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We can’t believe it’s August already; summer seems to be flying by. Our minds are full of up-and-coming holidays, ice-cream and picnics, fish and chips on the beach and freshly baked cakes served with tea in gorgeous English china cups. Farmers markets and local food growers are bursting with wonderful produce that, quite surprisingly, doesn’t require too much cooking, if at all. Berries, broccoli, beans and plump plums are in abundance, so eating locally and in season couldn’t be easier.

Peas are good! No seriously, peas are now in season, they sit waiting for us, fresh in the pods – so pleasing to pop, so get the children involved! Simply pod them and they can be served with soft cheese, de-pursed broad beans, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of rapeseed oil. Stir in a dozen chopped fresh mint leaves and this salad is just perfect for picnics – and it doesn’t spoil too easily; it’s best to pop your cheese in just before eating though.

Padron peppers grilled with a little rapeseed oil and salt, until they are soft and moist, is a wonderful Spanish tapas dish. The little fellas are mild, very easy to grow and even easier to eat. They sometimes hold a little surprise as every now and again a fiery one creeps in.

Great food requires great ingredients, and you can you could always try to grow your own, if like me, you have limited outdoor space, start small by growing herbs, peppers and maybe some potatoes in a bag. If you’re a ‘newbe’ to growing your own, you may fancy joining or starting your own local community allotment. These green spaces don’t just allow you to grow fruit and veg, but grow knowledge and friends, use an online search engine or your local library if you’re having trouble finding an allotment site near to where you live. Within no time you’ll be atop of the pots and a master composter in the making.

As a working mother I know it’s often easier to nip down to the local supermarket to grab something quick and easy to cook, but frequently supermarket food has flown further than the average family on their annual holiday! If we don’t buy local we are in danger of losing the link between our food, the land, and the people who produce it. It’s all about economies: If we don’t buy from British producers they will simply disappear alongside local jobs, landscapes and edible biodiversity.

‘Diversity of foods and farming systems is also known to support economic diversity and increase resilience to local or global economic shocks, thereby supporting livelihoods and food security’

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Biodiversity for Food Security and Nutrition, July 2015

Slow Food in the UK has seen tangible results for the small-scale producers working with us in reviving traditional seasonal produce, and you can really make a difference in helping retain and sustain the local jobs surrounding our food economy. By preserving our food traditions, creating a market and sustaining them as part of the landscape, our long term objective is preserving Britain’s edible biodiversity, and with this comes food security.

Time and space starved? Don’t worry, you can still grab lovely local produce and cook up a summery storm. Here’s what’s in season this month

Vegetables: Artichokes (globe), Aubergines, Beetroot, Broad beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Celery (coming into season), Courgettes, Cucumber, Fennel, Pak choi, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes (maincrop), Rocket, Sweetcorn and Watercress

Fruit: Apricots, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries (end of season), Kiwi fruit (end of season), Melon, Nectarines (coming into season), Peaches, Raspberries, Strawberries (end of season) and Tomatoes

Meat: Lamb, Rabbit and Venison (may still be available)

Fish and seafood: Crab, Haddock, Mackerel, Pollock (a.k.a. pollack), Salmon, Sardines, Scallops and Tuna…

 Words and Images ©Finola Gaynor 2017

Biography: Finola Gaynor

Born in Ireland and following on from a successful career as a graphic designer and leading university design academic, Finola Gaynor’s lifelong passion for all things culinary came to the fore upon relocating to Norfolk some 6 years ago.

Beneath the big skies of East Anglia, she was able to fulfil her enduring ambition to become a chef at The Barn, Holt, North Norfolk, food writer and recipe developer, whilst all the time bringing a unique knowledge of design to bear on her home-cooked cuisine.

Finola’s supper club dining experience brand Life is Less Ordinary, has grown steadily, with demand consistently outstripping supply. Finola specializes in providing world food ideas made from ingredients sourced locally from small, specialist growers and suppliers.

Her award-winning recipes and boundless enthusiasm have in the kitchen have led her to work with notables such as Studio Ramsey, ITV, BBC Food, Sainsbury’s and the Huffington Post. In 2016 she won the Muddy Stilettoes Award for Best Casual Dining in Norfolk.




The Slow Food blog is welcoming contributions on the topics of Food, Farming and Agriculture. The contents may not entirely match the views of Slow Food, but reflect the journeys of the authors. To write for us please click here



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