Local and seasonal food
The idea of local produce is most often applied to food. food miles, the distance travelled from field to plate, are of increasing concern to many consumers. People are becoming more aware of the benefits to their health, the local economy, the environment and local communities of buying locally and seasonally.
There are many reasons why our food is travelling so far, and these include the use of centralised packaging and distribution centres, the transport of foodstuffs for different processing operations, importation of produce like fruit (95% of which comes from overseas) and cheaper labour costs overseas. In addition, consumers are travelling further for their shopping, with the average UK adult travelling about 135 miles every year by car just to shop for food.
In Somerset, there are plenty of ways to buy local and seasonal food. More and more producers are opting for selling direct to consumers from their premises, and in Somerset there is plenty of choice, fromLovingtons Ice Cream to Brown Cow Organics of Pilton, near Shepton Mallet. There are also a number of farmers markets, and several organisations which support, promote and even deliver, local produce.
Somerset Farmers Markets are held in a number of market towns. In Mendip the following towns have regular markets, and current locations/times are as follows.
Frome: Cheese and Grain market, (alternate Saturday mornings)
Castle Cary: The Market House (every Thursday morning)
Glastonbury: St Johns car park (once a month on Saturdays)
Wells: In front of the town hall (Wednesday mornings)
See the website to confirm dates, times and venues of these and other Somerset markets.
The Big Barn is national website which finds you your local farmers markets, farm shops, wholesalers, producers, butchers, nurseries, pick your own, restaurants, alternative therapists eand so on.
The Soil Association has an online organic directory, which has a searchable database of farms, allowing you to find the location of your nearest box scheme or farm shop.