Discover food treasures at your local farmers’ market
I have always been a big fan of markets. When I was growing up in France, buying food at the local market was common practice. My mother would grow lots of vegetables in her garden but she would always top up at the market. As a child, I remember these trips on Friday morning very clearly and I wonder if this was the begin of my love for fresh produce. In England, markets are perhaps not as developed as in France. But I hope you can still find one not too far from where you live. In my opinion, it is really worth the effort. Here are the 3 reasons why I think everyone should visit their local market:
1. Eating with the seasons
The produce on offer have usually been picked that morning or the day before. So not only do you get tasty produce, you know that they are from this season. Our bodies are designed to adapt with the seasons. Eating fresh berries (unless you buy them frozen) in the middle of the winter feels strange to me especially when you look outside the window and the ground is covered in the frost. Ok, we do import a lot of our produce but strawberries grown out of seasons in greenhouses will not have the same taste as the ones grown in the sun. Taste is crucial when you choose to eat real food.
2. Discovering new flavours
I visited the farmers’ market of Milford in Surrey recently situated on the ground of Secretts’ Farm Shop. I discovered a great stand selling freshly ground flour grown locally. Imbhams Farm Granary was started in May 2006 by James Halfhide and Margaret Barlow and is based at Imbhams Farm, Furnace Place Estate, in Haslemere, Surrey. You can’t get better than that. How wonderful to know that the grains were produce only a few miles away from where we live. They offer a selection of bread mixes including wheat free and yeast free options.
3. Feeling part of a community and supporting it financially
Before becoming a Nutritional Therapist, I had a 9am to 5pm type job (more like 8am to 8pm in fact) and because of these long hours, I didn’t get the chance to meet my neighbours or even visit my local shops on a regular basis; and forget even socialising with them. When you visit a market on a regular basis at the weekend or during the week, you can get to know local people including the producers themselves. It is a wonderful thing to discover and share. There is definitely a sense of community when you visit a farmers’ market. Give it a go. You may discover your new favourite ingredient and you may start new friendships. On top of that, by purchasing food from these local producers, we are supporting our local economy and promoting diversity and choice. Unfortunately, the choice of fresh produce is supermarkets is usually limited. If you are looking for something different, your famers’ market is the place to go.
If you are looking to cook with fresh ingredients and you are not sure how to go about it, feel free to get in touch. I love helping people discover new ingredients and I offer cooking workshops in London and Surrey, delivered in the comfort of your own kitchen.