The other day I was invited to an event at a pub in Peckham. Not only did I discover the amazing Grub Club, an online diary of pop up events around the country, I also discovered FarmDrop.
The evening was an introduction to FarmDrop via their food. We were ushered in and given a cocktail of locally roasted cold brewed coffee (from Old Spike roastery) with sherry and grapefruit. It was a good start. And then the food began. There was a menu containing Vale of Evesham asparagus, Gloucestershire charcuterie, Kentish lamb, London pea shoots, lemon posset with rosemary shortbread biscuits and Chegworth Valley strawberries. Every element of the meal had a story, and the producers were there to tell us it. It was a moving evening (ok, that could have something to do with the cocktail) of passion and sacrifice. You really felt that producing this food was a vocation, and the people creating it were custodians, of a way of life and the environment.
It made me realise that although I really try to be aware of the food I eat and where it comes from, sometimes I turn a blind eye because it’s easier (and cheaper!). But really, everything you eat is a political decision, and what you eat says a lot about who you are and how you live. By buying well, you are supporting the welfare of the countryside, you are enabling people to live ethical lives and the world is a better place. Yes, it is more expensive, but what’s the cost of the alternative?
In this spirit, I have just done a shop on Farmdrop, where you are buying directly from the producer, so no middle men and more dosh goes to them. They say it is like a Farmers’ Market, but online, so it saves the farmers the time and energy of setting up a stall, and saves you from having to go to the market. I actually love going to our local farmers’ market, but we’ve always run out by Wednesday, so I’ve done a shop for then. I’ve gone a bit crazy and bought courgette flowers, a variety of beautiful tomatoes, plus the vegetable mainstay. I’m excited! Anyone got a good courgette flower recipe?