Updated: Dec 23, 2017
In theory, this is the most wonderful time of the year. In practice, Christmas can be a logistical nightmare. Festive preparations are demanding of our time, effort and money, and it’s now more than ever that we look for convenience. But did you know the average Christmas Dinner has travelled a total of 263,235 miles!
This year let's keep it closer to home.
Shopping local has a many benefits, from being better for the environment to boosting local economies. Christmas is very important for many local producers, so lets support them this holiday season.
Here are my three top reasons why we would encourage you to keep it local this Christmas:
1. Keep it local, keep it quick and easy:
Many shops offer local delivery, or click and collect like Castleton Farm Shop near Laurencekirk. There is a wide range of mains, sides, desserts and much more that you can select from and pick up at your convenience. There are even ready-made dishes. You can save time on shopping and have more time to enjoy your family and guests! When sourcing your local turkey, you can often source everything you need in one place. Just outside Banchory at Maryfield Farm you can order your complete local Christmas Dinner. With ham and bacon, cheese, venison, sauces, stuffing and much more from Devenick Dairy, plus all the veg your heart desires from Fernieflatt Farm in Stonehaven. Don’t forget your Christmas Pudding or Clootie Dumpling, homemade at Maryfield Farm.
What's not to love? Your locally sourced Christmas Food order, without going anywhere near the crowded supermarkets!
2. Keep it local, keep it fresh:
You can get the same food from your local farm shop that you would buy in a supermarket. But the food from the farm shop travelled at most a couple of miles, rather than a different country or a continent as it’s often the case with supermarkets. Also, food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping and distribution. Farm and shop owners can tell you when the food was grown and harvested and what kind of conditions it grew in. If it’s meat or poultry, you can find out about the feed and conditions used to raise the animals and how it was processed before it ended up in the shop. If your food is fresh, it is bound to be delicious!
3. Keep it local, keep it healthy:
If you want a delicious and nutritious meal for your Christmas dinner, use local and seasonal food. Supermarket vegetables are often off season and picked before they are ripe to last longer on the shelves. This can mean that flavour and nutrition is reduced. Instead choose locally grown seasonal vegetables full of flavour rather than off season products that were picked before they were ripe. To get your local veg try local farmers markets like Torphins Market or local veggie box delivery services like Vital Veg.
Guest Blog by Maryfield Farm
Our turkeys have been reared in beautiful Royal Deeside enjoying the lush grass, sunshine and clean water. The turkeys arrive at Maryfield Farm as day old chicks in June. When they are old enough, move out to the fields where they supplement their diet of grower pellets, with grass, docks and nettles. From pellets the birds move on to home grown oats. They grow more slowly but the flavour of the end-product is well worth it.
The birds are traditionally processed - dry plucking and hanging for ten to fourteen days in a cool controlled atmosphere giving succulent meat with loads of flavour. They are all free range and free from hormones and antibiotics. You can find our favourite recipes for preparing your Maryfield Turkey here.
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Where are the best local farm shops where you live? Share them in the comments below so we can all find the best local food anywhere!