Farming Near You
What makes a farm a farm?
With around 69% of the UK's land area dedicated to farming (that's over 9 million hectares *), you may not be too surprised to find a farm or two near to where you live. While you might not think of paying a visit to your local pig farmer, you may be likely to pop into a local farm shop to buy some honey farmed by their beekeepers or pick up some fruits and vegetables grown close to you.
From livestock farms to fish farms, the farms near you produce a wide range of agricultural produce that is consumed locally. Whether you are looking for some locally sourced produce, or sourcing a large supplier, there will be a farm near you that can cater for your needs.
What types of farm are there?
Broadly speaking farms are split into two of types; arable and pastoral. Arable farms grow crops, and the fields that you will see near you with wheat, barley, cabbages and even apples are likely to belong to this type of farm. Pastoral farms breed livestock primarily for meat, eggs, wool and milk, and these farms are the ones responsible for the cows and sheep which you may see roaming the landscape in your area. You may be searching for a local farm if you are looking to buy some of their produce, or if you're looking for employment in the industry.
In recent years we have seen an increase in farm shops; local farms who either grow their own produce (potentially both arable and pastoral), or source local produce to sell in their store. While farm shops will deal with other farms, the majority of their customers are members of the general public.
There are a number of benefits to using local farms. If you're buying fruit and veg, buying from a local farm will mean that the produce tends to be fresher as it has had less distance to travel. The produce can also be cheaper as it's likely to be in season, meaning you're not paying for it to be imported and transported from overseas, a great thing if you're being environmentally conscious! In addition to being more environmentally friendly, buying locally will also support your local farmers , ensuing that farms near you continue to operate for years to come.
Finding a farm near me
If you're thinking 'I need to find a farm near me', the first task is working out what type of farm you require. Large industrial farms won't necessarily sell their produce to the general public, so it's worth making sure you find a farm shop if you want to pick up some fruit and veg as part of your weekly shop.
If you're searching for a farm to supply your business, the commercial farms are more likely to cater for your needs (though farm shops will also sell to larger commercial clients as well).
* Source: wikipedia