During my recent trip to the Hebrides I stumbled on a venture that really grabbed my attention. Traveling through the Isle of Harris, from the Port of Leverburgh towards Tarbert, I saw a sign for ‘Croft 36’. Not surprising you may think as the Western Isles are famed for crofting; a form of small scale food production where the crofter lives on and works on the land. However as I followed the sign I found Croft 36 to be something quiet unique.
Located in Northton Croft 36 is a shack from which you can buy; locally caught seafood, freshly baked breads and cakes, veg and other seasonal goodies.
It’s a self-service arrangement with payment made through an honesty box, which people graciously adhere too.
What I found most interesting and pretty canny is the outside catering business run from Croft 36. Freshly prepared ready meals from the delicious sounding ‘seafood lasagne’ to ‘locally caught crab’ soup can be ordered and taken away or delivered to your holiday home.
Whilst I didn’t get the opportunity to try the take-away I did manage to pick up some Stornoway Kippers and fresh baked bread to see me on my travels.
I love that Croft 36 not only allowed me to stock up on fresh, local produce but also gave me a taste of the island on my travels. Having stayed in the Hebrides before one of my frustrations has been getting access to produce that is grown and raised around the islands. I’ve always felt it a shame to eat the imported foods I buy in the mainstay island shops whilst produce like seafood, is shipped off to mainland Europe. So hats off to Croft 36 and next time I’m going back for seafood lasagne!
If you are traveling to the Hebrides anytime soon I highly recommend a visit to Croft 36.