With our summer getaway plans up in the air, we are keeping things local. Now more than ever, it’s important we support our local communities and the independent businesses within them. 

THE BENEFITS OF CHOOSING LOCAL

Shopping locally not only keeps small businesses alive but it’s also better for the environment; less fuel to get to the shops, less plastic food packaging and supporting local farms to keep their green spaces free from development. 

We’ve recently written about the benefits of buying fresh, seasonal foods and there’s no better place to find them than at the local farmers’ market or fruit and veg stall. Many local sellers offer organic produce which is responsibly produced and free from harmful toxins. 

You may also be surprised to find many products are cheaper than the big supermarkets. Tip –  towards the end of the day, many stalls offer huge discounts on any leftover produce, great if you are stocking up. 

Whether it’s strolling around a farmers’ market or heading to the countryside for some pick your own, shopping locally often means you’ll be moving more and getting a good dose of fresh air. Great for both our physical and mental health. 

HOW TO SHOP LOCAL

Do some research. Most markets run on set days and some stalls and farm shops may have reduced opening hours. Check your local council website or the links below for a list of local sellers.

Farming UK https://www.farminguk.com/farm-shops-map

Farm Retail Association https://farmretail.co.uk/find-a-farm-retailer/ 

Pick Your Own Farms http://www.pickyourownfarms.org.uk/

Local Food Britain https://localfoodbritain.com/local-food-search/

Plan ahead and only buy what you need. Local sellers do not have huge supplies with them so can sell out pretty quickly. Reduce waste by writing a list of which you items need and how many, this will ensure there’s plenty to go around. 

BYO Bag. Make sure you have some strong bags, like our Organic Cotton String Bag, to carry your goodies home in. 

Take cash. An increasing number of local sellers now accept card payments, but you wouldn’t want to miss out on a real find, so always carry a bit of cash just in case. 

Walk or cycle. If you are able to, leave the car at home and take a more eco-friendly mode of transport. Not only does this make it more enjoyable but with no time limit on the car park, there’s more time to shop. 

Talk to the sellers. A great thing about shopping locally, is you often get to meet the people who produced your food. Ask them about their business and for any recipes … you may even get a free sample! 

Limited on time or access? If you aren’t able to get out and about, Farm Drop can bring local produce right to your front door.  They work with more than 450 producers across the U.K, to bring ethically-sourced products to thousands of happy customers. Find out more here.

Do you prefer to buy locally? Let us know your tips for supporting your local food shops in the comments below. 

Try our favourite recipes to try now using seasonal fruit and veg.