In September 2013, we arrived in a small village called Mistley, in Essex in England to stay for 9 months. As we arrived, there was a local project underway – for 30 days people were being encouraged to only eat food that had been produced within 30 miles of their home. For most people way back in the day, this would have been the norm, but nowadays our food is flown in from all around the world, using lots of oil for transportation and disconnecting us from the source of our food. People used to know the farmers that supplied their eggs, milk, veg etc, but now we have no idea who produced our food – and how.
The people in Mistley were encouraged to get to know their local farmers, to discover the value and freshness of eating local, seasonal food and to enjoy the confidence that comes with knowing how and where their food was produced. We enjoyed this project so much that we continued it well past the 30 days, in fact, for our full 9 months in the are. It was surprising how easy it was once we were in the routine of shopping, and it was amazing to learn about eating what is seasonal. For example, in January 2014, there was no more local fresh fruit available! This highlighted for us the value of preserving food. Another thing we particularly enjoyed was discovering what food was available for free by foraging! We enjoyed blackberries, apples, rosehips, elderberries, mushrooms, herbs and more, all available as we learnt to identify what was growing around us.
You can read the full article by clicking on the photos below to enlarge them.
Lowena and I on the cover page of the Food Supplement, Colchester Gazette, Thursday Feb 15th, 2014
The article part 1
The article part 2
The article plus headline part 1
The article plus photo part 2