Not a Sausage

What’s local food like in Lincolnshire?” she asked me. “You have sausages, don’t you?

Lincolnshire sausage

I talk about food culture enough to know that the question of whether Lincolnshire food is more than a sausage is hardly an original one.

This offhand enquiry causes me to feel furiously insulted every time!

Lincolnshire – the breadbasket of Britain, with the second biggest fishing port in the country, that produces almost a third of UK vegetables: we have more to say for ourselves than “sausage” – or even Poacher cheese and plum bread.

A Vibrant Food Culture

Photo: Doddington Farm Shop

And yet I do sometimes envy the food culture of other places – from the delectable coast of North Norfolk and the smashing choice of veggie restaurants in Brighton to the sustainable food pioneers of Bristol; reading Ottolenghi’s article about his love of Britain’s diverse restaurant culture in the Guardian last month… I couldn’t help thinking that he was really talking about London. 

Here’s the thing: for every £1 spent by the likes of you and I on veg box schemes or farmers’ markets, a further £3.70 is generated in social, economic and environmental value.*

It’s a no brainer that we should foster a vibrant, delicious, diverse local food economy in Lincolnshire.

A Walk in the Wheat

Last year, our friends at the Small Food Bakery hosted a Walk in the Wheat at Turners of Bytham farm in Lincolnshire, with millers, bakers, and the whole food community.

We spoke with the dairy farmers whose cows graze at Bytham, about the interdependence of manure, soil, and the wheat and oats.

It made me feel altogether differently about bread and grain and how it gets to our plates. It made me care much, much more.

A Walk in the Wheat – Turners of Bytham, Lincolnshire

A better food system

So my call to action this Spring is for us all to be active in our local food system:

Those with knowledge and experience of growing, processing and cooking have a vital role – to use, share and pass on those skills;

Those with means have the opportunity to invest in a better food system for us all;

We all might cultivate a deeper understanding and respect for the farmers and landworkers producing our food and stewarding the land in difficult circumstances.

For more on how, watch this space over the coming year, and for more info, sign up for our newsletter:

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*New Economics Foundation, 2021

Not a Sausage was published in the Lincoln Independent, where we have a regular column

Thank you Ticky!

Ticky Nadal is stepping down from her role as Food Partnership Coordinator at the end of March, to focus more on her work at Board Director at Mint Lane CIC. Ticky has done so much for the Food Partnership, especially working with foodbanks and community larders across the county; reducing food waste; championing healthy diets…

A Lincolnshire Breadbasket

I was recently in a meeting about agri food, when an academic said to me – Laura, remember that farmers don’t really have that much to do with food. At first I was taken aback, but there is a sense in which selling a crop into a global commodity market does create a fairly stunning…

Notes from the Tamar Valley

Food Partnership Coordinator, Laura Stratford, made a research trip to the Tamar Valley, an area of the country where the Open Food Network is being used to great effect, to see if Lincolnshire might take a leaf from their book… Accessing Local Food Lincolnshire produces a huge proportion of the nation’s food.  But if we,…

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