6 Days to go.....
Ive been busily planning during my spare time, a new Pop Up Market in my local villages, to go back to being able to buy locally, from local artisans, crafters, bakers, makers. Wander along, cycle, bring your bags, but try not to drive, if possible.
The point is, we have to travel to get what we need, and we are buying from huge conglomerates who wouldnt care less about the environment - they claim to but they are so vast the knock on effects are endless.
Even if you have home delivery services, the food has travelled to a central depot and sometimes 2-3 more depots before it reaches a store. The store worker most probably travelled to work in a car, with just a single person in, before loaded into a van and driven to your house.
So why cant we go back to how things were?
When I was young, I remember the frugal nature of my grandparents, how they could live on so very little and make it last, skills handed down through ration books and seasonal growing. A backyard or allotment growning plot, regular trips to the greengrocers in the village, with a stop off at the bakers, deli, butchers and handyman shop (where we got amazing packets of seeds or onion bulbs, and got lost in the aisles of wonder!). The milkman would deliver the dairy products and food was stored properly in jars, tins, in larders and finally the fridge. WHAT HAPPENED......I dont remember much plastic, but I do remember collecting the corona bottles of cream soda to cash in at the corner shop! What plastic was there? In reality I think it was only on cleaning products like bottles of fairy liquid, and the odd wrapping here and there.
The Butcher used a greaseproof paper for his goods......brown paper bags at the greengrocers, more waxed paper at the Deli and the butter came in paper and the milk bottles were glass. Now this isnt a viewpoint from rose tinted glasses, this was the reality, and I am not 'that' old! Tuppleware was endless - whole cupboards of it in Grandmas house, of different colours and sizes, and it was precious. Comments like 'cynthia has my cake tuppleware so you can have the tin round', counting the loans of storage in and out of the cupboards.
Wouldnt this be the start of the change? We have become spoilt with global trading and travel, with foods coming from around the world, but to what cost? Can we really survive on a bootstrapped budget and seasonal only? Have you tried to sustainably shop, even in a respectable supermarket like Waitrose, you would exceed the free parking limit reading every single box, jar and packet. Sometimes is the likes of Aldi and Lidl that suprise me the most with the frugal and limited nature of the food choices, and their sourcing is getting better and better (and its very kind on the wallet).
What do you remember? The relaxed sense of community? The variety and abundance? Meeting shopkeepers and minimal plastic?
Well come and join us, Saturday 2nd February from 9am - 12pm at West Hendred Village Hall, Ginge Road, West Hendred and lets try, between us, to bring the community buying power back!