Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.

It’s British Food Fortnight – here’s why you should choose local!

We’ve slap bang in the middle of the British Food Fortnight. We’re extremely lucky here – we have thousands of brilliant local producers and, as the main harvesting wraps up for the year, we continue to enjoy the fruits of their labours. While shopping British is a great start, we’re hoping that post-Brexit, people will continue to demand British, and then one step further – local!

One thing which supermarkets make us forget is that fruit and veggies aren’t, in almost all cases, growing for eating all year round. Our modern world means it’s very easy to lose track of the seasons and the bounty from each one. We’ve come to expect that we’ll be able to find everything from tomatoes and strawberries, asparagus and broad beans on shop shelves all year round, at affordable prices. If we were shopping locally they wouldn’t by rights, be available. That’s why it’s so important that we read the label and establish where our food comes from. Those food miles come at a premium to the environment and your pocket – we were amazed when we spotted asparagus on sale at £15/kg in a supermarket compared to £7/kg when in season!

The British Food Fortnight is a fantastic time to remind ourselves what foods are grown locally and to take a moment to appreciate wonderful seasonality of British produce and some of the fantastic fruit and veg which is grown on our doorsteps.veg& fruit

Right now you can enjoy apples, pears, plums and quinces. These are all at their best. Keep an eye out though, for apples imported from Eastern Europe, at this stage they will be a year old; stored for a whole year using chemicals and cold stores.

Squash are fantastic at the moment too and you should still be able to enjoy some delicious British raspberries and blackberries. That does mean though, that sadly beans, strawberries and tomatoes are on their final legs, so if you’re lucky enough to track some down, enjoy your fill before they’re gone until next year.

If you want to make the change to seasonal food for 52 weeks of the year, not just two, then is the place to start. Switch to your local farm shop/butcher/grocer for your weekly shop and save money by buying fresh, in season, food.

You can use our local food map or Marketplace offering produce from  over 500 food producers and independent food stores, which can all be purchased online here.

You can even join the food industry and grow your own the Crop for the Shop by selling excess produce to your local shop on the BigBarn map flagged with a rosette. All helping build a social, local, food industry to replace the ant-social national one.

If you have a favourite recipe using British produce, and would like the chance to win a prize, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.

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