Friday, 6 May 2011

London Farmer's Markets - Free Range and Fresh In The Big City

Something for a rainy day by Sophie Caldecott collects adorable London stories of anything from music and poetry to baking. She wrote this piece for us on how you can bring a bit of the English countryside into your Big City cooking. 

A few days ago I spent a sunny Sunday afternoon wandering around the little farmers market just off Salisbury Road near Queen’s Park, stocking up on local free range eggs (much cheaper than supermarket bought ones), creamy butter and goats cheese for the week ahead. Every week, my flatmate and I get a seasonal fruit and veg box delivered by Abel & Cole.

They always put a little recipe book in with their goodies, and they’ve given us a surprise free gift almost every week – once it was half a pint of milk, another it was half a dozen eggs. More seasoned Abel & Cole groupies tell me that olive oil will be another free gift soon. There’s such a lot of character to our weekly vegetable shop, and I wouldn’t like to exchange that for a supermarket shop now.

The discovery of a regular, local farmers market gave me visions of eating seasonally all year round and getting all of my food from small, local companies. It’s good for the local economy and for the environment, not to mention how healthy it feels to be eating fresh, organic food. Obviously, high minded principles are all very well, but the cheapest and easiest option tends to win out.

For the moment, though, our combination of the farmers market and our weekly fruit and veg box is working out both easy and cheap. Do I sound a bit like a yummy mummy who walks around the city wearing wellies that have never seen the mud of the countryside? Oh dear, I think perhaps I do...

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