Anna Clayton column

Lancaster Guardian columnist, Anna Clayton.
Lancaster Guardian columnist, Anna Clayton.
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As it’s New Year’s Day, it seems only right to get excited and optimistic about the year ahead.

My New Year’s resolution: to source as much of my food as I can from within Lancaster District, and for all ‘exotic’ products I buy (such as chocolate, coffee and tea), to be fairly traded and as environmentally responsible as possible.

I hope to achieve all of this on a budget, whilst upholding my vegan ethics – easy!?

I have already started working toward this goal and have come across many inspiring people along the way.

I source most of my vegetables from Growing with Nature in Pilling, which I pick up from Lancaster’s Food Assembly at the White Cross Pub every Wednesday evening between 6.30-8.30pm.

I supplement these vegetables with foraged goodies and home-grown fruit and vegetables from my allotment and Claver Hill community farm.

I try to only drink local beer when out (The Borough brewery’s beer is delicious!); make my own wine at home; buy bread from Filberts; have the odd brunch at the Whale Tail Café, and buy the occasional sneaky piece of vegan cake from Bibbi’s.

Through trying to buy local, I have found that Lancaster has quite an amazing array of local food producers, processors and distributors.

This food scene will only increase and improve if we were all to support local food businesses.

If you are not sure where you can buy local food from, check out LESS’s Local Food Directory: www.lessuk.org/directory.php.

You can use this online tool to find out where to buy specific food products locally. From a local meal, to a snack or an onion- it’s all there.

Over the next year, as part of my work for LESS’s ‘Growing our Local Food Economy’ (GOLFE) project, I will be trying to get people living within Lancaster District to pledge to source at least a third of their food locally.

Not only will I do my best to persuade people to pledge, but I will support ‘pledgers’ in meeting the challenge.

This may involve handing out local food resources, running local food tours, setting up buying groups, running workshops on growing-your-own food and cooking – who knows!?

It will depend on the people involved.

If you are interested in pledging to source 30 per cent of your food locally, please contact me for more information.

You can email me at anna@lessuk.org, or phone me on 07776082167.

Why not make your New Year’s Resolution a Local Food pledge?