Not only do our fields provide fantastic learning opportunities, but also to provide excellent and often unexpected produce!
The fields that are not used for rearing our animals are utilised in other productive ways, including growing a massive 1000 pumpkins for our autumn events and hundreds of Christmas trees for the festive period!
Did you know we had our very own vineyard right here on the edge of Sheffield? In 2010 with the help of a number of fantastic supporters we planted a small vineyard in one of our fields. Now, ten years later, we grow three varieties of grapes: rondo, solaris and phoenix. These are entirely tended by our volunteers and in 2019 our wine was made available to the public in the farm shop, café and for weddings.
We currently produce fantastic red, white and rose still wines, as well as white and rose English Sparkling Wines.
Alongside our vineyard is our heritage orchard, with over 50 trees and nearly as many varieties. As well as a fantastic learning environment for our educational groups and Farm Tours, we use the apples to make cider. In Autumn our volunteers spent the day pressing our apples with Dick Sheppley at Woodthorpe Hall and have produced around 700 bottles. To launch the cider, we are having a cider weekend on May Bank Holiday weekend with samples, a Hog Roast, tours and much more!
Completing the symbiosis of our vineyard and orchard are our honey bees! Situated in the orchard and vineyard is our apiary, with around 10 hives. The bees are vital for pollinating our fruit crops and they also produce some of the best honey we have tasted! Our bee-keeping volunteers carefully look after the bees through the year and harvest the honey in early autumn when it is jarred and made available in the Farm Shop.
Fruit, veg and eggs
We have around 300 free range hens at Whirlow Hall Farm, many of whom you will have seen as you walk from the car park to the shop and café. By allowing our hens time to wander and scratch around and by getting eggs into the shop often within minutes of being laid, we think the flavour and colour of our eggs can’t be beaten(!)
We are currently in the process of setting up a small kitchen garden, which will focus on providing a superb learning environment for children and visitors of all ages. The herbs and vegetables from this will also go to supply our café and farm shop.
Alongside our kitchen garden, we grow hundreds of pumpkins every year to be picked on our Pumpkin Patch days and Halloween events. Keep an eye out for our autumn events!
Come winter all eyes turn to our home grown Christmas trees – we have hundreds of trees growing in our field, from tiny newly planted saplings through to 14 foot monsters! We primarily grow Nordman Firs with a small number of Norway Spruce. At Christmas we also stock a range of locally sourced Christmas trees, and offer delivery around Sheffield.