Enjoy lambing weekend at traditional North Downs farm

This month’s farmers’ market at Shabden Park Farm in Chipstead will be held alongside the farm’s lambing open weekend, offering a chance to see the baby lambs close up, meet the farmer and his sheepdogs, and learn about how we farm sustainably to provide food and wildlife habitats.

Shabden Farmers’ Market will be on both days. The lambing open weekend will be £5 admission for adults, children free and OAPs free on Mothering Sunday.

The farm is really coming to life now with bluebells starting to come up, daffodils out nodding and little yellow lesser celendine out in the sun. The grass is starting to grow and, although we have had some cold wintry rain and wind, the wildflowers are starting to emerge.

The baby lambs have not enjoyed the cold, wet days, but the majority are thriving and they enjoy the sun when it comes. The farm still has more than 300 ewes yet to lamb.

The cattle are still indoors, but will be turned out in the next few weeks. The heavy step of the cattle can make a real mess of the field when it is wet, and they will keep in better condition on silage in the shelter of the barn.

The farmers’ market will include Pretty Good Stuff, selling spring bulbs and perennials, plus she is taking orders for tomato plants to be ready at the April market.

Iron Railway Vineyard will be at the market both days with a selection of wines, ciders, beers and juices.

Plus there should be bread, cakes and pastries; natural honey products; jams and chilli stalls, and a veg stall with seasonal vegetables from the region and apples from Kent.

Refreshments will be available: tea, coffee and juices and, on the barbeque, lamb burgers and beef burgers.

In the farm shop, there will be 30-day, dry-hung on the bone sirloin, rib-eye, rump and fillet steaks, plus T-bones. There is also 10-day, dry-hung in the carcass, hogget lamb – leg and shoulder joints as well as chops and more. Plus outdoor-reared pork and free-range chicken.

This week’s seasonal sausages are: Pork, tomato & basil; Boozy Toulouse-y pork; Chipstead chilli pork; Pork, garlic & chorizo; Pork, white wine & tarragon; Pork, ginger & leek; Pork & sweet peppers as well as Surrey pork breakfast sausage and Pork & herbs version. Gluten-free pork & herbs are available every week.

Orders are also being taken for Easter joints and turkey.

Shabden Park Farm is in Chipstead, a short drive from Coulsdon.


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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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