3:52 pm, April 28, 2012
Local Food Goes Mainstream
The tipping point:
When a concept or idea gets to a certain level of exposure it suddenly tips out into the wider collective consciousness & becomes mainstream. I believe local food is on the brink of it here in Scotland. Buying food that has been produced as closely as possible to where you live sounds obvious but its taken till now to be widely accepted as a great way to shop and eat.
We’re good at food here in Scotland. We have a great natural larder & our government has a national food policy. We have the Fife diet championing the benefits of eating local. This month they launched a food manifesto with practical ideas on how to make a real difference to the health of the nation. We hope government are listening. There’s some great ideas in there on how food can contribute towards national health and well being.
There are food networks like Borders food network, Food from Fife & Taste of Perthshire showing us all where to find great local food. Food writers like Joanna Blythman are helping us find our way back to sensible eating of fresh local produce. Journalists like Stephen Jardine talk weekly in the Scotsman about food issues. If I’m name dropping here then so be it. Food starts with people and people talk to each other. This talking generates great ideas that can benefit us all.
Scotland has great produce, but as producers we need the outlets to sell it in. We now have a wide rural network of farm shops that grow and make their own produce like Gloagburn & Pillars of Hercules & fantastic urban versions like the Earthys in Edinburgh. Many towns and cities have farmers’ markets. Their point of difference is that you can get those artisan Scottish products and know where your food comes from. It’s a joy to be a part of that scene. For nearly 10 years we have despatched weekly to these shops, and stood at those farmers’ markets talking the local food talk & selling locally produced food to local people.
We’ve had fantastic support along the way from Slow Food and our local convivia inEdinburgh, Fife & Perth who understand that food starts with people. There are supportive high profile chefs who talk passionately about local food. So we have the food, the shops, the markets, the food writing, the chefs, and the political will to transform the way we shop and eat. It’s a perfect storm really. To quote Michael Pollan, “The great thing about food is you get to vote 3 times a day”. So there are 21 opportunities per week to make a difference. Choose local, direct from the producer even once a week to start with. Your shopping decisions makes a real difference to all of us local producers.
Talk to you next month
LAMB for EASTER
11:13 am, April 5, 2012
ORDER YOUR LAMB for EASTER:
Edinburgh Farmers Market Every Sat 9-2pm
Stockbridge Sunday Market Sunday 8th 10-5pm
or at our:
Honesty Shop at the farm open 7 days 8am-8pm for meat and eggs
Every year our teeny shop goes from strength to strength. One day I may staff it but until then I’m happy to keep it ticking over as a little local secret & trust to customers to enjoy passing on that bit of knowledge to their neighbors, friends & workmates. However I do want to know why customers come for our “Unique shopping experience” at the farm gate. Why do they tolerate occasionally muddy floors, the chance that there may not be any sausages in the freezer & they’ll have to have mince instead? In the course of a good bit of chat (surprise, surprise) its’ become apparent that people come to us for a variety of reasons but basically:
- TASTE: The produce is really good
- VALUE: The eggs are the less than perfect ones so we can sell them at a great price, 70p for 6 free range organic eggs (£2.39 in M&S)
- KEEPING IT LOCAL: Its a “good thing” to support your local business
& More Intriguingly
- TRUST: “Its really nice to be trusted to pay”
- COMMUNITY: “We take it in turns to do the egg run for the playgroup” “I get some for myself and some for my neighbor”
So come and find our shop here. Next time you are in the area pop in, get some of the best tasting, outstanding value produce from your local farmer, be trusted by us to pay for it, & get a dozen for your neighbor.
Have a great Easter weekend
Sascha & Hugh