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Salad crops are grown all year round.
Is the future on our doorstep?
Eating seasonally and locally is being hailed as the way forward to ensure Britain's food supplies for the future are secured – but is this really possible? BBC Dorset met two food producers from Bridport who think it is.
Bridport's status as a honeypot for lovers of local and seasonal produce was given a helping hand by a certain Mr Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The TV self-sufficiency guru may have upped sticks and moved River Cottage west to Axminster but his legacy lives on.
Simon Holland and his family farm 80 acres at Washingpool Farm, North Allington. They grow salad crops all year round – thanks to a number of polytunnels.
Simon Holland with his potato crop.
They also produce many other vegetables and fruit in abundance which they sell in their farm shop, at the Bridport farmers market and through other shops in the town.
Simon said "There are gaps in the supply when the winter vegetables run out and we're waiting for the summer produce to ripen... if you buy locally you know where it's come from".
The one thing the farm isn't is organic but Simon is adamant that the public should feel reassured about his produce because it's grown on their doorstep.
Japanesechef Shige Tazekoe using local ingredients
Up the road is Denhay Farms, run by Amanda Streatfield whose local food operation has gone national. Her dairy herd produces cheese for Waitrose and Marks and Spencer.
Amanda though remains firmly committed to the local food scene which is why she took on the task of organising the Bridport Food Festival, an annual celebration of local and seasonal food.
The first event began in 2003 to capitalise on the interest generated by Bridport Farmers Market and a trend, helped by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall towards local and seasonal food.
The 2008 festival made a point of demonstrating how it's possible to create authentic international dishes using local ingredients. Japanese chef Shige Tazekoe from Chideock prepared sushi from local fish and vegetables, though the rice obviously had to be imported.
Rows of lettuces at Washingpool Farm.
To ensure that future generations buy local and seasonal food both Simon Holland and Amanda Streatfield believe that youngsters need to be fully aware of where their food comes from.
Simon recently organised a schools gardening competition. He's also set up partnerships between 12 local farms and schools to ensure the children understand that what they put in their mouths, comes out of the ground.
Simon and Amanda are hopeful that if the trend for local and seasonal food continues, the public will be doing their weekly shop at their local farm or farmers market rather than the supermarket.
last updated: 03/07/2008 at 15:23
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