Green Issues: Farming for the future

We’ve had some pretty extreme weather recently. For just a couple of days, before the Beast from the East hit, I would look out of my kitchen window at the primroses, stand in the sunshine and feel an irresistible urge to eat salad.

That’s what happens in spring, you see. Our bodies come out of hibernation and we stop craving hearty, heavy soups and stews and head towards the cucumbers and raw carrots instead.

Then it snowed. It’s sent my senses reeling. I had started to clean all those areas in the house that accumulate stuff and dust, started to make plans for the spring and felt the need to get on and do things.

Then it snowed. Now I have to finish all the things I started, like planting seedings that need potting on, but have fallen back into wintery lethargy. However, the farmers don’t have that option and a fair few of them have sadly taken a hit in this cold snap. Lambs have been lost and crops destroyed.

To me, this means that if it is possible, we should all remember where our food comes from and try to support those who will still be feeling the financial effects of this month as the year turns once again towards autumn later on.

I have often talked about Riverford as being a great organic company and still hold to that belief. But we can’t all afford organic food all the time so how about making a compromise and buying from a local farmers market? There are so many around on different days and by supporting these markets we are keeping small producers going.

With the way the world is heading, with massive production, monoculture, bullying giant corporations, even the trade deals during Brexit, we need these independent producers more than ever and will definitely need them in the years to come. Chlorinated chicken from America? No thanks, I’ll stick to Creedy Carver chicken which is local and ethically reared.

Farmers markets are great places to pick up fresh food which is reasonably priced as the producers tend to be small companies or sole traders who work to produce just enough to make a living from selling what they have. These people work hard, take hits in extreme hot or cold weather and are part of our local community and economy. They need our support for their livelihoods.

There are markets in Buckfastleigh, Chagford, Tavistock, Okehampton, Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Bovey Tracey, Totnes and many more places further down towards Plymouth. Please remember this as you pick up your strawberries from Morocco in your weekly supermarket shop.

Laura White

Author: Laura White

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