The first E17 FarmDrop, our very first London FarmDrop, took place on May 28th and we’re totally bowled over by the response from members and producers alike.
It’s totally gratifying for local keeper Sian, whose belief in what we’re trying to achieve spurred her on to set the Drop up around the needs of 2 young (2.5 years and 6 months) children.
Sian’s own interest in food has always been well developed but she admits that pregnancy and children heightened her concerns about how she and her family ate. And her enthusiasm about good food is already rubbing off on her children, with her 2.5 year old son loving the fact that his mum goes off to the pub on a Wednesday evening “to meet farmers” (“He thinks they all come in on their tractors, and I haven’t corrected him…) and getting excited over all of the food the following morning. He’s also, already, a dab hand in the kitchen. “He especially likes scrambling eggs and the ones we get from Purton Organics are amazing - if you weren’t scrambling them yourself you’d think there was cream in them.”
“It’s a really lovely atmosphere that we have, and a real sense of community,” says Sian. “People come here and they’re full of enthusiasm to actually meet the people who have grown their carrots or reared their meat, as well as get to know more people from our local community. Our producers are absolute characters as well, and there’s a wonderful sense of support not only between them and the buyers, but also between the producers themselves, who cooperate with one another in terms of delivery and appearances, which is only going to become more vital as more and more FarmDrops open over London and they, and their goods, are in higher and sometimes schedule-juggling demand.”
Although Sian found most of her producers - who include Chegworth Valley, Brockmans Farm and Flour Station online through the platform and on Twitter - there is one maker who remains a social media refusenik and who Sian met at another fair last year. This is the wonderful Ma Russell, whose homemade chutneys and preserves feature such evocatively named delights as “Vampire Jelly” - a garlic concoction that you can smear all over a chicken prior to roasting for unbelievably toothsome (get it?) results.
If you’re local to E17, Sian’s FarmDrop takes place every Wednesday at the Chequers in Walthamstow. Orders are taken Monday-Sunday for collection the following Wednesday, and you can get started here.
(photo credit, the wonderful Heather Hobhouse)