Chloe Lomax
April 2017
Sustainable Communities: Over Farm Market

Over Farm Market was established in 1982 as a farm shop in Gloucester. Open seven days a week, you can find seasonal fruit and vegetables grown on their on-site farm, as well as local and British ware. They also hold seasonal events, and have a venue barn which holds events such as weddings and festivals.

They pride themselves on selling fresh farm grown produce with zero food miles. They keep their carbon emissions down by having one man that works on the farm. Each morning, the in-store workers will see what produce they need in the farm shop, and the farm hand will pick it from the fields. In the butchers, they provide local meats. They sell cow meat from Hewlett’s at Westbury-on-Severn, just 8 miles away, and they source their lamb from Churcham, a neighbouring village, just 4 miles away. They buy other products from markets in Birmingham, Bristol and Gloucestershire, hoping to support individual sellers and keep all their products sustainable. Only importing produce which is necessary, such as out of season fruit or vegetables, the majority of the store products are locally sustainable. Any leftover produce then gets used in the on site deli, keeping the loop closed.

Over Farm customers are mainly local, but they enjoy having customers from outside of Gloucestershire, such as London, as it is something they do not have in their area. This means they tend to buy more produce, and feel the reward of buying sustainable products. But as the generation of supporters that Over Farm started out with get older, they are now trying to re-gain supporters of a younger generation. They do not believe current 20-30 year olds have enough sustainable motivation, but they hope the next will. They hold work shop days for 8-10 year olds from schools, to inspire them to cook using local produce.

The petting zoo on the farm attracts visitors of all ages, so they like to keep the animals adventurous such as ostriches, to ensure the animals aren’t something customers will see on a normal basis. When they hold events, the money goes towards the upkeep of the barn, but this complements the farm shop by bringing in custom. Currently the barn has government funding for the upkeep as it holds historic buildings, such as the old milk parlour.