Farmyard Frolics with Harker’s Farm Shop
As a mum to a toddler I’m always on the lookout for things to do with my little one and something that will keep not only her entertained but me as well…I’m sure other Mum’s will agree, there’s only so much soft play anyone can take, am I right?!
Therefore, on a bright and frosty morning in mid November three generations of my family, my little person and I with Grandparents in tow, decided to visit Harker’s Farm Shop, a traditional family farming business located in Clipston on the Wolds near Keyworth. I’d heard that they had a toddler play area and lots of farm animals for children to see and even feed. As I spend a lot of my time imitating farm animals these days, I was looking forward to seeing her reaction to the real thing!
First thing to note is that it is totally free of charge to view and feed the farm animals here. There are little buckets hanging up stuffed with goodies such as cabbage and carrots for the many animals dotted around to meet. Armed with her bucket, and being reminded that she couldn’t eat the food, my little one proceeded to trot off to feed the very vocal and hungry pygmy goats (helped by Mum of course). The shrieks of delight as she got up close to them was lovely to see! She was then off like a rocket to feed the Kune Kune piglets who snuffled and grunted their approval as the little person stuffed cabbage through to them! I’m sure her wellies were on fire as she flitted between the piglets, goats, pet alpacas, geese, ducks, turkeys, chickens, and peacocks! She also seemed spellbound when she got to meet Domino the Donkey, and Hero the Shetland pony. All in all, we spent over an hour feeding all the animals much to the genuine delight of my girl.
The next half hour was spent in the outdoor toddler tractor area, with little ride on tractors to play on plus a large real tractor to sit on. It’s a safe area, with artificial grass so that there are no mishaps, plus it’s enclosed so the little Houdini’s won’t get out! Once again lots of fun was had with some of the other children who had come along to the farm. It seems that it’s a favourite hangout for Grandparents to bring their Grandchildren to in the week, a secret little person’s club which I felt lucky to have stumbled upon!
Once we were all played out, and having spied one very tired little girl I took my chance to bundle her in her pushchair and have a wander around the farm shop. The family business was established in 1954 by Mr Harker (senior) who began by selling eggs and chickens door to door, there’s been a lot of progress since then for this multi award-winning business!
Harker’s are proud to be one of the last few butchers in Nottinghamshire still to rear the majority of their meat (home reared beef and lamb), and sell it through their farm shop. I can confirm that the sirloin steak and pork and apple sausages that I bought during my visit were absolutely delicious! Speciality pies, duck and chicken eggs, a vast array of vegetables, honey, cheese from Colston Bassett and Cropwell Bishop, and fresh bread and cakes are all on offer at this well stocked farm shop. The keyword here is Local. Everything you see on sale is from local suppliers and fellow farmers which warms my heart in these days of faceless supermarkets!
Currently, Harker’s are in the throes of preparing for Christmas not only with their own hand reared turkeys but also with their Christmas fayre sold in store. Christmas beers, chutneys, speciality gins, chocolate, novelty gifts and children’s toys to name but a few grace the stacked shelves! If you have an enquiry or would like to order your turkey, or any seasonal goodies just get in touch. The staff are super friendly here and are only too happy to advise and help get you organised for the big day!
Harker’s Farm Shop is well worth a visit for any family and I will be recommending not only the toddler experience but also the farm shop to all of my friends and family. From the smallest member of our family through to the eldest two it was a resounding thumbs up. The snoring from the back of the car on the way home from all three was a testament to a good family morning!
To find out more about Harker’s Farm Shop, please click here