Last month we celebrated the official opening of a farm shop at our Pembrokeshire farm, Lower Treginnis. A disused barn has been converted into a stunning shop, where visiting children can learn about what happens to the farms produce after harvesting.

The farm shops story began back in 2016. Local carpenter Christopher James was working at the farm refurbishing a classroom, at the same time he and his wife were coping with the loss of their baby son. He said the farm became a ‘sanctuary’ and the kindness of the staff helped him through an incredibly difficult time.

He heard about Jewson Builders Merchant’s Building Better Communities programme and in March 2017 nominated Lower Treginnis for an award. Christopher and the farm staff team were overwhelmed when Farms for City Children was awarded the top prize: £50,000 worth of building materials.

Work began on the conversion but sadly completion took place as the pandemic hit, and an opening ceremony had to wait.

Finally, at the end of November 2021, Christopher James and colleague Carl Palmer of C James Carpentry & Joinery in Haverfordwest, Andrew McNabney, Andrew Wilson and Ian Lewis from Jewson, farm staff, children from Selwyn Primary School in East London and St Davids Mayor, Counsellor Allan York, enjoyed discussing the project and celebrating its official opening.

The children prepared bags of produce for everyone to take away, which included swede, leeks, squash, and Brussels Sprouts, all grown and harvested by children while staying on the farm.

The farm shop will serve as a packing station where children will weigh, collect and pack all the produce that they have harvested on the farm earlier in the week. Lower Treginnis sells their produce through the Peninsula Producers Food Hub which is a local online farmers market. Using the Open Food Network software, we can offer the local community the opportunity to buy quality vegetables whilst supporting Farms for City Children. This translates into a real purpose to grow on a large scale which in turn results in lots of purposeful opportunities for our visiting children to learn where food comes from first-hand. The shop is not open to the public but all produce can be found and purchased through the Peninsula Producers Food Hub.

Dan Jones, Farm School Manager at Lower Treginnis said “This has been a long time coming and the dream has now become a reality. I am so grateful to Jewson and this really is the gift that will keep on giving as we can now raise money for the charity by offering quality produce that the children have engaged with. A massive thanks to Chris for getting this project off the ground and for renovating the building to such a high standard.”

Neil Grindley, Regional Director at Jewson, said: “At Jewson, we feel strongly about supporting worthy projects that add value to communities across the country. Farms for City Children does brilliant work and we’re delighted that their prize money has now been brought to life with this addition to the site. We wish the team the best of luck with their new venture!”

Photo: Children from Selwyn Primary School join the opening of the Farm Shop (L-R Ian Lewis, Area Sales Manager at Jewson, Andrew McNabney, Branch Manager at Jewson, Sue Ford, Housekeeper at Lower Treginnis, Dan Jones, Farm School Manager at Lower Treginnis, Counsellor Allan York, St Davids Mayor, Fiona Day, Farm School Leader at Lower Treginnis, Christopher James and Carl Palmer of C James Carpentry & Joinery, and Andrew Wilson, General Manager at Jewson).