Bees, beers and bovines in Bradfield
North west of Sheffield lies a community which is making a bit of a name for itself with the production of local food and drink. Bradfield and neighbouring village Dungworth are home to some of the city’s best known local producers and on Saturday I popped up to Bradfield farmers’ market to catch them all as they gathered under one roof.
Bradfield farmers’ market
Bradfield village hall and green
I’ve not been to Low Bradfield before, which is where the monthly market is located. The last couple of markets have coincided with snowy weather but today it is fine, which makes the drive up through the countryside on the edge of Sheffield even more pleasant. In the spring sunshine the village looks very picturesque, nestled in among the hills with a pub, village store and central green area.
The market is held in a modern village hall building. There are around fifteen exhibitors selling products such as beef, pork, milk, pies, chicken, ice cream, fruit, vegetables, beer, cheese, bread, honey, wax products, cheesecake, jams and cakes. Other items on sale include soap, bird feeders and fire wood. Refreshments are also available from a cafe.
At places like this, half the fun is going around each stall and enjoying the free tasters. Although that isn’t to say that all the food is overpriced.
For example, the cheese (three for a fiver) is comparable to what you might pay in a supermarket plus you can pick up a dozen eggs for £1.70. And of course you know you are getting good products as well as supporting independent producers.
The major Bradfield and Dungworth names in attendance include the Sheffield honey company, Our cow Molly ice cream, Bradfield brewery and Bradfield meats.
Sheffield honey company candles
The Sheffield honey company has been around a couple of years now and as well as producing various types of honey (my favourite being the one with a vanilla pod in it) they now sell other beeswax products such as candles. You can now even buy a block of straight honeycomb which is supposed to be delicious melted on toast.
Production of the tasty Our cow Molly ice cream grew out of a dairy farm set up in 1947. In 2007, with the value of milk plummeting, they decided to diversify and the Our cow Molly brand was born. You are more likely to see it on sale in north or west Sheffield, although the Crucible and Lyceum stock it so make sure you try some as your interval snack next time you go.
Bradfield brewery beers
Bradfield brewery beers are already all over Sheffield and can also be found further afield. I think their most popular beer is probably Farmer’s blonde, which I would recommend. They all have Farmers in the title though so are pretty easy to spot and are available in bottles and kegs as well as on draught.
Lambing season at Our cow Molly
Laden with local produce, we decide to head back to Sheffield. We’d been given stickers at the market which entitled us to a freebie from the Our cow Molly ice cream shop, so can’t resist calling in on the way home.
It is a great time of year to visit Cliff House Farm in Dungworth, the home of Our cow Molly. The weather is finally warming up and lambing season is here, which means there is plenty on view.
Our cow Molly lamb
I last came to the farm for their big bonfire in November, which was great fun. On pulling up in the car park we are greeted this time by a lamb and its mother. There are also new born calves and goats to see, as well as cockerels, rabbits and of course cows.
Eddie the farmer is currently giving short tours of the lambs and their barn, and although we had just missed one, he is more than happy to take us round and talk to us about his livestock and the meat, milk and ice cream they produce.
Children are enjoying the animals and of course the prospect of finishing off our visit with an ice cream in the parlour is a treat for everyone.
Our cow Molly lambing tours: weekends in March and April, 11am and 3pm
Bradfield farmer’s market: upcoming dates
Sheffield: land of milk and honey on the culture vulture by Lucy Harper