Sunday, 20 December 2015

#LakeDistrictBid Advent Calendar Day 20 - Because of the food...

When folks originally settled here they didn't just come because it looked pretty, they came because there was a fresh water supply and some means of growing food.  Whenever I read the "new life abroad" books they always make good mention of the food - oranges and grapefruit dropping from trees all ready to be collected and taken home for a fresh batch of marmalade.

I'm not knocking that at all, but the Lake District is also dripping with fabulous wild foods and there are plenty of local food producers making the most of it.  (And if you're after a good "new life abroad" book you could take a look at this lovely book about life as an expat in Cyrpus by one of my fab friends).

In the Lake District the spring woodlands are alive with wild garlic; the freshly picked leaves are perfect for slipping into a cheese sarnie if you're out on a hike, or at home just chop them into a salad.


Throughout the summer keep your eyes open for wild raspberries and, occasionally, blackcurrants and down on the woodland floors you can often find tiny wild strawberries which although small pack a really sweet punch.

Come autumn and you need to take your big rucksack on any hike to make the most of all the goodies you'll find along the way.

Damsons
More damsons
Sloes
Blackberries
Marmalade is all very nice but with sloes, damsons and blackberries I can stock my liqueur cabinet ready for Christmas.  (I occasionally make jams and pies with it all too, honest!)


And there's no end of use for our apples - jams, pies, sauces, juice and, of course, home made cider.

Community apple pressing event
And if you know what you're looking for and are an expert in such things, there's plenty of fungi to choose from too.



We're not the only ones making good use of it all - there are plenty of shops and producers in the Lake District turning our local larder into fabulous tasty treats.

Fishers fruit & veg Grange-over-Sands
Higginsons Grange-over-Sands
Hazelmere bakery - Grange-over-Sands
Cartmel cheeses
And then there are the brewers and distilleries...

Unsworths micro brewery - Cartmel
The Lakes Distillery

There are also the ones I don't have photos of - Jennings, Hawkshead and Eden breweries to name but a few.

One of the requirements from  UNESCO is "to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;" - well I reckon we've been making pretty good use of the land for traditional food production for some time now and gaining World Heritage Site Status would enable us to better protect the region and encourage more visitors to sample the edible delights of the Lake District and support all of our local food producers.

To learn more about the #LakeDistrictBid  please click here - where you can also register your support for the bid with a couple of clicks of your mouse (or prods of your screen).

If you want to put your feet up and catch up on all the reasons starting from day 1 - please click here or scroll the column on the right to see what you've been missing.  :-)