I have used the words of my mother in law in the title of this blog. As she raised a very interesting point in my Facebook page today. I had put an entry on that for the first time since I was a kid in sunny Cambuslang milk had been delivered to the door. Her question as she is well aware of the journey we have been on to cut out the major supermarkets was are we going full circle?
I think she is right though can see that it is easier for us living in a rural community to shop locally than it is in a city. I was appalled when our best man commended us on our mission but said he couldn’t do it as there were no local shops where he lives. So I suspect that it is far harder to do in a city or perhaps even worse in the suburbs of a city. And I confess when I lived in Edinburgh I shopped too at supermarkets and never crossed the door of a local butcher or fruit and vegetable shop. But that was not always the case when I was a child we did shop in the local shops in Cambuslang and the butcher, baker, fish shop and fruit and vegetable shop and chemist were a feature of our lives. Sadly they are all gone now bar I think the baker but my mother in law has made me think that perhaps I am wanting to go back to that time in my childhood when you did shop local and were called hen by the shop owners and always met with a smile and some Glasgow humour.
I have thought since the beginning of this downturn in the economy that it is changing people’s buying patterns forever. We may have less money to spend but we are far more careful where we spend it and that is to the advantage of local shops if they seize the opportunity and make the most of it.
One such local business is the farmer who delivered milk to us this morning. Since cutting out Tesco’s I feel as if I’m daily buying milk as the kids go through so much of it. In addition I am well aware how much the supermarkets get in comparison to the farmers and although I applaud the co-operative in their approach I would prefer to buy it direct. So last week just as we were sitting down for tea the door rang and I reluctantly went to open it. To find a man who I could see was going to be selling me something. My heart sank only to lift again as he said he was wanting to start delivering milk to St Boswells were we interested? We were of course and my son and I rushed to the door this morning to gaze in wonder at our milk delivery. Common place when I was young. Rare now. The farmer had left me a wee note too with the other things he supplies and I was delighted to see that eggs are also on the list. Another step in our journey.
At the St Boswells Food and Craft fair last week Tweed Valley Organics had a stall and were kind enough to buy from our bread stall. As I delivered the warm foccacia to them fresh from the oven I picked up their leaflet and realised they want to do exactly what we want to do. Eat well but eat locally and benefit the rural economy. https://sslrelay.com/www.tweedvalleyorganics.co.uk/sess/utn;jsessionid=154df1db9bb9e34/shopdata/index.shopscript
See the link to their website. We intend to buy boxes from them in the Autumn but really like what they are doing and the ethics behind the business. The reason for the delay is that over the summer we have fruit and vegetables in our garden and with so much great local produce around it is easy to eat locally over this period but less so at other times of the year. For example my favourite time of year is nearly upon us when we can go and pick raspberries and strawberries from Border Berries only a few miles away and taste the lush luxury of summer fruit.
Today we have had a fresh milk delivery. My husband who used to be tied to a Tesco’s trolley on a Friday night is in Kelso for a meeting and is going to pop into the fish shop there to get us tea. Then later today he is meeting our friends in our pig co-operative to discuss the next stage where hopefully we will have our own meat which will supply us no doubt for some time.
It’s all an adventure, it’s exciting, it’s much more rewarding. We are meeting some great people and learning so much about ourselves and our ethics and the great local businesses around us. We are sharing the journey with the kids so you know what I think my mother in law is correct for the Dranes of St Boswells we are going full circle. It’s been 102 days now since we shopped in Tesco’s the journey continues.