It is a wonderful thing to know where your food comes from. Relationships with those who have produced it, knowledge of the local land and the ability to ask questions of producers add an extra dimension to a meal.
We have aimed in this guide to find producers within roughly a 10 mile radius of Forest Row village. We have included a couple from a few miles further away for special or unusual produce. All are, to the best of our knowledge, traditional-type modest scale farms and producers that care about issues such as animal welfare and give back to their communities in different ways.
Locally grown food helps us cut food miles, support our local economy, and can encourage diversity and good land and animal husbandry. Transition Forest Row celebrates all local producers and all that you may grow in your garden, allotment or window box. After some tough years for British farming, where many farmers have left the industry or retired, there now seems to be a growing recognition of issues around nutrition, sustainability and food security. It’s good to see organisations like the National Trust and the Women’s Institute behind local food and “grow your own” initiatives.
When we started the directory we also aimed to include restaurants and cafés who promoted local food but they proved scarcer on the ground than we had expected (and scarcer than in many other towns and villages). A number of the places listed do have tea shops and restaurants, and many offer other products, events or facilities.
We hope this brief guide may help you on an adventure to source more of your own food more locally. With grateful thanks to all those who have helped us discover other producers, to the farmers and retailers themselves who have given such positive replies, and to Wealden District Council for funds to print this guide through a grant to Transition Forest Row.
Rowena Moore and Juliet Cumpatescu
Download a copy here
As a hard copy booklet can only hold limited information and goes out of date, we have also encouraged all producers and retailers listed to load their details onto the local food finder website www.bigbarn.co.uk