After last week's success in finding good local cold-pressed oil, this week hasn't been great. I didn't manage one single meal that was entirely local, although most were mostly local (75%+). What stopped me succeeding was a queasy feeling that too much driving round looking for suppliers wasn't the best way forward.
This was the week I intended to find local meat. Horatio arrived home unexpectedly for vegetarian supper, and announced: A meal without meat is a wasted opportunity. Next year he's living in a student flat with four other young men, and I wonder how long he'll continue with that attitude will last once he sees how far his money will go.
There's a farm shop at the other end of the village, the sort that's in a barn: several people have recommended it to me. Huge disappointment - the vegetables are all bought in from all over the world, there are loose frozen veggies to help yourself to from a freezer, the meat counter didn't look appetising, and definitely wasn't local, and although the eggs were marked "from our farm" there wasn't a single chicken to be seen. So I left empty-handed.
My usual butcher supplies good meat, and mostly from the UK, but he's not a locavore. The monthly farmers' market in Henley is next week, so I should have better luck then - I didn't feel it was helpful to drive over to Reading specially.
Fish is similarly tricky, as we're a little way from the coast. But there are rivers near here. And fish farms. And the school holidays are about to start, so there'll be time to catch fish ourselves.
Instead, this week, all our vegetables, without exception, came from our box, so were grown less than an hour's drive way, or from the garden (especially herbs). The bread was all made with local flour, oil and honey. The milk - delivered with my veg box - comes from a farm near Marlborough, just over an hour's drive away. Not quite local, but better than the supermarket's offering, lower in food miles too. And I know where it came from, will try to take a photograph when I'm over that way next week. I'll also try to source some closer milk - sadly, the milk that's produced in this village at Lucy's Farm is all taken away by a huge tanker which holds up the through traffic which clogs up our tiny lanes ... but isn't there something mad about a farmer producing good milk which he can't sell to his neighbours, as practised by the whole of humankind for millennia???
Here are links to the international section of One Local Summer:
Amberism, week one - salmon patties
Amberism, week two - cheese omelette on home-made rye
Garlic Breath, week two - pork ribs, artichokes, grilled pointed cabbage
Rural Aspirations - lentil burgers, home-made buns, salad
Diario, week two - toad in the hole, sorbet
Links to related posts
One local summer, week one round-up
OLS, Saturday lunch in the garden
OLS, first thoughts
Useful links for locavores in the South of England
Rapeseed oil from Gloucestershire
My challenge to YOU
DO think about joining us in this project, even for one week - registration has closed for a whole summer of one local meal a week, but I'm inviting all bloggers to the challenge of producing one whole local meal this summer, and I'll include you in the weekly round-up of the main challenge. I've found - and I know I'm not alone - that the first meal sparked off a lot of thought about the food we eat here, where it comes from, how it gets here, who produces it and how much they are paid for that work. There's a bonus for you - so far, the food has all been delicious!
May time on Mersea Island - You may remember that at the end of last year I blogged about our visit to Mersea Island in winter, today we returned ... it's our nearest seaside, an hour...
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