Blog: Hampshire Fare
Hampshire Fare works to promote local food all year round. Set up in 1991 by a small group of farmers, the not-profit local food group was created to raise awareness of the food and drink made, reared and grown in the county.
Fuelled by passion and creativity we are small team of just four with plenty of ideas and enthusiasm. British Food Fortnight is one of our favourite times of year as it is when we take our message into local schools.
We first got involved in British Food Fortnight three years ago when we visited Wicor Primary School with a selection of local producers and brought local food and farming to life in the classroom. Since then we have visited a new school each year, this time we went to Berrywood Primary School in Hedge End.
This year, pupils learnt how to fillet fish with a local fishmonger, they tasted strawberries grown in the New Forest and discovered how to make real bread. We love seeing the pupils engage with the subject and their excitement at the discovery of what is grown and made in the county.
Year 6 pupil, Maia, from Berrywood School commented: "I really enjoyed the strawberries and the foraging talk. It was really cool to eat leaves, flowers and strawberries. I didn’t know that the leaves we tried were edible and they are used for jams and jelly, it was a great day.”
The wonderful thing is that the schools we have previously visited have gone on to organise their own local food and farming days involving local producers. This allows us to spread the British Food Fortnight message despite having limited resources.
This year we were eager to also engage with older students so we teamed up with local producer, Great British Biscotti to run a competition to create a Hampshire Canapé. Two students from Highbury College were crowned the winners with their delicious creations with highly commended going to an Eastleigh College student.
During the fortnight we also managed to squeeze in a Hampshire Fare market at Winchester Cathedral to celebrate the local harvest. The tree-lined route to the cathedral was full of producers with more in the inner close.
We also worked with Hampshire County Council Catering Services (HC3S) in the months leading up to British Food Fortnight to support them in sourcing local ingredients to serve at schools and tourist venues across the county. Pupils from Shakespeare School also visited The Watercress Company in Alresford to learn about the superfood before returning to school where it featured in their lunch.
We love beavering away in our patch spreading the British Food Fortnight message and knowing that we are part of something happening across the country. Despite there being miles between the events it really manages to feel like we are part of something bigger, something that can really make a difference and change mindsets.
Find out more about Hampshire Fare at www.hampshirefare.co.uk and follow us on social media, @Hampshirefare to hear all about our love for local.
Photography courtesy of The Electric Eye Photography