My kids are a nightmare at Farmers Markets. My mum sells at farmers markets in the North East and whenever we visit (which hasn't been for a while - sorry Mum!) they're treated like royalty. They're offered the earth and where food is concerned they tend to accept. (I know I'm very lucky for this and I am grateful.) But of course when we go to our local farmers markets here in the SouthEast they expect the same. I'm with them a little, it is more fun going to a market where Grandma knows everyone.
I also find it fascinating how over the years most farmers have evolved their businesses (through necessity). You hear the hardship that a lot of these people have had to go through, and still do. For instance, getting organic certification is a nightmare and one I'm not sure I could put my family through to get it.
I'll happily eat organic food but when a friend recently asked me - "how come you're not so obsessed about organic food now?" I felt a surge in my stomach. As a mother you only want what's right for your children. The burning question of 'organic from wherever in the world or local and seasonal?' is one which troubles me. I hope I have a more balanced attitude now. When my first boy started weaning at 4 months (I think they suggest doing it at 6 months now) I seriously wouldn't contemplate putting something in his mouth that wasn't organic. I'd have happily watched a visible and very long carbon footprint being made from start to finish just so that he didn't have something in his body that wasn't organic. I realise that this was ridiculous. I was embarrassingly obsessive about it.
Now, I'd rather buy local, and by local I mean from this country and where possible local as in the immediate vicinity. Yes sometimes, like all people who love food, there are times when I want something that's not in season and has been grown abroad. But I try and do my bit. Even if shopping in a supermarket I look to see what country things have been grown in. I guess the marketing thing has worked again.... I rather hope that it was just me evolving and caring about our planet a little more. I'd certainly rather the food miles of something shipped from within this country, for instance - lamb. Infact I'd like very local lamb and I'd like it Butterflied and BBQ'd today... Errrr did you hear that my love? Get cooking! (Well he does love to bbq).
Added: 5 May 07 - Tash at Vintage Pretty wrote very eloquently about the future of farming and where our food comes from.
BBQ'd Butterflied Lamb
Get your butcher to butterfly a whole leg. You'll also need at least 2 lemons, a whole bulb of garlic, a handful of rosemary, salt, pepper and wine (red or white works perfectly well - just use what you'll be drinking, if you're drinking! Not sure what to suggest if you're not...).
When you get this all home get out a large roasting tin and put the lamb in.
Break the cloves of garlic apart. Keep 5 cloves aside, put the rest in a mug of boiling hot water & cover with a plate.
In the meantime start piercing the lamb and inserting little spears of rosemary
Cut the lemons into quarters and rub all over the lamb and rosemary.
With the 5 cloves of garlic set aside, take the skin off and cut each one in half. Insert each half next to the rosemary spears.
Next throw a cup full of wine over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Drain the garlic in hot water and lay over the top
Cover and refridgerate for a few hours but overnight if you've time.
When your bbq coals are ready take your lamb out of the roasting tin and cook on indirect heat (so not directly over the coals) on each side for about 20-25 minutes. We like ours to be ever so slightly pink in the middle. You can always make a cut to see if it's done to your liking.
We've also cooked this wrapped in tinfoil with the garlic and lemon pieces left on top - This was also pretty delicious.