This week Clare, a volunteer on LESS’s Growing Our Local Food Economy (GOLFE) project, talks about her experience making a 100% local food meal.
“I have recently become more aware about the impact that food miles have on the environment. But as someone who is relatively inexperienced when it comes to eating sustainably, I have never explored the realities of eating locally sourced food.
“To challenge myself I thought I’d attempt to make a meal using only local food. I thought it would be a good way to learn about the local and seasonal produce of Lancaster District, and would perhaps motivate me to take GOLFE’s Local Food Pledge.
“As May is National Asparagus Month, I thought I’d try making an asparagus-based dish.
“However, whilst sourcing my ingredients I found there was no local commercial grower of asparagus (due to a tough local growing climate.) The only local asparagus available to me was on a friend’s allotment and it was not quite ready... What to do?
“I was offered some hosta shoots instead as apparently they could be used in a similar way to asparagus!?
“I decided to adapt my recipe and give the hosta shoots (hostons) a try!
“A quick internet search brought up some interesting hosta related information. Although many people think of it as a house plant, hosta can in fact be cooked and eaten in a similar way to asparagus.
“Species recommended for eating include hosta: crispula, longipes, montana, plantaginea, sieboldii, sieboldiana, undulata and ventricosa.
“So the meal I ended up making was a hosta shoot, duck egg and sourdough bake. The duck eggs were bought from Billy’s Free Range Eggs at Lancaster outdoor market, which came from a farm near Over Kellet.
“The sourdough was handmade at Filbert’s Bakery on King Street. While the original recipe I (vaguely) followed suggested a sprinkling of parmesan cheese over the top of the bake, I opted for a local alternative – Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese. This was also bought at the outdoor market.
“The hosta shoots came from Ambleside Road allotments, where I also got a handful of freshly cut chives. The chives went really well with the Lancashire cheese.”
“After buying my ingredients I compared the prices with the cost of similar but non-local products from Sainsbury’s.
“I found that while individual products such as eggs and cheese were a little more expensive when bought locally, I had made overall savings from getting the hosta shoots and chives for free (thank you Ambleside Road Community Allotment)!”