The more road miles your car collects, the less valuable it becomes. Apply that to our food, and imagine how much our imported fruit and veg is worth. While it may be cheaper, we are not doing our economy any favours buying abroad. A lot of us now want to buy British, but when you go to the supermarket, you have to settle for what is there.
Although supermarkets do sell British produce, they try so hard to get the prices down to rock bottom that they end up paying our hard working British farmers next to nothing. It is getting to the point where Britain is needing its own FairTrade organisation.
Well you could consider The London Farmers' Market the equivalent of that. The organisation enables British farmers to cut out the middleman and sell to the public direct. This means they can sell keep the prices at a fair price for customers, but still get a fair return for their efforts. And let's face it, wouldn't you rather chat to the guy who grew your onions than the cashier at the till, who accidentally ends up charging you twice for the same item?
At the supermarket, you can usually get most fruit and veg all year round. It has come to the point where a lot of us aren't even sure which food is meant to be in season anymore. I determine this by the quality. Once the pomegranates get smaller and they have more pith than pips, I know they've gone out of season. Supermarkets still insist on selling them though.
The London Farmers' Markets, on the other hand focuses on providing urban communities with only high quality local seasonal produce. They seek to increase farm incomes, and encourage sustainable (rather than intensive) farming methods. The farmers stick to traditional animal breeds, heritage fruit and vegetables.
So if you would like to meet the farmers, fishermen, and bakers who help put food on your plate, lookout for the nearest market near you. Every week The London Farmers' Markets set up in car parks, school playground, and town squares so that communities cannot only buy food, but socialise and share recipes.
There are currently twenty different locations where the markets are held, but if you feel your area is lacking, then just get in contact and make a suggestion. They are currently running in places such as Ealing, Brixton, Bloomsbury, Blackheath, and Balham; check out the full list here.
Want to know what is in season? Well plums are out, but tomatoes, apples, and pears are still in. Walnuts are just starting, as are Jerusalem artichokes and root vegetables. As for game, you should look forward to partridge, rabbit, pigeon, wild duck, and venison. And who should you get these things from? Stall holders include Wild Country Organics, Seriously Italian, Riverdale Farm, Giggly Pig Co., and many more.