Farm shops in Britain
Here at 'Buy British' we have been busy compiling a list of Farm shops throughout the UK from the tip of Cornwall in the South West , through the rolling Welsh valleys, across the golden sun blessed plains of Norfolk to the crisp clean air of the Scottish Highlands.
So we have to ask ourselves, why when we have all this fantastically fresh produce right on our very doorsteps, is much of the food we eat is flown and shipped half way around the world?. Hopefully you consciously buy local where you can already, but read on prospective foodies for some more good reasons.
Have you noticed how the fruit and vegetables in supermarkets are often all the same size and shape? Last time you bought a pepper were you astounded at how big it was? I guess probably not …. It doesn’t take a thicked rimmed spectacled boffin to work out that the fruit and veg purchased from the supermarket is often up to 50% smaller than their farm shop equivalents. In “supermaketland” where profitability is pursued endlessly, the only way farmers can meet the price paid by supermarkets is to spend less time growing and get their groceries onto the shelves as quick as possible. So there you have it, or rather you don’t, smaller plums and cucumbers to name but a few of our country’s iconic vegetables have become the norm across many UK households.
Yum Yum, get me a box of that pronto Mr Farmer
Here is something that demonstrates how far we have veered of course…did you ever wonder why some tomatoes just taste of water? Well my British buying chums, a significant proportion of Spanish tomatoes that end up on British supermarket shelves are grown not in soil, but …wait for it… are grown completely in water (ok and a few rocks). These hydroponically grown tomatoes are harvested almost two weeks before their maturity to keep them firm, so they don’t spoil and are easier to transport. They then go into cold storage for weeks where they are kept in ethylene chambers to help them acquire a luscious, smooth, red and thick skin and ripen.
By constantly feeding these little toms on a diet of nutrient enriched water they not surprisingly grow faster than in the soil but in return they taste…well… well of water… which in our book is by all accounts tasteless.
So enough of fruit and veg, you get the idea, but what about meat and poultry? I hear you holler. After the scares in the early ‘90’s Britain tightened up our food and farming regulations so that they are one of the most stringent in the world. Yes, there is practically no chance of you eating daisy the cow now and barking like a dog in a few years. Contrast that to some other countries which don’t have similar regulations, don’t check for Mad cow’s disease, still feed cattle on a diet that caused it in the first place and cover up and scandals where possible.
Add to that Chicken from all over Europe is sent to Holland, where it is injected with water to plump it up, before it arrives on our British Shores. Madness when we have perfectly good farm free range chickens that live just miles from your dinner plate.
Another factor to consider is all the packaging waste that we create by unnecessarily buying individually wrapped fruit and vegetables. You got to ask why we need a sticker on apples, sat on a polystyrene tray, covered in cling film, when we can get them pretty much fresh from the tree at your local farm shop. Not only do you save this wasteful packaging from being put in a hole in the ground or incinerated (that’s what happens folks, then you breathe it in, nice), but you get fresher produce and a feel good feeling that you are doing your bit to help reduce Britains CO2 emissions.
So we hope that we have you given you some reasons, to help support British Farms and farmers, who are up at dawn and bed a dusk. Buy direct from their farm shop, we connect you directly to British farmers and cut out the supermarket middle man. It really is a win-win situation, you get better fresher bigger fruit and veg, at the same price if not cheaper than in the supermarket. You might even meet some of your neighbours down their too… help re-build your local community by buying locally grown produce
Use the search below to locate a farm shop in your area, or search for farm shop and your town. Yes even you city dweller!, stop before you put that pizza in the oven chubby and take a moment to check out your nearest Farm shop below and put a smile on the farmers face.