This week, as part of our Home Grown series we’re exploring the benefits of sourcing food from local producers and the bounty of our wild hedgerows.
Embracing a more natural way of life will help protect our planet for future generations and in these uncertain times, it has never been more important to seek out our smaller retailers and give them our backing. Lucy has been working over the last couple of years to lessen her consumer impact on the world and this week she considers the benefits of shopping and eating locally.
There are a lot of ways to reduce your carbon footprint from walking or cycling to work instead of driving, if it’s too far using public transport or lift sharing with colleagues. Swapping to shampoo and conditioner bars, investing in fewer but quality items of clothing from eco-conscious brands, or commit to only buying secondhand.
Choosing to shop at your local farm shop often means your produce will be loose rather than wrapped, cutting down on unnecessary packaging and will have come from a location close by if not right next door.
Eating food grown local to your home means eating seasonally, all ingredients will be at their absolute best having been picked – more often than not – within the last 24 hours when buying from your local farm shop or market. Buying from your nearby farms is supporting your local economy and you know exactly where it came from – maybe even the farmer who picked it! Small businesses are owned and run by our neighbours, they care about and are invested in the well-being of our community and its future.
At St Eval Candles we are committed to treading softly on the earth, sustainable farming works with nature not against it, significantly reducing water and soil contamination allowing wildlife to thrive and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. British produce is some of the best out there and particularly in Cornwall where farming is a rich part of our heritage we have some of the finest fruit and vegetable producers in the UK.
I spoke to Serena from Trevaskis Farm Shop who grow over 80 different crops on-site as well as championing local suppliers to stock their shelves with meat, fish, cheese, and baked goods. This is why they believe eating a seasonal diet is important:
“It’s sustainable and reduces food miles, it means we’re not relying on other countries and external supply. Customers can’t believe the difference in flavour when the produce is so fresh.”
This week’s recipe is inspired by something I have in abundance in my garden and could do with using up – nettles! Nettles can be used as an alternative in any dish where you would use spinach and are at their best right now. I decided to make Spanakopita, a traditional Greek/Cypriot dish, which was supposed to be wrapped up in a spiral, however, my pastry broke so I made them into individual potions instead, like a sausage roll. This turned out to be unintentionally perfect for the key workers in my house to take for a packed lunch.
This is a recipe by Barney Desmazery which I found on BBC Good Food.
- 150g Nettles
- 100g Butter – measured in 75g and 25g
- 200g crumbled Feta
- 50g grated Parmesan
- 1 whole Lemon – juice and zest
- 1 beaten Egg
- Grated Nutmeg
- 7 sheets Filo pastry
- 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
- Wearing gloves pick the nettles, only picking the top 6 or so leaves and wash well
- Melt the 25g butter in a pan and when it is sizzling add the nettles and cook for around 6 minutes until wilted. Leave to cool
- Once cool, place the nettles in a tea towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Roughly chop and mix in a bowl with the feta, parmesan, some nutmeg, around two-thirds of the egg and the lemon juice and zest. Season generously
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan
- Melt the remaining 75g of butter
- Lay 3 sheets of filo pastry on a clean surface, overlap them slightly and brush with the melted butter
- Top with 3 more sheets and brush with more butter. Place the final sheet in the centre for extra support
- Spoon the nettle mix along the edge around 2cm wide, tucking over the ends to stop any filling from escaping.
- Roll the pastry into a long sausage shape and starting with one end roll up into a spiral shape
- If the pastry breaks, cut into individual portions instead
- Brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes until golden.
We hope you enjoy finding and cooking local foods as much as we do. If you would like to share any recipes or your experiences, please contact us on social media: @stevalcandles, or via email: email@example.com.