We are lucky enough to only be 10 minutes drive from an organic working farm which is run by Capel Manor College, the only further education college in London specialising in learning about the environment. They work hard to promote and celebrate all that local and sustainable food has to offer. Not only do they house a variety of animals, including many rare breeds but they are home to London’s only organic vineyard, a community orchard, a forest garden and a market garden.
In the past we have only briefly explored this wonderful space but when we went this time we discovered how much this working farm really has to offer. It helped that the sun was shining too! We started in the farm shop, outside there was some handcrafted stools for sale and inside a variety of vegetables from their market garden including spring onions and salad leaves as well as eggs from the chickens in the poultry paddock.
You buy your tickets for the farm from the shop where they have animal feed (£1) to buy as well as a great detailed map on the farm and the surrounding area if you are feeling like heading off the beaten track. We got free entry, part of the benefit of having a family pass for Capel Manor Gardens which now also includes access to Forty Hall Farm. In addition you can gain free entry to the three main events organised solely by the farm; lambing weekend, apple fair and wreath-making. For all other events (except for the Music in the Black Barn months music nights), adults get £2 off ticket prices.
Next door were goats and a couple of sheep (one Jacob sheep and one Lincoln Longwood). Archie was initially a bit disappointed but little did he know that in the barn there was a flock of sheep with their lambs and a herd of cows with a newborn calf which would capture his attention for at least the next hour!
We took a wander past the market garden and the vineyard along the farm track and spotted some of the older lambs out in the field named ‘upper willow’ and opposite there we spotted a beehive, owned and looked after by members of Enfield and District Beekeepers Association. We didn’t venture further than here as a certain someone was hungry and wanting to have our picnic lunch but a volunteer informed us that further down there was some horses and pigs. Next time!
In addition to all the farm has to offer, it is also host to a multitude of events throughout the year including the Enfield Food Festival and the Apple Fair. There are also some regular rural craft day courses on offer covering a variety of skills such as hedge-laying, to useful skills like mushroom hunting and foraging.
Forty Hall Farm is located next door to Forty Hall, at the top of Forty Hill in Enfield. The full address is: Forty Hall Farm, Forty Hill, Enfield EN2 9HA. The Farm and Farm Shop is open every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am-4pm. Admission is £2 for adults and free for children under 16yrs.