Trader Profile-Wookey Farm
We’ve been catching up with a few traders from Somerset Farmers Markets recently, and this month we heard from the team behind Wookey Farm, who can be found in Somerset Farmers Markets’ section next to Boyle Cross on Market days with their range of goat-related produce!
Sarah from Wookey Farm told us all about life on the farm, which is also an eco campsite!
Tell us a bit about you and Wookey Farm…
We are a small family-run dairy goat farm just outside Wells, in Wookey. We started our farm 9 years ago when we bought some fields with an old barn. Back then we had no electric or mains water so it was all a bit of an adventure. We started with 25 goats (12 pregnant girls, 12 kids and 1 male) and have built up to our current herd of about 150 goats.
Although dairy is still the main focus of our business with lovely creamy milk from our British Toggenburg goats, we are selling more and more meat. In 2017 we bought a boer billy goat, which is the meat breed, so we have a mixture of goats for milking and goats for meat. We run a very open farm and visitors can come and meet the goats, watch the milking and peep through the window to see the cheese making.
We also have a campsite on our farm which is very popular with people in Frome as its just far enough to feel like you’ve got away for the weekend but close enough that you don’t get too much “are we there yet?” from the children!
Where do you get your inspiration – what motivates you to do what you do?
Food and seeing a product through from start to finish is my main motivation. I love watching the pure white milk, turn into curds and whey and then become a whole host of different cheeses – soft and mild or hard and pungent which really gets the taste buds going!
I love knowing exactly where my food has come from, what kind of life the animal has and what has gone into the process of making it. Every day is different and it’s certainly never dull. I like the fact that our farm is smaller enough that I’m involved in every step from feeding the goats, milking the goats, making the cheese, packaging the cheese and finally meeting the people that are going to be eating it.
Why did you choose to come and trade at the Frome Independent?
The Frome Independent is just amazing. There are no other regular markets like it. It manages to create a buzz every month, it attracts a huge range of different people from near and far and really showcases independent traders.
What do you like about market trading – why not just sell online or through retail outlets?
The best thing about market trading is of course talking to people. Telling people your story and hearing about how they are going to use your product. And then you meet your regulars who tell you how delicious that slow roasted shoulder of goat was and it makes the early morning rush worth while. There’s also a great sense of camaraderie between stall holders so its liking meeting up for a good gossip every month.
Tell us about your own favourite or best-selling product. How much work goes into creating it, why do you think this is your strongest product?
I love selling goat meat as its not that common so people are really curious about it. We are also selling more variety of joints, chops, burgers so its really interesting to share recipe ideas. I also love how different our cheeses are from each other. the soft cheese is really mild, the brie is creamy with more ‘goatiness’ and then the hard cheeses have a much stronger flavour and are not always what people are expecting. I love watching peoples reactions. The brie, called Ebbor Gorge, is probably our best selling cheese – its a tricky one to get the exact texture right and is quite sensitive to temperature changes. Some people like it when its still young and quite firm and others like it when its super-ripe and dripping off the knife.
What is your favourite Frome shop, or stall to visit at The Frome Independent?
Its quite hard to get away from my stall as its always so busy on market days but I love the variety of hot food stalls so you can eat something different every month. I also love that you can always find something as an unusual present for someone or a unique birthday card.
And finally, some quick fire questions….
Favourtie book? A Suitable Boy, Pride and Prejudice, The Kite Runner
Describe your dream day off… Pottering in the garden on a sunny day (not too far above 20 degrees though – I don;t do heat waves well), perhaps with a G&T in the late afternoon sun
What are you listening to right now? Simone Kermes singing Handel arias
What are you cooking at the moment? cheesy (goats of course) pasta with roasted veg – I don’t plan meals much in advance, just look in the cupboards/fridge and see what needs using up
Thanks Sarah! You can find Wookey Farm trading as part of the wonderful cohort at Somerset Farmers Markets, in the centre of Market Place on Sunday 2nd June. Check out their website if you’d like to try out the campsite.