Small farm in Rogate finds success amid lockdown by introducing gate sales
Lockdown could have spelled disaster for a small Rogate farm, but instead it has a positive success story to tell after launching a new farm gate sale.
Rother Valley Farm usually supplies pubs, restaurants, schools, universities and other businesses with free-range ethically reared meat, all sourced locally within Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and the Isle of Wight.
When the lockdown was introduced, Gilly Barwick said the business was ‘severely affected’.
But it came up with a way to support the business, as well as other local enterprises, by starting up a twice weekly sale at the farm gate.
Residents can buy free-range local meats cut by the farm’s master butcher, as well as breads and pastries made by a local bakery, fruit and vegetable boxes that are locally grown, milk, cheese and ice cream from a dairy, hand-cut flowers from a small local farm and biltong made by a South African business owner.
The farm gate sale take place every Friday and Saturday from 9am to 3pm.
Gilly said and the local community had been really supportive.
“I was concerned people might go back to keeping their usual shopping habits when the restrictions began to lift, but we have not experienced that,” she said.
“People have enjoyed coming to see us, we give a good atmosphere.
“People come back week after week.
“We are very grateful for their support, without them we wouldn’t have a business.”
This weekend will see the farm hold a South-African themed weekend, when they will be holding a braai and inviting people to try boerewors, bunny chow, koeksisters and other traditional South African dishes.
Gilly said: “All of this has come from a time that could have been very bleak for us and the other local business, but I believe we have turned this into a positive success story for ourselves, local small businesses and of course the community.”