Pannington Hall Lane Wherstead Near Ipswich IP9 2AR
Pig farming is hardly a natural bedfellow with celebrity, but the engaging Jimmy Doherty has managed to combine the two. The BBC2 series Jimmy’s Farm brought to the small screen Jimmy’s struggles to reinvent himself as an organic farmer, when in 2003 he bought a rundown farm near Ipswich with a loan from that other Essex James, his schoolmate Jamie Oliver, and now everyone can enjoy the fruits of his labour. Children get a chance to feed the sheep, pat a ferret or build a den in the hazel and chestnut wood. Grown-ups will take pleasure in the farm shop, whose counters are bursting with trays of rare-breed Essex and Saddleback pork from pigs free to roam the farm’s pastures and forage in the woodland. Various types of sausage abound: choose from the classic Essex pork sausage or something more unusual such as the Stilton and garlic sausage named ‘Super Blue’ to honour Ipswich Football Club. On leaving the shop you’ll no doubt sniff another more enticing smell – some of the tastiest hot dogs ever – coming from Jimmy’s Field Kitchen next to his wife Michaela’s herb garden.