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It's all going on down on Alder Carr Farm

PUBLISHED: 11:17 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:20 26 September 2018

Alder Carr Farm, Needham Market PICTURE: Stephany Hardingham

Alder Carr Farm, Needham Market PICTURE: Stephany Hardingham


There’s plenty of exciting changes currently happening at Alder Carr Farm in Needham Market.

New farm shop manager at Alder Carr Farm Stephanie Wilson PICTURE: Stephany HardinghamNew farm shop manager at Alder Carr Farm Stephanie Wilson PICTURE: Stephany Hardingham

Alder Carr Farm is a collection of businesses, including a farm shop, cafe, gift shop, cake making studio and haberdashery, and a unique homemade ice cream business, Alder Tree.

“Alder Carr was opened in 1981 by my parents and originally started as a place for people to pick their own fruit and veg, but it has always been constantly evolving, and there are new changes afoot,” says Stephany Hardingham who now runs the business.

“We have taken on new farm shop manager, Stephanie Wilson, who is bringing in lots of wonderful new suppliers, many of which are based here in Suffolk, including Betty’s Gin, Woosters Bakery and Capel Pies.

“She has also been changing the layout, including a new deli area showcasing all the wonderful cheeses we stock, and making room for all the Christmas products we are now bringing in.

500ml tubs of Alder Tree ice cream PICTURE: Stephany Hardingham500ml tubs of Alder Tree ice cream PICTURE: Stephany Hardingham

“On the farm, we’ve made the difficult decision to stop our ‘pick your own’ fruit and vegetable growing, but we will still be producing fruit for our award-winning ice cream,” Stephany adds. “We have over 200 chickens producing eggs for the shop and rare breed Oxford Sandy and Black pigs being raised for a new hog-roasting business based here on the farm.

Alder Carr Farm is also delighted to have created a new partnership with local farming family, the Pembertons.

“We are currently putting many areas of the farm down to grass, and installing new fencing, so Tom and Jess can expand their livestock business here at Alder Carr. Come the spring, we will have Aberdeen Angus cattle and Lleyn sheep grazing on the farm, and supplying meat into the farm shop.”

Award-winning fruit ice creams are also handmade on the farm. The tasty treats are made from the finest natural ingredients and with an exceptionally high fruit content, creating the perfect balance between the fresh taste of sorbet and the rich creaminess of real dairy ice cream.

Alder Carr Farm, Needham Market PICTURE: Stephany HardinghamAlder Carr Farm, Needham Market PICTURE: Stephany Hardingham

The production of ice cream on the farm began in 1989 and almost 30 years later, are now sold nationwide. Produced in small batches, they come in 14 different flavours, including the farm’s one-of-a-kind ‘Christmas pudding’ flavour, made with Bramley apples, mixed spice and dried fruit infused with brandy.

There are also many exciting events happening at Alder Carr Farm between now and the end of the year. Stephany explains: “We will be running a small event over Halloween half-term with space hopper races, fancy dress prizes, and guess the weight of the pumpkin.

“We are also busy prepping for Christmas, with turkey and Christmas tree orders, as well as our own Suffolk Food Hampers, and cheese boards. We will have suppliers offering food and drink tastings throughout December, and our annual Christmas Food and Craft Fayre will be held on Saturday, December 1, with ‘sing a song’ with Santa and food and craft stalls.”

Alder Carr Farm is situated at Creeting St. Mary, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP6 8LX. For more information on any of the businesses on site at Alder Carr Farm, visit the Alder Carr Farm website or call 01449 720820.

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