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Finding a green grocer

June 9, 2013

One of my favorite things in the area we lived in Manchester was having lots of wonderful food shops within a few minutes walk from our house, and I have really missed having that ever since we moved.

However, about six weeks ago I decided to try walking up to a green grocer about half a mile from our house. I brought £5, thinking that I might buy a couple of apples or potatoes or something. I walked in and was totally overwhelmed…in a good way and a bad way all at once. The shop is tiny and it was overflowing with people (about eight people is the shop’s absolute maximum capacity so it doesn’t take much), and the people working there were rushing around ducking between the customers to pick the fruit and vegetables people were ordering. In spite of this, I could tell immediately that a lot of the fruit and veg was local (other than things like bananas and pineapples, obviously) and the owner, who runs the shop, clearly took a huge amount of pride in having the best, freshest products.  He knew exactly where every potato and parsnip had come from, and he knew exactly which variety to recommend based on what you had planned for it.

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Every week since, I have walked up to the shop at least once with my big canvas bag to load up on the freshest produce and eggs around, and already I have noticed a change in what is available in the past few weeks (e.g., nectarines and peaches are now in season so were suddenly available).

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And we’re starting to get some wonderful English berries and English lettuce.

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It feels so nice to be eating in a more seasonal way, and going to the green grocer to see what is available  is one of my favorite weekly activities.

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I know not everyone is lucky enough to have a green grocer within walking distance, but with summer starting, it might be a good time to start thinking about a CSA or signing up for veg box deliveries or finding out about farmer’s markets in your area.

I was initially intimidated by going into a new shop, which always seemed very busy. However, I should have realised this was a really good sign, and I definitely shouldn’t have waited a year. For me, having really fresh, often local, produce and eggs has not only led to a massive surge in my cooking inspiration, but it has also saved us a lot of money. And…it has helped me to feel far at home in our new(ish) neighborhood.

Have a good week everyone!

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