Monday 30 November 2020

Sunday 29th November - Lockdown 2 - Day 25 - Home Grown ingredients in Tortillas

After podding the beans yesterday, today was using them in the tortilla filling for lunch. We also used home grown onion, and home grown tomatoes, from the tomato plant in our bedroom that has really got going again now the heating is on a lot more!

We had a similar number of tomatoes in the salad on Saturday too!

We've also added chicken from our local butchers (sourced from near Ripon, North Yorkshire, and some dried kidney and pinto beans as well as our own. 

Friday 27 November 2020

26th November 2020 - Lockdown 2 - Day 22 - Pumpkin Chutney

Yesterday, I set to and made a batch of pumpkin chutney (well from what is to be honest an orange coloured squash!)

The first task was the peel the flesh, get the seeds and pith out and then chop up the squash into small pieces ready for cooking. 

I needed two pans into which also went about half a kilogram of brown sugar for each, which gives the chutney a nice darker colour, and about 3-4 cm depth of pickling vinegar into each pan. Into one pan I also chopped up some ginger and into the other I put a tablespoon of both chilli flakes and garam masala. 

The mixture was bubbled for at least three hours on a low heat, stirring every so often and then near the end mashing the mixture and increasing the heat to ensure a decent consistency and no vinegar was left visible as liquid. 

The mixture was then transferred to sterilised jars, it is best to use jars from such as indian sauce mixes rather than jam jars for this because of the type of lid as long storage of chutney containing vinegar will eventually corrode certain lids. The jars were sealed and left to cool. 

27th November 2020 - Lockdown 2 -- Day 23 - Podding beans

 Just a short blog today to say that I have spent a lot of it podding the ying-yang and borlotti beans that have been (or bean!) drying in an upstairs bedroom for the past few weeks. 

This isn't all of them either - the pods will go into the compost heap and the beans are being stored for the next time we have tortillas!

Thursday 26 November 2020

25th November 2020 - Lockdown 2 - Day 21 - Moon and Mars

 Just a quick one for this evening. I am busy learning how to use my new Omegon LX3 Minitrack for astronomy photography, amd indeed the camera settings necessary for this. 

Last night was clear and so I got a nice picture of the moon for starters. 

The next one is of Mars, in the constellation of Pisces. I'll need to work on this another night, to try and produce an image of Mars without the "starburst"effect, this was on a 30 second exposure with the clockwork motor running on the tracker, however, the image is sharp and the colours of the stars in the shot are noticable. 

I need to look at layering multiple photographs as well and experiment with different aperture and ISO settings and timings. However, tonight was all about just learning how to use the tracker so it was a good result!

Tuesday 24 November 2020

24th November 2020 - Lockdown 2 - Day 20 - Book Review and home grown

Recently I have finished reading "A Green and Pleasant Land" by Ursula Buchan, borrowed from the library just before the second lockdown. 

There's a collective folk memory based on the "Dig for Victory" poster, an idealistic image of everyone on the home front growing their own crops and being self-sufficent. This book sets out to explain what actually happened and the different approaches to ensuring that the nation had enough to eat during the wartime years. 

Much has been made of how parks and public spaces were turned into allotments and how it was encouraged for people to turn over large amounts of their garden to fruit and vegetables. However, a survey done in 1944 showed that under half of households grew some of their own fruit and vegetables either at home or on an allotment. There would be many reasons for this, not least of which either space at home or lack of time or manpower to undertake this, though many observed during the war that many who could have grown their own did not do so. 

The book also looks at cultivation on farms, the efforts of the Women's Land Army, how gardening was covered in the media, and how changing farming practices, for instance with chemicals, changed the landscape and habitats. The efforts of the WI, particularly in preserving fruit and distributing food, are also documented. 

My view of grow-your-own is this - if you have room to grow something for yourself, you should. Whilst even our present Covid-19 crisis does not compare to the hardships and issues encountered in the Second World War, those who can take a little of the pressure off the food supply chain should do so, and indeed reduce their food miles and reap the benefit of ultimate freshness that the market can't provide. That being said, I acknowledge that not everyone can do this, though I often mention my grandparents growing tomatoes and cucumbers in the window of a tenth floor council flat in inner city Leeds! 

It is not about total self sufficiency either, most of us are not lucky enough to have the two or three acres that would make this even remotely achieveable. However, with a little planning you can have elements of many of your meals that are entirely your own growing efforts. 

Today, for instance, we had home grown preserved pears on my porridge and home made damson jam (damsons from the allotment) on my oatcakes at breakfast. At lunch, a home grown apple with more damson jam on one of the sandwiches. At tea, with the pie was home grown potato, as well as home grown carrots and parsnip, and a little spinach beet, broccoli and some very small sprouts (the latter three are pretty much at the end of the crop now!). These are all from the allotment and served two people.  

Even if you don't have that much room, pears and apples can be container grown minarette trees and carrots can be grown in an old dustbin or tyre stack. Spinach beet is a cut and come again crop, so should be able to be grown in a large container like salad leaves. 

Monday 23 November 2020

23rd November 2020 - Lockdown 2 - Day 19 - Cycle Ride and Kestrel

 A brighter morning this morning, although a lot colder and there may well have been a touch of frost overnight. I had to go into York today, so decided to cycle through some country lanes on the way there, some of the same route that we took yesterday, although it was a lot quieter today. 

Most trees have lost their leaves now, although the ivy that has colonised these trees is flowering

The wind across these fields can be quite strong and I think that the twists and turns of the branches of these trees has been the outcome of decades, if not a hundred or more years of such buffeting. 

A lot of sheep are out on the fields and it is obvious that a ram is having Christmas come early!

One wonders what the gossip is in this huddle in the middle of the field!

Finally for today, I frequently see a kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) perched or hunting while I am out cycling, in fact some have regular territories, often near busy roads. This one, however, is near a farm in a tiny village called Catterton, and I see it quite often perched in a tree or hunting over the nearby fields. They do seem to be wary of humans in my experience so don't often have chance to photograph one but this one was watching me from a farm building cautiously having flown off from a nearby tree when I cycled up. 
However, the other week I saw one chasing off a buzzard when I was cycling near Towton! (some gulls today were chasing a buzzard off too!)

Sunday 22 November 2020

22nd November 2020 - Lockdown 2 - Day 18 - Cycle Ride and Jerusalem Artichokes

Today started off quite cloudy and cool but gradually brightened up during the morning. We went on what is one of our regular cycle routes through the countryside, which is usually quite quiet, but this morning lots of walkers, joggers and other cyclists seemed to have had the same idea! Still plenty of space for everyone though on country lanes. 

The big open fields where last week there were hundreds of gulls, starlings, crows and redwings picking over the ground were quiet this week, though further on there were black-headed, common and a few herring gulls. Sheep in the fields were doing what sheep generally do, eating grass although in one field they were just sitting around, obviously on a break from working! Whilst I think most of the lamb round here goes to more local customers, I feel very sorry for those farmers that have built up a successful export business and will see this in all likelihood ruined by Brexit. The lamb we had at lunchtime, bought at our local butchers and supplied from a farm three miles away, was delicious, slow cooked in the oven for four hours and served with our own parsnip chips, home grown carrots and potatoes, and some bought in swede, peas and a jerusalem artichoke. We've not eaten the latter before, but seeing them in a greengrocers in Garforth, Leeds (where I would normally be working in a charity shop if it wasn't for lockdown), I decided to try one, and for 23p it wasn't really a waste if we didn't like it! 

So, a quick look in our go-to book for grow your own - Your Kitchen Garden (George Seddon and Helena Radecka - written in an era when I think you can guess who did the cookery section!) for ideas on how to cook one, and found that slicing and parboiling it for a few minutes until slightly soft, then popping it in the chip pan with the parsnip slices was the best method for today. The jerusalem artichoke has a slightly sweet taste but would do well as crisps actually. Very nice anyway, and we are wondering about growing some next year, but are aware that they are difficult to get rid of if growing in the ground, so maybe a big plant pot might be best. 

Saturday 21 November 2020

21st November 2020 - Lockdown 2 - Day 17 - Remembering Hverir, Iceland

 Back in 2010 on our second trip to Iceland we drove from Akureyri to the Mývatn area to see the various volcanic features and to explore the lake area. One of the places we wanted to visit was the Hverir Mud Pots, an area of volcanic activity to the east of the lake, just over the next hilly area from the lake. 

This was an incredibly alien landscape, in fact it was more like Mars than anything here on Earth!

We didn't stop long as the stench from the sulphur was quite overpowering but seeing the strange colours and bubbling pools was something special.

Friday 20 November 2020

20th November 2020 - Lockdown 2 - Day 16 - last Autumn

 Been a mostly indoor day today with just a quick trip to the allotment to fetch a couple of parsnips for tea, so here's a picture of a rather obliging sparrow in Muenster in late October 2019. 

Thursday 19 November 2020

19th November 2020 - Lockdown 2 - Day 15 - Digging Over

 A lovely day today although a fair bit colder than of late. I popped up to the allotment to carry on the general tidy up work that needs to take place at this time of year. This time it was making a start on the area where some of the beans have been grown this year. A few beans are still on the plants drying out but most are now inside drying on newspaper in a bedroom. I must start podding these soon before the girls come back from university as they may wish to get to their beds! 

Although I have heard quite a bit about no-dig methods, I still feel that hoeing the area then digging over is the best for our allotment, although we don't dig the permanent areas where all the fruit and the asparagus is. Often a local robin or blackbird will come and have a look and gobble up a few tasty worms or grubs! It also is a good way of getting rid of the grass that seems to invade at times, as well as some perennial weeds such as docks. We don't have any raised beds, originally we did put some wooden borders around some of the areas but they rotted over time and as we know where our paths are there wasn't really much point in replacing them. 

The only remaining areas left to dig are where the swing frame is, that our beans grow up, and out of shot a wigwam made from hazel poles. The other structures made from hazel have been moved down to the section of the allotment that they will be needed in next year, and the remaining ones will follow once the remaining beans are harvested.

The pot lemon tree is now fully wrapped up, with just a small area of the soil outside the wrapping to allow for rainwater to go into the pot. There's a slight frost forecast tonight although I don't expect it will be bad and will I think be gone by morning. 

I have been leaving the nasturtiums thinking that a frost will kill the leaves and save me having to weed them but it looks like this is a job for the weekend otherwise the leeks and parsnips will disappear under them!

The bird feeder at the allotment is visited by rather excitable coal tits and blue tits, as well as a local tribe of house sparrows. A dunnock cleans up underneath! Starlings are clinging onto the bird feeder in the garden which is way too small for them to get a proper grip but they do seem to get something to eat although they spill a lot of bird food onto the ground. There is a dunnock and a robin that will appreciate the seed scattered on the ground though! The sparrows in the garden will be fat ball shaped soon!

Wednesday 18 November 2020

18th November 2020 - Lockdown 2 - Day 14 - Indoor Growing

Under the present lockdown rules, you can go for a walk with one person not of your household so I took the opportunity to have a very breezy and refreshing walk with a friend near where I live. We are deep into Autumn now, although it is still very mild for the time of year, and the trees have lost most of their leaves. 

Indoors, we are growing a few things. There's a tub of salad leaves just gerninated on the windowledge of the living room

There's a tub of radishes on the windowledge of the spare bedroom. We've given them quite a deep pot to grow in but whether they will grow quite straggly and thin remains to be seen. 

In our bedroom the tomato plant is happy with the central heating being on and at least two tomatoes are now ripe and several others are growing well on the plant. 

I have started off a few peppers in the bathroom but at the moment they have not germinated. 

Even if you have limited space outdoors, it is still possible to grow a few things for yourself. Our house faces east-west and so light levels are not as good as a south facing window but still we have success with a few things indoors. My grandparents grew tomato plants in the window of a west facing flat on the 10th floor of a council tower block! We've even grown baby carrots indoors in a deep tub - the shorter carrots are ideal for this. 

Tuesday 17 November 2020

17th November 2020 - Lockdown 2 - Day 13 - Purple Carrots

We received as a gift some "funky" vegetable seeds, one of which was some purple carrots. So, earlier this year they went in one of three tyre stacks in the allotment. We grow carrots in tyre stacks to protect them from carrot flies, these are insects that fly near the ground so by raising carrots up (or if this is not possible using some very small holed mesh) one can protect the crop. 

Carrots are included in the same rotation as parsnips, onions, leeks and garlic and this year the patch used is also home to some rather enthusiastic nasturtiums and marigolds which, once the onions are harvested, we allow to spread to act as a very insect and bee friendly ground cover. 

The carrots have recently been protected with straw to insulate the roots once the weather turns colder, but right now we've not yet had a frost here, which is unusual. 

And there you have them, purple carrots! Or rather, purple skinned carrots as they are the usual carrot colour on the inside - which I actually was a little disappointed in lol!

In case you are wondering, most of our parsnips are much bigger than the one shown but we only needed a little one for this meal as we had plenty of other ingredients including home grown potato, spinach beet and a few small sprouts. 

Monday 16 November 2020

16th November 2020 - Lockdown 2 - Day 12 - "Unexpected" Events

For many people living here in the UK, untoward natural disasters and other emergencies have been something that happens to other people. Most people don't have to cope with more than a few inches of snow for a few days or maybe a fence blown down in a gale. I've seen on the television or heard on the radio how some people cannot cope with a couple of inches of snow on the ground and there is often a  risk averse culture that closes many schools at the first hint of snow. The way in which some radio and newspapers report weather events of the prospect of such events is sensationalised and does seem to make out that stepping outside is far riskier than it actually is. Don't get me wrong, for some sections of society, snow and ice can cause mobility issues, but when I think back to childhood and - despite having some really snowy winter weather at times - my primary school never closed for a snow day despite being up a hill and my secondary school only once, and that was due to the boiler packing up. (I didn't hear the announcement on the radio that morning and actually had walked to school in deep snow to discover it was shut!)

In some parts of the country having to cope with the effects of heavy snow are regular event in winter and you find in those countries that get a lot more snow than we do here in the UK, they are better equipped and organised to deal with it - in fact the morning after we had arrived in Moscow in late March 2014, with snow falling when we landed the previous evening and all night, the roads and pavements had been cleared and all was running normally with transport. We get snow every year in the UK, it should not come as a surprise and I do think that we should be able to cope as a country more easily than we do. 

Flooding is an increasing risk for many people as extreme weather events with large amounts of rainfall happen more frequently. There is a tendency more often nowadays for the "jet stream", that carries Atlantic weather systems across to the UK from the west, to get stuck in a repeating pattern, so rather than an alternating pattern of rain then settled weather, the weather systems keep rolling in off the Atlantic. 

For the south of Englang in particular, extreme hot weather is happening more frequently in summer, temperatures that have been unheard of until the 21st Century have been recorded - it might not sound like much to someone reading this blog in the Persian Gulf or Arizona but 100 degrees Farenheit (37-38 degrees Celsius) is very hard to deal with here in the UK as our buildings are designed to keep heat in rather than keep the inside cool, and most homes and many offices do not have air conditioning. 

Aside from weather, unexpected domestic events can happen. During the seventeen years I ran an IT department, I had to deal with two lightning strikes on the building, a leak in the airconditioning system on the servers, a crane snapping a telephone wire to the building, road workmen drilling through another phone cable and various power failures. I spent a lot of time on emergency planning, and we as a country, both nationally and in our own domestic settings, need to get better at being prepared and resilient against unexpected events. 

However, the Covid-19 pandemic is the first event for some time that has affected the whole country and despite having had reports and committees on preparations for such an event, this Government seems to have been lacking in planning for this, and has not been very successful at all in managing the situation. This has had, as many of you will be aware, a huge cost in lives and in livelihoods. 

Panic buying at the start of the pandemic created artificial shortages of many goods, and it took quite a while for the supply chain to resume a more normal status though some changing demand, particularly in such as flour where demand in catering stopped and demand at home rose, was less expected. Home delivery services were overwhelmed and huge queues built up outside supermarkets as numbers inside were limited. 

As we ourselves had been storing additional food in case of a no deal Brexit for some time, we were protected to some extent from shortages, although such as gluten free bread and cereal (for one of my daughters) was an issue for a little while. We are much dependant on supermarkets than many other people, but even so at one point, the local butchers had very little meat left one afternoon when I went round to get some chicken. 

This brings me to the looming inevitability of the end of the Brexit Transition Period. Many people assume that if there is some kind of deal at the last minute, all will be well, but as the UK is leaving both the Customs Union and the Single Market and a whole host of regulatory frameworks, there will still be a huge amount of disruption to trade. The systems for processing many thousands, if not millions of new customs declarations are not ready, not enough customs agents have been trained to deal with these, infrastructure at ports is not ready and far fewer permits have been given to UK lorry companies than are needed for the volume of trade with the EU. 

Thus, there will be disruption. At the very start of next year, the effect may be slight, due to the New Year holiday and the fact that importers will have been able to schedule deliveries a little bit ahead for just before the end of year. But storage is not infinite and many products, such as some fruit and vegetables, rely on short lead and transit times to bring them to market whilst still fresh. As we move towards February and March, local supplies of such as apples and salad crops will be diminishing, and reliance on imports grows every year at that time, in fact by early Spring this was historically known as the "hungry gap". 

As supplies run short, prices go up. This will hit many consumers hard, many already stretched by unemployment or other hardship caused by the pandemic. Those of us who have perhaps a bit of money to spare should step up and help those without through such as food banks. Community work will be important to ensure no one is left vulnerable.

Ideology does not fill stomachs. Three word slogans do not fill supermarket shelves. Not just here in the UK, but in many countries it has been the case time and time again that sections of the population have been persuaded to support leaders who then go onto enact policies that cause harm, whether it is to the environment as in Brazil presently, or persecution of minorities, failure to safeguard the vulnerable or keeping people poor through systemic inequalities. Somehow or other we need to ensure that facts rather than distortions, complicated but right arguments rather than simple but wrong ones win through and also that we build a society that looks after each other and in which everyone is supported and fed. 

In my Small Steps blogs below, among other things I look at resiliency and preparedness

Sunday 15 November 2020

15th November - Lockdown 2 - Day 11 - "Corporate Diet"

Before I start, and before I get piled on, I respect anyone's choice to choose any particular diet based on their own ethical frameworks. This isn't what this blog is about and each to their own. 

I have been very concerned of late by supermarkets pushing what are often ultraprocessed foodstuffs marketed and supported by big corporations under the guise of "plant-based" or "vegan". I first started looking into this when I saw a big stack of black plastic and plastic wrapped ready meals in a supermarket under a big sign advertising "Veganuary" last year. It struck me as very odd that what is purported to be a diet that is marketed as being "better for the environment" should be used as a pretext to push what looked to be very processed foodstuffs containing a multitude of ingredients, not all of which I recognised, in what is often a difficult to recycle plastic format. 

One of the first things I looked into was the term "ultra-processed". I was already familiar with the term "processed food", but this is a term that denotes a very high level of manufacturing involvement and processing in the ingredients of products, often pre-prepared meals and other items. 

Joanna Blythman - a regular columnist in various newspapers - sums up "ultra-processed" here very well 

I also came across the terms "pea protein" and "pea isolate". Now, on the face of it, peas, what can be wrong with peas? In their normal form, cooked or raw, they are a tasty and nutritious vegetable, cheap and available fresh or frozen. But then I read about the manufacturing process for the extraction of pea protein and this is a very good example of the ultraprocessing method. Soya protein is also extracted in a similar process, using hexane - derived from oil, although it is said that the extraction of pea protein does not use this. 

As Joanna Blythman says, the more processing takes place, the more a multinational company can "add value", in other words, charge more and claim more market share. More market share for multinationals is often at the expense of local companies and farmers. 

Burrowing deeper into this, I started to read about the EAT Forum, founded by the Stordalen Foundation, which was founded by a Norwegian billionaire and his wife, having made their money in hotels, shopping centres and owning an airline. They also seem to spend a lot of time travelling by their own private jet around the world  Which to me doesn't seem like they are walking the walk when it comes to reducing their emissions. The EAT Forum came to a lot of public attention when they proposed the EAT-Lancet Diet, primarily plant based which has been the subject of a lot of controversy and indeed may not make the claims it does  and throws up some really odd suggestions

This lead me on to FReSH which was founded by the EAT Foundation and World Business Council for Sustainable Development with the involvement of the companies shown in the graphic below

The involvement of big food corporations such as Cargill and Pepsico as well as big agrochemical companies such as Bayer and Syngenta as well as a host of other huge multinational corporations in proposing what seems to be a global diet is really quite concerning. These corporations are able to lobby Governments at ministerial level and often have slowed down or even caused abandonment of many proposed beneficial environmental changes, or stopped harmful chemicals from being banned. 

Of course, any agrochemical company would be very interested in a proposal that results in more crops being grown with, of course, more of their product being used upon them. 

As I went into this further, I noted the involvement of the WEF - World Economic Forum . You may have heard of it in connection with a gathering of the rich and powerful and Government representatives at Davos, Switzerland, every year, which in years gone by has been the focus of many anti-globalisation protests. Attendees are whisked there in what is one of the largest gatherings of private jets in Europe......

Frédéric Leroy has been doing some great digging on the links between all these organisations and shows how plans under heading of #GreatReset and #BuildBackBetter (some of which seem very benefical on the surface) for post Covid-19 policy also include a diet part. Robert Kennedy Jr also goes into detail about how the WEF is proposing quite far reaching changes on the back of Covid-19 rebuilding. The mission statement of "Impossible Foods" - with close links in the this area and recently in the press for the "Impossible Burger" has a mission statement of "Eliminating the need for animals in the food production system by 2035". 

Now, before anyone thinks I am going down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole, these are verifiable references and published aims and policies that I have referred to above. My great concern is this, the WEF, FReSH, EAT etc are taking what are quite genuine concerns of many people about the impact of their diet upon this planet, and using this to nudge consumers in the direction of products that are marketed with huge budgets, made by the same corporations that have done so much to destroy biodiversity and indeed have often exploited not just natural resources but people in low income countries as well. 

With the involvement of huge agrochemical companies, that are well known for lobbying governments and the EU to slow down or stop harmful chemicals being banned, a switch of land to more crop growing will come with significant impact on insects and pollinators, as well as the known impacts of run off into streams, and sometimes human harm too from chemical spraying. The "chemical cocktail" effect of multiple sprayings is under-researched and such as Dave Goulson here in the UK has been looking into this and his books about bees give great insight into these effects. 

Finally, in terms of here in the UK, what we have a lot of is pasture, in fact much of our land is not suitable for growing crops but is very suitable for livestock. Livestock farmers here have already had to cope with suppressed prices for their animals at market, a massive drop in the price of wool, and shortly the potential loss of EU as a major export market with the cliff edge of the end of the Brexit Transition period. Grassland is a carbon sink, it sequesters carbon, and if you go back to the time of the Second World War and afterwards, up to 97% of our wildflower meadows - formerly grazed - have been lost to the plough (albeit in the 1940s from some necessity). So, ploughing up grassland - even if that area of the UK is suitable for crops - will release that stored carbon into the atmosphere. Also, if we have fewer animals here in the UK and then rely on more imports of plant based foods, again that will push up emissions, and indeed outsource environmental harm as many other countries do not have the same environmental standards as we do here in the UK. Also, animals produce manure, which in a regenerative and rotational farming system goes into fertilising the soil without the need for chemicals. 

Again, if one chooses not to eat meat for ethical reasons that is up to one's own conscience, but my point is that without careful selection of where the replacement foodstuffs come from and how they are made, it is not necessarily going to be a good choice for the environment or indeed some of the people who produce this food. It may well hand more profir and power to corporations that have already caused a lot of harm to the environment. Do we really want big, almost unaccountable corporations and forums telling us what we are allowed to eat? Your local sheep farmer does not have anywhere near the same voice and influence as such as Bayer or Monsanto. As we have seen with the latest UK Government Trade Bill, even massive campaigning by farmer's representatives and public petitions for food standards, have only had limited effect on the legislation, and it will be to the detriment of those who get up in all weathers and at all hours to produce our food. 

I for one will be continuing to buy my meat from a local butchers, with the animals from whence it came being raised in Yorkshire, much of which at a farm just three miles from my house. I grow a lot of my own vegetables and fruit, but those I buy in I try to get mostly from local greengrocers and farm shops or markets. Surely a diet free from as much factory processing as possible is better for your health and for the environment. Supporting local producers as far as possible keeps money in the local economy. Supporting fair trade goods for those items that have to come a long distance - for instance fair trade bananas - means that the producer gets more of the income from your purchase rather than a corporation beholden only to their shareholders. Of course, one can only do so much, and there are the limits of accessibility, money and time to consider. However, in order to produce a fairer world for all, we should ensure that those who produce our food are the ones benefitting from our purchases as far as possible rather than unaccountable corporations and opaque forums for billionaires to work out how they can get richer. 

Saturday 14 November 2020

14th November 2020 - Lockdown 2 - Day 10 - Local Food

 One of perhaps the few silver linings of the first lockdown was that when panic buying swept shelves in supermarkets clean, many people looked to local shops and suppliers to provide groceries. It does seem that to some extent, this buying pattern has continued, albeit perhaps not to the same extent. 

In a few short weeks, the UK faces a cliff edge of the final Brexit transition end point. The Road Haulage Association and many other people in the sectors of logistics and ports have warned of a crisis as the systems to handle customs declarations and inspections for goods coming in and out of the UK are nowhere near ready. This will also affect many farming, and (rather ironically) fishing businesses who export to the EU. There are major issues around certification, particularly for seeds and organic produce as the UK will leave the EU certification systems at the end of the year and there is a delay of several months for application for these from a non-EU country. 

I've mentioned before (in my Small Steps series and here) about how one can be more prepared for food supply issues. However, what one can also do is to support local producers and businesses, and this is especially important at the moment when there is such a large impact on trade from the Covid-19 pandemic and necessary lockdowns. 

So, I am starting to put together here a list of local markets, businesses and suppliers, initially in Yorkshire, that can be supported with trade. Buying locally wherever possible and from individual small businesses keeps money within the local economy, often reduces food miles, can use much less plastic and can contain fewer embodied carbon emissions. Local food in season is often fresher than items from a supermarket shelf that may - even if produced in the UK - have travelled hundreds of miles to reach the store. (However, at certain times of the year - for instance in Spring when our apples are not in season and winter stores have run out - it can make sense to buy from parts of the world where they are in season if the produce has come in bulk on ships) 

I've mentioned a few times that the two butchers I use, one of which is just around the corner from our house, source much of their meat from local farms, our nearest one sources beef, pork and lamb from a farm about three miles away. We use a farm shop which sources local vegetables when in season. Even if the produce isn't that local, the shop selling it is local, and it still supports local people who then spend their earnings in the local community and can support local businesses in the supply chain. 

List of Markets, Farmers Markets, Suppliers and Shops


Go To - Markets in Lancashire

Go To - Markets in Greater Manchester

Go To - Markets in Yorkshire

Go To - Markets in Derbyshire

Go To - Markets in Staffordshire

 List of Yorkshire Markets and Farmer's Markets

(Please note any Covid-19 Restrictions for availability and dates)

Name                                                                                                            Find                                   Webpage
Ampleforth Map
Barnsley Map
Bedale Map
Beverley (Saturday) Map
Beverley (Wednesday) Map
Bingley Map
Bingley (Farmers Market) Map
Bradford (Kirkgate) Map
Bradford (Oastler) Map
Bridlington Map /
Brighouse Map
Castleford Map
Cleckheaton Map
Cottingham Map
Denaby Map
Dewsbury Map
Dinnington (Outdoor) Map
Driffield Map
Driffield Farmer's Market Map
Doncaster Map
Easingwold Map
Easingwold - LittleBirdMade Map
Elland Map
Fox Valley (Stocksbridge) Map
Halifax Map
Harrogate (Farmers Market) Map
Harrogate - LittleBirdMade (Valley Gardens) Map
Hawes Map
Hebden Bridge Map
Helmsley Map
Holmfirth Map
Holmfirth Country Market Map
Hovingham Map
Howden Map
Hoyland Map
Huddersfield (Open Market) Map
Huddersfield (Queensgate) Map
Hull Map
Ilkley Map
Kirkbymoorside Map
Knaresborough Map
Knaresborough (Farmers Market) Map
Knaresborough - LittleBirdMade (Castle) Map
Keighley Map
Leyburn Map
Leeds Map
Malton Map
Masham Map
Nether Edge Map
Normanton Map
Northallerton Map
Ossett Map
Otley Map
Otley (Farmers Market) Map
Penistone Country Market Map
Pickering Map
Pocklington Map
Pontefract Map
Pudsey Map
Reeth Map
Richmond Map
Ripon Map,busy%20for%20a%20whole%20day.
Ripon (Farmers Market) Map
Rotherham - Centenary Market (antiques/brica) Map
Rotherham - Centenary Market (Outdoor Market) Map
Rotherham - Centenary Market (Indoor Market) Map
Rotherham - Centenary Market (secondhand clothes/shoes) Map
Rotherham - Effingham Street Map
Scarborough Outdoor Market - Westborough Map
Scarborough Market Hall Map
Selby Map
Settle Map
Sheffield - Crystal Peaks Map
Sheffield Country Market Map
Sheffield - King Street (Outdoor) Map
Sheffield - Moor Market (Indoor) Map
Sheffield - Moor Market (Outdoor) Map
Shipley Map
Skipton Map
Skipton Artisan Market Map
Skirlington Map
South Elmsall Map
Sowerby Bridge Map
Stokesley Map
Tadcaster Map
Tadcaster - LittleBirdMade (Kirkgate) Map
Thorne Map
Tickhill Map
Todmorden Map
Thirsk Map
Wath Upon Dearne Map
Wakefield Map
Wetherby Map
Wetherby (Farmers Market) Map
Wetherby - LittleBirdMade Map
Whitby Map,bakery%20goods%20and%20hair%2Dbraiding.
Yeadon Map
York Map
York (Farmers Market) Map

 List of Lancashire Markets and Farmer's Markets

(Please note any Covid-19 Restrictions for availability and dates)

Name                                                                                                                                             Find                                                     Webpage
Accrington Map
Bacup Map
Blackburn Map
Burnley Map
Chorley Map
Cleveleys Map
Clitheroe (Outdoor) Map
Colne (Market Hall and Outdoor) Map
Darwen Map
Farnworth Map
Fleetwood Map
Garstang Map
Great Eccleston Map
Haslingden Map
Kirkham (Preston) Map
Lancaster (Charter Market) Map
Lancaster (Assembly Rooms) Map
Leyland Map
Lytham St. Annes Map
Morecambe Map
Nelson Map
Ormskirk Map
Poulton-le-Fylde Map
Preston Map
Preston Makers Market Map
Rawtenstall Map
Thornton (farmers market) Map

 List of Greater Manchester Markets and Farmer's Markets

(Please note any Covid-19 Restrictions for availability and dates)

Name                                                                                                                                            Find                                                   Webpage
Altrincham Map
Ashton-In-Makerfield Map
Ashton-Under-Lyne Map
Ashton-Under-Lyne Artisan Market Map
Bolton Map
Bolton - Heaton Fold Garden Centre Map
Bury Map
Chorlton Makers Market Map
Eccles Map
Gorton Map
Haigh Woodland Map
Heywood Map
Hyde Map
Leigh Map
Levenshulme Map
Longsight Map
Manchester - Arndale Market Map
Manchester - Harpurhey Shopping Centre Map
Manchester - Northern Quarter Makers Market Map
Middleton Map
Oldham (Curzon Street) Map
Oldham (Tommyfield) Map
Ramsbottom Map
Ramsbottom (Farmers Market) Map,on%20until%20around%202%3A30pm.&text=At%20each%20monthly%20market%20Traders,Place%20selling%20food%20and%20crafts.
Rochdale Map
Royton Map
Sale Map
Salford Shopping Centre Market Map
Salford Makers Market Map
Shaw Map
Stockport Map
Stockport Makers Market Map
Urmston Map
West Didsbury Makers Market Map
Westhoughton Map
Wigan Map
Wythenshawe Map

 List of Derbyshire Markets and Farmer's Markets

(Please note any Covid-19 Restrictions for availability and dates)

Name                                                                                                                                            Find                                                   Webpage
Alfreton Map
Allenton - Derby Map
Ashbourne Map,information%20please%20contact%20them%20here.
Bakewell (stall market) Map
Bakewell (farmers market) Map
Belper Map
Buxton Map
Buxton (Farmers market) Map
Chapel-en-le-Frith Map
Chesterfield - Artisan Market Map
Chesterfield - Market Hall Map
Chesterfield - Market Place Map
Derby - Eagle Market Map
Derby - Market Hall Map
Glossop Map
Hathersage Map
Heanor Map
Ilkeston Map
Long Eaton Map
Matlock - Indoor Market Map
Matlock - Outdoor Market Map
New Mills - Indoor Market Map
New Mills - Outdoor Market Map
Ripley - Open Air Market Map
Shirebrook Map
Swadlingcote Map
Wirksworth Map

 List of Staffordshire Markets and Farmer's Markets

(Please note any Covid-19 Restrictions for availability and dates)

Name                                                                                                            Find                                       Webpage
Burton on Trent - Indoor Map
Burton on Trent - Outdoor Map
Cheadle Retail Market - Outdoor Map,%2C%20ceramics%2C%20cosmetics%20and%20more.
Lichfield Map
Newcastle-Under-Lyme Map
Penkridge Map
Stafford Market Map
Stafford Farmers Market Map
Stone Map
Uttoxeter - Indoor Map
Uttoxeter - Makers Market Map
Uttoxeter - Outdoor Map Uttoxeter - indoor
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