Foragers Foods - producing chillies and herbs for use in a unique range of tasty handmade relishes, chutneys, jams and smoked chilli products.
HAVEN FOR WILDLIFE
Biodiversity is at the heart of the Foragers enterprise. Wester Balfunning Farm is situated on an established wildflower and grass meadow, providing a rich, foraging haven for bumblebees and other wildlife.
Gary explained: “With a limited budget and the opportunity to purchase a small area of land, we embarked on what was to become a life changing ‘Field to Farm’ project in 2013. The field, an established wild-flower meadow, was a great starting point and is the inspiration for our business name, ‘Foragers’. We’re always striving to create and enhance areas for foraging pollinators, especially bumble bees and other insects and creatures, that have lost much of their natural habitats in recent decades. By helping them, they help us grow quality crops that are full of flavour.”
The family’s 2-acre orchard was planted in 2015 with 9 varieties of cider apple trees as well as some cookers and crabs.
Gary explained: “It takes a while to establish an orchard from scratch so, in order to create products in a shorter timescale, we started experimenting with a variety of plants and trees in two large polytunnels. With the orchard now starting to produce fruit, we’re looking forward to producing our own Foragers Craft Cider in the not too distant future – watch this space!”
Foragers Foods can be purchased direct from the farm, via their online shop
Gary and Jo also offer click and collect from the farm (by prior arrangement) or free local delivery to the surrounding villages (further details can be found on their website).
Their products are also sold via local shops and online farmers’ markets such as Stirling NeighbourFood.
Gary added: “Online local food hubs are springing up locally and throughout Scotland. This has been a really exciting development in recent years, offering us and other small producers an excellent selling platform and helping us reach more local customers through local events and inclusion in larger marketing campaigns.”