The Better Food Company & Barley Wood Walled Garden
Seeking Local Vegetable & Fruit in the Bristol Area, England
If you have been following my blog over the past few days you will know that I am stuck in Bristol, England, waiting for a visa stamp, and that to help while away the time I determined to try and cook a meal made from only locally sourced ingredients. Our search for meat yielded great results when we visited the inaugural Westbury-on-Trym Local Produce Market at Channells Hill Primary School where there were choices a plenty from within a 20 mile radius that makes San Francisco's 100 mile locavore perimeter look like eating local for dummies.
But fresh local fruit and vegetable produce was more elusive. After consulting the Bristol Local Food Guide I decided that The Better Food Company, 2.7 miles from my parent's house might be the best bet as a one-stop shop for everything else we needed to cook a large, local Sunday lunch.
The Better Food Company is a typical, independent, medium-sized whole foods store. It has a cafe, organic wines, eco cleaning produce, bulk bins, a small cheese counter and much more, you can probably imagine the kind of thing. The company has a Walled Garden and Cafe just 14 miles South of the store, in North Somerset, where they grow produce to supply their customers.
View Larger Map
We had to illicit some help from a member of a staff but soon got used to the labelling in the produce section. Everything they had grown themselves was labelled "walled garden", other items were marked with the word "England" meaning they were British but their origin was unknown and yet more items were from other countries in Europe and were labelled as such. We managed to pick up a beautiful Savoy cabbage, some pattison squash and a lovely green lettuce, all of which were from the walled garden, along with some of their handmade chutney. We also picked up pots of Organic cream from Devon, flour milled in Shipton and cheeses from Bath as well as English wine.
If I lived in Bristol, I am sure The Better Food Company would be a regular haunt on my shopping schedule. Not so my mother, unfortunately, I am glad she humoured me and was game to try but I haven't convinced her to eat more locally as a way of life just yet. I think she much prefers the convenience of Sainsburys...
PS - If anyone knows any other great resources for local fruit and vegetable produce in the Bristol area, please do leave a comment, thanks.
PPS - My favourite person has returned from Paris and so now starts our real very mini-vacation. We are off to the land of pasties, clotted cream and fishing boats and so you probably won't hear a peep out of me for a few days. Sorry to keep you waiting on the local meal - I'll get there in the end...