Down on The Allotment is right when she says that it doesn't get much better than digging your own veggies on Christmas Day to serve alongside the turkey. All this growing malarky is a prelude to eating!
I read somewhere in the run up to Christmas that about 24,000 food miles went in to the 'average' December 25th dinner - how they arrived at that figure I don't know.
But it got me thinking what went into mine?
Well all the vegetables pictured here travelled 250 yards from the allotment to the kitchen - though this doesn't factor in miles travelled by the seed in the first place (none was saved from last years crops).
And here's what went into a meal for three. The beer travelled about 10 miles from the Hog's Back Brewery (and the hops were grown locally). The wine is French, a white Cotes de Gascogne and a red Cabardes both from the South West, so say add 1,000 miles?
The potatoes were harvested in July, buried in a clamp and dug up on Christmas morning to travel the 250 yards to the kitchen as did the leeks, carrot, parnips, the onions for the stuffing and the brussels sprouts. Not pictured is the bread for the stuffing but it came from a local bakery (though how far the flour travelled I know not).
The chicken (no turkey as there were only three of us) was free range (whatever that means in practice) and came from Wales so add 170 miles or so. (If you know a good supplier of locally raised chicken within say 15 miles of Guildford please get in contact). The bacon for wrapping the chicken travelled 20 miles from White Lodge Farm and for dessert we thawed frozen Autumn Bliss raspberries grown on the allotment.
Oh and the Christmas wreath was made by Thrive and travelled 30 miles. None of the vegetables were packaged but add say 100 miles for the energy used in the plastic wrap, the freezer bags and the wine bottles.
So this was as local as we could make it (I could have bought the wine from Denbies Vineyard, 10 miles away but I was looking for French so we live by our choices) and I reckon there's about 1,300 food miles give or take.
Quite a bit when most of it was 'home grown' but I draw the line at giving up wine!