award winning drinks. There is also a cheese makers, bakeries, butchers, a buffalo farm, sauce makers, jam makers, chutney makers and even a Chilli Farm. Fife’s Farm shops certainly don’t have a struggle finding top class produce to line their shelves and luckily for the customers we can go to these farm shops and fill our baskets knowing we are supporting the local economy and also getting a pretty damn fine selection of goodies too. These four farm shops in Fife do it brilliantly well.
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I love that each of these farm shops support local producers by stocking their products and promoting them in their shops. I love that each of the owners are passionate about the food they sell and about their business. Of course I also love that I can go to one place and get everything I need and it doesn’t involve a multi story car park, a tonne of unnecessary plastic and an abundance of processed junk food.
Nothing beats opening the doors to these farm shops, smelling the fresh handmade breads, picking up your wicker basket, selecting your colourful veg (which are sometimes wonky and always mouthwatering because unlike supermarkets this amazing veg doesn’t have to be perfectly uniform in size and shape), filling your paper bag, browsing the meat counters, tasting the cheese, selecting the perfect wine. It’s a misconception that these farm shops are expensive. Sure, there are some items which are expensive, but you are paying for quality and the knowledge that the best ingredients were used. There are definitely bargains to be had though, I always buy my fruit and veg here, where else can you get 8 massive, fresh from the ground, carrots for £1?
These four farm shops in Fife below are all fantastic. Have you visited any? What did you think? Love them as much as I do?
Ardross Farm Shop
Situated just outside Elie in the beautiful East Neuk is Ardross Farm. Named one of the Telegraph’s Top 20 Farm shops in the UK Ardross is a gorgeous little farm shop packed to the rafters with locally sourced produce. The business began in 2005 when they found a local abbatoir to hang their beef. They started with nothing but a chest freezer, a calculator and a bucket load of enthusiasm but when the locals tasted their traditionally reared beef and loved it it wasn’t long before they were asking for more. The Pollock family now grow and sell over 40 varieties of seasonal vegetables which always look fantastic as the first thing that greets you as you enter the shop. Nestled in wicker baskets the selection varies season to season but whatever time of year you visit there is always plenty of colourful and delicious veg to choose from, which are all handpicked fresh that morning. Everything that is sold in the shop is either tried and tested by the family or comes recommended by customers and the selection is impressive and well thought out. As well as their own homemade cakes, pies and soups they also stock local foods such at Trotter’s Chutneys, Barnett’s breads, Wemyss whisky, Darnley’s Gin and sauces from the Little Herb Farm. The beehives produce their very own honey, with sheep and cows producing top quality beef and lamb. What I love most about Ardross is it’s size, it’s still small enough to feel like a family business, the staff are fantastic and not only know their products inside and out but also are always happy to chat about what’s happening on the farm. They also have one of the best Facebook pages I’ve seen in a long time so if you want to know more about Ardross Farm shop head there.
Ardross Farm Shop,
Tel: 01333 331400
Opening times : Mon - Sat 9am-5.30pm, Sunday 9am - 4pm
Just outside St Andrews, close to the famous Old Course is Bargove Larder, a large farm shop in Fife which is beautifully designed and has not only every possible producer in Fife stocked but also an amazing selection from around Scotland. Specialising in meat, the onsite butcher carves up beef, game and pork as well as creating scrumptious burgers, sausages and steaks, most of which come from their own farm. The team raise their own free range cows, pigs and sheep. Nothing is left to waste either so is used in their own black pudding, white puddings and haggis. The Steak Barn is next to the shop and serves up steaks and burgers by candlelight. The barn has walls made of potato crates, big roaring log fires, long trestle tables made of thick worn beech planks from the estate and dimmed drop lights making the whole place cosy and rustic. The steaks (hung on site for no less than 21 days) and burgers are cooked on their wood-fired bbq and served with twice fried chips. It’s rustic, basic and undeniably delicious food. There is no airs and graces here, pull up a bench, order a beer and get tucked in.
In the main shop there is also a really great selection of homeware and gifts including cushions, scarfs and books. There is an impressive selection of gins, wines and beers from around Scotland and the deli in the centre of the shop offers homemade pastas, pies, olives and cheeses.
Local growers and the farm itself fill the Flower Shed with colourful blooms, plants, seeds and a nice range of pots and vases. The knowledgable staff are happy to answer your questions and make you up a bouquet for any special occasions you might have.
Tel: 01334 898145
Opening hours : Mon - Sun 9am - 5pm
Blacketyside Farm has been run for over 20 years by the Todd family and what was once nothing more than a garden shed has now expanded into a large bright and airy log cabin. Before you even enter you are greeted with crates of freshly picked vegetables including carrots and potatoes which they grow on the farm. Whereas Ardross is best known for its variety of fruit and veg and Balgove for it’s meat counter Blacketyside is famous country wide for it’s soft fruit. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been in far flung corners of Scotland and opened the fridge in my accommodation to be greeted by a punnet of Blacketyside strawberries or raspberries. It’s a sight I’m always happy to see too as they are scrumptious. The fruit is grown on 70 acres of land and seasonally you can also pick up some blackberries, blueberries, cherries and gooseberries.
The shop is packed with local produce as well as an excellent range of goodies made on site. Cakes and biscuits such as flake meal cookies, jam sponges and tea loaf are made daily in the cafe kitchen and sold both in the cafe and in the shop. Jams and marmalade are made from traditional farm recipes and ready meals such as cottage pie and lasagne are in the fridges ready to grab when you can’t be bothered cooking.
The cafe sells honest, wholesome and homemade food and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve ever ate there, the prices are good too. I’ve not tried it yet but I’ve also heard they do an excellent afternoon tea.
Puddledub take care of the butchery with a trained butcher on site at all times so customers can get exactly the cut they want. Freshly cut flowers are sold in The Green Room and bouquets are made to order for any sort of special occasion. There is always a great selection of gifts in stock too. This is a fab farm shop and those carrots I spoke of in the first paragraph? This is where you get them. Eight massive dirty carrots for £1!
Tel: 01333 423034
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Pillars of Hercules
If you’d prefer your fruit and vedgetables organic Pillars is the place to go. All of it is grown on their farm, all of it is organic and all of it is healthy. In fact everything they sell in both the farm shop and the vegetarian cafe is healthy.
Situated just outside the village of Falkland, next to the gorgeous wooded Falkland Estate Pillars of Hercules is spread out over several acres and includes a cute white washed Holiday Bothy and a camping ground. It’s popular with families and dog walkers who visit after strolling the miles of paths in the forest. The stunning rustic decking that curves around two sides of the main building has wooden tables and chairs with cushions and blankets so you can sit outside and stay cosy and I love it early in the morning with a cuppa and a vegetarian breakfast. If you fancy eating somewhere a little more remote you can even have it in the strawberry field! The completely organic and vegetarian cafe serves up some truly inspired and creative dishes and I’m always excited to see the specials board. I’ve had some amazing dishes such as a Mediterranean Mezze platter and a black bean, mushroom and wild rice burger.
Experts are often brought in to talk about nutrition which is brilliant if you have questions or want to find out a bit more about living a healthy lifestyle. Producers often set up a stall to show people their products and give out samples. Sometimes bands play at night so you can sit outside and listen to some music by candlelight while you enjoy your meal, the cafe is licensed too.
If you live in Fife but can’t get to Pillars you can have an organic veg box delivered to your home.
Pillars of Hercules,
Tel: 01337 857749
Opening hours : Mon - Sun 9am - 6pm (cafe closes at 5pm)
All four of the farm shops in Fife hold special events. Ardross Farm Shop often hold food fairs and shopping evenings, Pillars hold talks and family events, Blacketyside hold coffee mornings and baking days and Balgove hold night markets, classes and have excellent Christmas things on. Give their pages a like on Facebook to find out where and when the events are being held and find out what’s in season when you visit.
Balgove, Ardross and Blacketyside all do fantastic Scottish food hampers which are available all year round.
Have you visited any of the farm shops in Fife? What’s your favourite food in Fife? Let me know in the comments below.