Posts Tagged ‘apple day’

Bumper Crop of Apples, time for Farm shops to act as community juice/cider maker?

Bumper crop of apples

Bumper crop of apples

This year there is a bumper Crop of Apples, many falling to the ground and wasted. We see this as a great opportunity for Farm shops to win customers by acting as community food hero and invite locals to bring their apples to make juice or cider.

We think farm shops should try and become the centre of their local food community and differentiate themselves from the supermarket as much as possible.

This can be done with fresher, local, fruit & veg, cheaper prices, better service, pick your own, animals around the car park, nature trails, tastings, cookery demonstrations, courses, crop for the shop, food swaps, and seasonal open days like, apple day, where locals can bring their apples and bottles to be pulped and juiced using the Farm Shop’s juice press.

Fiona at the Loch Arthur Farm Shop

Fiona at the Loch Arthur Farm Shop

Every community should really have an orchard and apple press, after all ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’. As most communities have a farm shop it seems to make sense to make the shop that centre. Especially if locals are encouraged to switch from the supermarket to buying from the shop and even growing produce to sell in the shop, with our Crop for the Shop scheme, or cooking to swap food at the shop on special food swap days.

People who love making cakes can swap a cake with someone who loves making stew, then do the rest of their shopping before they go home. All bringing new customers to the farm shop.

Switch from the supermarket? YES, we must. Perhaps not completely at first, try the local butcher or farm shop every week, (using our local food map) and the supermarket once a month for washing stuff, loo rolls, etc. You should save money, get better food and encourage more local production.

So the next time you visit your local farm shop mention apple day, crop for the shop and food swaps. If they are keen and not on BigBarn please tell them to contact us.


BBC Food Programme: Is the Great British Food Renaissance over?

No! and how annoying I was not there to add a very important and positive view. So here it is. Click here to hear the programme.

Yes, supermarket organic sales have dropped. Yes, 75% of our food is bought in the supermarket and yes, there are a lot of relatively expensive speciality foods and producers around selling well. Yes, consumers need educating on how and what to cook to save money. And last of all, yes, people are very price conscious.

But No, despite people’s perception, supermarkets are not the cheapest place to buy food, the renaissance is not over, it could really grow much bigger if a way could be found to educate consumers.

I believe ‘Educate’ is patronising and will only work through action and discovery. We need more people to visit their local food retailer and ask questions about price, quality, the story of the food, and best ways to cook the products.

Even better, we need more people growing food, Cropping for their Local Shop, perhaps even invited to do so by local shops giving customers seeds, to grow, in early spring.

We also need some of these retailers, especially Farm Shops, that have a bit of space, to have seasonal open days to celebrate the new crop, such as Asparagus, Strawberry, Apple, Beanpole (grow your own), and Christmas. These should provide value to consumers, acting as a great fun, but educational, day out.

So spread the word and get involved, use the BigBarn map to find and ask, or suggest to, your local Farm shop about Crop for the Shop and open days. Some may already have a ‘£’ sign, meaning cheaper than the supermarket, as well as a rosette, meaning they are a BigBarn Community Champion and welcome any quality crop you have grown.