Whether you live in the city or in the country there is always locally sourced produce to be found. When living in Hackney, there was a local farmers market, local honey and locally produced beer. Now we are living in rural Sussex, our available local produce has expanded with some real gems. Local food cuts down drastically on airmiles, is fresher and gives a sense of community as you support local businesses. Here are some of my local gems, all within a 1-2 mile radius.
These seem to have sprung up everywhere. I have picked up unpasteurised milk, handmade chocolates and handmade soap here so not just for fruit and veg. Try out your local one – use it or lose it seems to apply here.
These boxes are found at the end of drives on country lanes and contain the excess produce of chicken and bee keepers and enthusiastic cooks. I love peering inside these as you never know quite what treasures you will find. There are several near me which often have eggs, chutneys, jams, and honey for sale. You can even start your own honesty box and make a little money from excess produce.
Pick Your Own
This is my favourite place for locally sourced food. Not only can you get cheap, locally grown food but it’s a day out as well! I have taken toddlers to teens to the pick you own farm all with equal enthusiasm. Fruit and nuts are the most common fayre but its also possible to pick your own pumpkin for Halloween. It’s best to check their website/Facebook page before you go as its obviously seasonal and once it’s gone, it’s gone.
I’ll never forget picking a tub of blackberries in my hedgerow for a crumble and then going to the supermarket to find they were on sale for £2 for half the amount. Very satisfying. It is possible to forage for other food such as wild garlic and mushrooms but make sure you know what you are picking, it might be free but if it kills you it’s not really a bargain. Its also important to know what is actually ‘wild’. Raiding your neighbours’ garden is not ‘foraging’ its stealing and not really in the spirit of things.
Within the same distance we also have a cheese factory selling delicious cheeses made with local milk and a turkey farm for the Christmas turkey. There might be more where you are and if you want to be really local then you can always grow your own.