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I think I am getting a cold, which feels miserable, so to cheer myself up I thought I’d write about my favourite local farm shop – Little Heath Farm.
Little Heath Farm embodies the essence of a really good farm shop for me. Although it wouldn’t matter where they were based, they are situated in a beautiful little village in Dunham Massey. Just down the road is Dunham Massey National Trust which has a deer park, and my favourite place to walk – brilliant for families.
Their farm is hidden away down the aptly named Cow Lane, past a picturesque orchard with white geese. The farm shop is in an old barn off their courtyard. There are three rabbits who seem very well fed on left over veg, one called Munch who always seems a bit to keen to go for your fingers should you feel overcome by how cute he is and stick your fingers through the wire to rub his nose. Then there is Trevor the turkey and ‘his girls’ who he protects every time a car pulls in by turning bright blue and making a lot of noise.
Inside the farm shop is simple, baskets of locally grown vegetables, a couple of shelves of honey and jams, trays of local free range eggs, and cabinets of their free range pork, lamb and beef products. For this is what they do best, lovingly produce fantastic meat products. All of the farm shop’s signs are a distinctive black with white writing, like a blackboard, which I hope they will never alter as for me this is unique to them, and something I instantly associate with them.
Sue and her young shop assistants are friendly, knowledgeable and really helpful. One weekend when I was hosting lunch for my partners parents and granny, I decided on pork – not that I’d ever cooked it. The morning before I turned up at the shop and was presented with a choice of three cuts that Sue had carefully chosen and set aside for me, she also gave me a detailed recipe for how she cooks pork, which I was guaranteed would be perfect and I couldn’t mess up – it was, and went down a treat with everyone.
I think if I ever had a blue day, popping into Little Heath would cheer me up. Visiting the farm shop, although it is just food shopping, reminds me why life is so great, it’s one of those moments when you stop and think, “I’m happy to be alive.”
So if you are in the Manchester/Cheshire area, call in to visit Sue and treat yourself to something delicious for tea. This is a true, rustic, real farm shop, not one of those super posh deli’s on a farm where the person producing the food is nowhere to be found.
Little Heath Farm, Cow Lane, Dunham Massey, WA14 4SE.