Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch Community Farm" is a ten-year-old community supported agriculture project in Forest Row, some 30 miles south of London. The project encompasses two farms, both biodynamic, both owned by the local community, and both selling the vast majority of their produce direct from the farms.
Tablehurst Farm is predominantly a meat-producing farm, rearing beef cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. Meat from Tablehurst has been a regular winner in the Soil Association Organic Food Awards. Plaw Hatch Farm is mainly a dairy enterprise and vegetable garden. Unpasteurised milk from the dairy herd is delivered to local households and made into a variety of products on the farm, including yoghurt and cheese.
As a community initiative, we are always keen for more people to become involved in our activities. Please browse the other pages of this site for more information about the Co-operative, the farms, what we are doing and why, and how you can get involved.
ur shop is a certified Demeter shop where we sell the full range of the farm's produce such as dairy produce, meat, fruit and vegetables, eggs and even the sheep's wool. We sell meat from Tablehurst Farm and source from other local organic producers. To offer a wider variety of Demeter produce and more exotic fruits and vegetables we have to import from overseas. An extensive range is available including juices, sheep and goats dairy produce, honey and freshly baked bread, cakes, biscuits.
Our aim is to supply a high quality farm produce to the local community and to provide a friendly, knowledgeable service. In this way we hope to encourage customers to take an active interest in the farm and the ethos behind biodynamic farming.
We are open Mon-Fri 10:00 to 18:00, Sat 09:00 to 18:00, closed on Sundays and most Bank Holidays
About our Co-op
Two farms, about 800 acres of land, one community initiative, training for young farmers, biodynamic methods, outstanding farm shops, award-winning organic and biodynamic produce, food so local it has barely moved, and as much community involvement as we can muster. It's hard to know where to start really.
A word about names
We have only ourselves to blame for this. "Tablehurst Farm" is one of our two farm enterprises. Likewise "Plaw Hatch Farm". However, "Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch Community Farm" is the community-owned co-operative which owns the two farm enterprises. Hereafter, we'll refer to it as "the Co-operative", or just "the Co-op" for the sake of everyone's sanity. We also need to explain where St Anthony's Trust comes in, but we'll save that for a bit later (see under ownership, below).
A potted history
The Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch Community Farm initiative was born in 1994 when it appeared that Tablehurst Farm might be lost to biodynamic agriculture after more than 25 years of careful husbandry by Emerson College. The college could no longer support the farm and, following a major community fund-raising drive, agreed to sell the farm assets to the community whilst retaining ownership of the land.
Thus was the Co-op founded early in 1995. At this stage, there was a clearly expressed intention that Plaw Hatch Farm - also biodynamic and only three miles distant - should also be brought into the Co-op in due course. It was owned at the time by a local charitable trust to whom it had been donated some twenty years previously. For a variety of reasons, this transfer did not take place until 2001, again following major community fund-raising.
So who really owns the farms?
One final transaction took place in 2005, transferring the land ownership of Tablehurst Farm from Emerson College to St Anthony's Trust. Thus today, individuals in the community - known as "farm partners" own the Co-op, the Co-op owns the two farm businesses, and St Anthony's Trust owns the farm land and buildings.