I like shopping in farmers’ markets. Not because the food is necessarily cheaper or better (sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t) but because it is food shopping on a human scale. The choice is rarely overwhelming and people are willing to take time to talk.
The stall holders know what they are selling and can tell you about their food; customers in the queue often chat to each other. Last week we talked about why there was no yoghurt available (problem with the yoghurt maker) and chatted while waiting for vegetables about beetroot tart tatin (which we will be trying soon). Have you ever seen strangers in a supermarket check-out queue talking to each other?
We went to the market in Banchory last week-end – cheese from Devenick Dairy, pork pies from Wark Farm, organic vegetables from Bridgefoot Farm and venison from Mortlach Game. I really like the compactness of the Banchory market and prefer these smaller markets to big ones like Edinburgh.
The folk who tried the Fife Diet decided to live for a year on local food – that’s a bit too challenging for us but I like the idea of buying and eating food that hasn’t travelled far and, in these difficult economic times, keeping money in the local economy. I wish more local farmers got involved with them.