One of the many reasons we moved to Essex, apart from the beautiful sunshine that we are so lucky to have here was the access we had to locally produced food. After being a slave to lots of processed food living in London, we found that every time we holidayed in Essex and survived on fresh produced, grown locally and manufactured locally our health was always better when we returned home. So as soon as we moved here we decided that we would ditch highly processed junk food to a diet of locally grown, produced or bred food from Essex and our surrounding areas in East Anglia.
For a few years we just ate produce that we could buy from Farm Shops – fruit, eggs, juices, vegetables with the occasional pork product from places like Primrose Pork. However there is only so much that you can get from local farm shops and when our favourite one suddenly shut, we were left with just one which unfortunately didn’t have such a great name for itself with more than half of their products bought in from other areas in the UK.
What I didn’t realise though was that the local East of England Coop (not to be confused with the CoOperative as they are entirely different) would have a fabulous range of their own “Sourced Locally” produce and we’re 3 days into Sourced Locally fortnight too which makes it even more special. This has made it incredibly easy to be able to choose the best of East Anglia has to offer. It means that we are not only eating local food but the money paid goes straight back to the area to carry on the good work.
Today we did a shop at our local one (which sadly is being replaced by an Asda soon) but for a £48 shop we filled our fridge with some fabulous food that we can eat alfresco this week, if the sun keeps smiling on us.
We managed to pick up:
Suffolk Apple Juice
Suffolk Pear Juice
Suffolk Special Blend Tea Bags (which is absolutely sensational – best cuppa I’ve had in a long, long time)
Hadleigh Maid Milk Chocolate Teacakes
2 lots of Walnut Whirls
Fruits of Suffolk Lemon Curd
Hollybush Farm Cheese and Onion Pasty
Hollybush Farm Traditional Pasty
Hollybush Farm Pork Pie
Hollybush Farm Chicken Pie
Pasta Foods Pasta
Fairfield Farm Crisps
2 punnets of Strawberries
3 Katies Muffins
Thin Sliced Chicken
Golden Ale Beer
Box of Hadleigh Maid Chocolates
Pack of Fruit Teacakes
Our bags were busting at the seams! So for lunch we had an assortment of salad bits, of which I had a huge bunch of lettuce, the chicken pie, ham, chicken slices and half a bag of cheese and chive crisps and Andy chose the pork pie, pasty, ham and the rest of the crisps. Coupled for me at least with a cup of Suffolk Tea, and Andy chose the Suffolk Pear Juice (which must have been good because he went back for another glass, leaving me just half a glass to sample).
What surprised me was just how much you could get for £48 but just how huge some of the hand made items like the Milk Chocolate Teacakes were. I’m used to having the little ones by Tunnocks but these were about 3 times the size and a veritable feast with at least an inch of chocolate all round. Scrumptious.
Then tonight we’re going to have chicken and pea pasta followed by strawberries and cream so yet more delicious Sourced Locally goodies! #Iheartlocal Yum, yum, yum!
Hope you’re all enjoying the sunshine?