Producer of the Month: Tuppenny Barn, West Sussex
Tuppenny Barn is based on a hectare organic smallholding located in Southbourne, West Sussex, and has been heavily involved with the organisation of Emsworth British Food Fortnight, which took place for the first time in 2014.
A host of activities took place during the two weeks as the community sought to celebrate itself through food and to recognise the important of local shops and producers. Subsequently, Emsworth Food Fortnight was named as the UK's Harvest Heroes with the competition judges commenting particularly on the broad appeal of what took place and the fact the campaign involved so many aspects of the community. For more information visit www.emsworth.org.uk
As you can imagine, everyone at Tuppenny Barn is passionate about growing tasty food for the local community. Produce is sold via a twice weekly pop up shop and through a vegetable bag scheme located in its recently built sustainable education centre. The company also runs visits for both schoolchildren and local community groups as well as workshops and courses relating to the outdoors. The site includes a wildlife pond, beehives, a solar tunnel, over 30 growing beds, an orchard, flower cutting garden, large composting area including a giant wormery and a recycled plastic bottle greenhouse. From the produce jams, chutneys, fruit vinegars, fruit cordials and dried herbs and fruit are regularly made to sell in the shop. There are plans to increase the cut flower range produced on site to sell throughout the seasons.
This year Tuppenny Barn started the first of its monthly producers markets to help promote other producers in the area.
- Why do you do what you do?
I believe passionately in promoting locally produced high quality food to our community, as well as encouraging individuals to eat healthily.
- What do you enjoy most about your job?
Being able to create a community around what we do.
- What do you enjoy least about your job?
Extremely long hours with not much in return.
- What achievement are you most proud of?
Building the sustainable education centre - not quite finished yet, and raising over £300,000 to achieve this aim.
- Why should we buy British produce?
British produce is something we should all be proud of and more should be done to encourage individuals to buy it.
- How do you think we should be promoting British?
In schools, community events and indeed every opportunity!
- If you were an advertising executive, what slogan would you use to promote British food?
British is best, eat local.
- What's on the menu this evening?
Tuppenny seasonal salad leaves.
- How can people get hold of your produce?
Via the twice weekly shop or through the veg bag scheme.