Can Congleton feed itself more with local produce?
If the whole community supports local food, this helps build the local economy, keeping money in the area, providing jobs and achieving resilience against outside forces. In short, sustainable food.
So when you are shopping, ask yourself, or even better ask the trader, if the food you are buying is locally produced. Just don’t ask about the bananas or the coffee…unless you want some funny looks. Better to stick to Fair Trade if you can for such things.
In 2008, Incredible Edible in Todmorden, Yorkshire, set itself the impressive aim to be food independent by 2018. How? Well people were inspired and encouraged to start keeping hens, and growing their own veg, not just in their own plots, but public ones too. Shops and market traders began to label the source of their food, so local produce could be readily identified. Blackboards near shops list the daily local offerings. Could Congleton emulate this?
Take a look at what’s happening to develop sustainable food in Manchester:
If you can’t buy in Congleton, then there’s always the wider area, which may be more convenient if you work outside the town. The Taste Cheshire scheme highlights Cheshire producers of quality foodstuffs.
On this site, we have begun to make Congleton food maps (egg map; honey map; meat and poultry map; beer,wine, cider map; milk map; fruit map; farm shop and farmers’ markets map so far) to show you where you can buy various items – please contact us if you are a local producer of the following foods and we’ll add you to the map.
Eggs – many small flocks of poultry are kept by individuals, and there are local farms too.
Milk – Cheshire is the county of dairy farmers – whose farms supply local milk direct to Congleton retailers (thus reducing food miles) and who still offers doorstep deliveries of milk, cream, butter, yoghurt plus other staples?
Bread – many people make their own but it’s good to know of local family-run bakeries. Chatwins is a Cheshire chain; Bonds Bakery is a family bakery in Hightown.
Flour – locally produced flour keeps down those food miles and help home bread makers.
Fruit – we can forage in season, and preserve as jams and jellies to consume out of season.
Fish – we only know of Danebridge Fisheries – any other aquaculture out there?
Meat and game – avoid the horsemeat and mislabelled food products, buy from locals who know what they’re selling. It might cost more than some ‘value’ burgers, but is it possible to have quality ingredients in ‘cheaper than chips’ processed food?
Veg – ideal to grow at home or on an allotment. As there aren’t many allotments in Congleton, perhaps you could share with someone, or help out at one of the community allotments in Hillary Ave?
Herbs – ideal to grow at home (on a windowledge, in a pot, or in the garden), or pick them from one of Congleton Food4Free’s plots in the town centre. Just leave enough for others…
Water, fruit juice, beer, wine, and cider. We have Congleton apple and pear juice produced by Congleton Sustainability Group on sale at local retailers and bars, and a proliferation of microbreweries .
Restaurants and cafes serving locally-sourced food and drink
This page is about Congleton local food meat eggs poultry milk pies sausages honey juice beers wines ciders cheese fruit veg herbs flour fruit juice fish game farm shops farmers markets