by otmg on Thursday 11th October

We all know that eating locally grown foods is better for you, for the environment, and (most importantly) for your taste buds. Do you think you can't taste the difference between lettuce picked yesterday and lettuce picked last week, factory-washed, and sealed in plastic? You can.

Eating local produce is often less convenient and more expensive than buying mass produced foods, yet the benefits that these foods provide for your body and the environment may make it worthwhile. Farmers that sell directly to local consumers’, select and harvest crops based on when they are at their peak in quality, freshness, nutrition, and taste. In contrast, many large farming corporations give priority to packing, shipping and shelf life instead. Local farms are also more likely to grow a wide variety of crops. Variation protects biodiversity and preserves a larger agricultural gene pool, which is important for ensuring long-term food security. Buying local foods also eliminates the carbon footprint left behind when food is transported great distances – the benefits are endless.

Knowing where your food comes from connects you to the people who raise and grow it. Instead of having a single relationship, i.e to a big supermarket, you develop smaller connections to more food sources: your nearby farm shop, vendors at the farmers' market, your favourite butcher, the little shop in the village who sells locally produced eggs, jam and honey. Local foods create Community, and these days with the world as it is, which seemingly moves at an accelerated pace as each year passes by, this sense of Community gets harder to retain – which is why it is so important to give our local farmers the support they deserve.

The Horns Pub in Crondall is one local business who prides themselves on their commitment to supporting local farmers. John Staniland, Licensee says ‘We buy a lot of our produce from Eastbridge Farm just 200 metres down the road, the highly acclaimed organic/biodynamic Laverstoke Park Farm near Basingstoke and from Secretts Farm in Milford. Our philosophy has always been to provide our customers with good value food which is cooked to order, and where quality and taste is not compromised. Buying locally enables us to achieve this, and it also gives us the opportunity to be more creative with our menus - there is just so much more variety on offer! For this season, we have created dishes that have made use of apples, blackberries, butternut squash, pumpkins, Brussels, cabbages, cauliflowers and all the tasty root vegetables, enabling us to create delicious, heart-warming meals. If you like your meals to be full of flavour, you want to ‘do your bit’ for the environment and help to support our local farmers, then The Horns should definitely be on your calendar for a visit! ‘