The harvest festival goes a long way back – it’s one of those ancient, earth-celebrating events which have been around for millennia. Giving a big thumbs-up to Mother Nature is never a bad idea, though given the way we humans are intent on ruining the planet it’s a bit like pitching up at your mum’s house two weeks after Mothers’ Day with a bunch of crushed daffodils you blatantly just nicked from her flowerbed.
As much as harvest time is a chance to high-five the earth, it’s also time to big up our local growers and producers. Veg, meat, fish, fruit, even edible flowers: Yorkshire is fertile ground for all sorts of wholesome, traditional produce which is well worth celebrating.
It doesn’t get much more traditionally English than this: the orchard here is over 200 years old and encompasses seven acres, 2,000 trees and 40 varieties of heritage apples, supplying the abbey and nearby farm shops and delis with ciders, beers, juice and spirits.
Ampleforth YO62 4EY
01439 766778 www.ampleforthabbeydrinks.org.uk
Denholme Gate Apiary
Here, they know better than to try to one-up the bees by processing their honey. It’s coarsely filtered and put into jars, and the honeycomb cut from the hive and packaged, and that’s it. No fuss, no fanfare; just honey which will make you sympathise entirely with Winnie the Pooh and his debilitating four-pots-a-day habit.
Hill Top Farm, Thornton
Bradford BD13 3QZ
01274 831886 www.denholmegatehoney.co.uk
Not just bursting with goodness and good for the environment – they’re proud of the fact they never use air freight to get their fruit and veg about – this farm’s produce is convenient too. Pick from specially curated seasonal veg-boxes, either mixed by value (£5, £10, £15 or £20) or by the season’s produce, like Mediterranean, salads, staples and greens, and get it delivered to your door. They do specialist stuff like Romanesco cauliflower too.
Warfield Lane, Cowthorpe
Wetherby LS22 5EU
Depending on the season, you’ll find traditional herbs like chives, coriander, dill, parsley and the like alongside more niche, Brönte-sounding stuff like hyssop, English mace and bronze fennel. They’re not limiting themselves to herbs here either; you can pick up edible flowers and salad leaves as well.
Thirsk YO7 4RW
01845 587694 www.herbsunlimited.co.uk
Orchards of Husthwaite
This project resurrected a centuries-old tradition of fruit farming in Husthwaite in 2009, and since then has become a social enterprise which helps fund village projects with its profits. They’ve added a cider mill in a 12th century Saxon manor house and over 1,000 trees to the area too. In buying their ciders, vinegars, beers, juices and liqueurs, you’re helping revivify the village, so drink up.
The Manor House
Husthwaite YO61 4PX
Round Green Deer Farm
Here the deer are left to their own devices as much as possible before they’re turned into quality meat for the dinner table. The butchery is on the farm itself, and preps deer from both Round Green and estates around the country. Try their joints, steaks and mince or, if you’re feeling particularly peckish, you can pick up a whole venison carcass.
Round Green Lane
Barnsley S75 3DR
01226 281290 www.roundgreenfarm.co.uk
St Helen's Farm
Goats’ milk is St Helen’s Farm’s thing, turning out fresh milk, live yoghurt and cheese to an absolutely rapturous reception from fellow producers: their mature goats’ cheese picked up a silver medal at the 2015 British Cheese Awards and their goats’ butter took the same at the Great Yorkshire Show last year too.
Seaton Ross YO42 4NP
01430 861715 www.sthelensfarm.co.uk
Tomlinson Farm Shop
Growing veg takes time. Fortunately, the Tomlinson family have been at it for four generations now, so they’ve had more than enough time to perfect the art; Robert Tomlinson, brother of proprietor Heidi, is a renowned grower of forced rhubarb as well as fennel, kale, chard and cabbage among other bits and pieces. Well, it wouldn’t be a rundown of Yorkshire’s food producers without a heaping fistful of rhubarb, would it?
89 Roker Lane
Pudsey LS28 9NB
0113 255 2625 www.tomlinsonfarmshop.co.uk
Scampi. Oh, scampi; you poor, undervalued titan of the seas. While arguably the greatest combination of crustacean and deep-fried casing yet devised, all too often it’s relegated to the indignity of the children’s menu. Whitby Seafoods treat them with the appropriate respect: made from langoustines caught in British waters and prepared in Whitby itself, the spiritual home of scampi.
Whitby YO22 4PU
01947 606101 www.whitby-seafoods.com
The Yorkshire Wagyu Company
Wagyu beef, if you’ve not been paying attention, is the pinnacle of red meat: bred specifically for its marbling and flavour, it’s had meat-lovers agog for the last couple of years at least, and now there’s a herd being raised on the Yorkshire Wolds. They take their meat so seriously here that each cow’s traceable via DNA tag and they employ a full-time on-site vet to tend to the beasts. You can taste the difference.
Field House Farm
Driffield YO25 9JZ
07951 018302 www.yorkshirewagyucompany.co.uk
Yorkshire Wolds Apple Juice
Another regular award-winner, these juices are just about as close as you can get to drinking the English summer without sticking a straw into a disappointing mid-range weather forecast. As well as straight-up apple, you can get it blended with rhubarb, elderflower or raspberry – the latter earned the maximum three stars from Great Taste this year.
Welham Wold Farm
Malton YO17 9LY
01759 304864 www.yorkshirewoldsapplejuice.co.uk