Getting my Locavore on at the Isle of Man Food Assembly
Every two weeks you can order fresh Isle of Man produce from the Food Assembly
If you love the convenience of an online Tesco shop, and would like to eat more local produce, the Food Assembly is for you. Every two weeks I get an Email letting me know that the Assembly is open. Then I head to the website, select which items I want to buy and then pay online. I’ve ordered twice now and heading to Noa Bakehouse to pick up my order is the highlight of my day. I chat to friends, talk to the producers about how they grow and make their products, and leave with a car heaving with quality food. It’s not even that expensive.
My Fridge after the Food Assembly
Somehow opening my fridge and gawking at all the lovely cabbages, sausages, leeks, yoghurt and carrots seems indecent. Total food porn! This time I’ve even ordered a slightly larger box of vegetables from Bryan Radcliffe and for £15 I took home a cardboard box loaded with nutritious goodness. Bryan even modeled it for me.
Freshly picked brussels sprouts, cabbage, beets, turnip, kale, onions, parsnips, cauliflower, and a 2.5 kg bag of heritage spuds. They are some of the best potatoes I’ve ever tasted and last night I even squeezed the name of the variety out of Bryan — he didn’t want to say but I’m good at convincing.
The Creative Ladies of Mann
At the back of the room my pals Charlotte from the Apple Orphanage, Katy from Kathryn Mitchell Ceramics, and Sarah a local artist and Noa Bakehouse queen held court. Katy makes the ceramic pourers for my Aromatherapy Massage Oil Candles and reckons that this year she’s handmade well over 800 different pieces. That’s aside from the Christmas ornaments she’s been selling through the Food Assembly.
Charlotte and her partner Will run a unique juice company on the Island. They take apples and other fruit in exchange for juice — they’re currently planting their own orchards but rely on locals to bring in fruit for the time being. It’s such an excellent way to reduce waste plus the juices are just gorgeous.
Local Meat & Cured Sausages
Every time I see something online about factory farming I get upset. Animals cramped into cages, packed body-to-body in barns, and living out lives in misery. I played with the idea of going vegetarian and to this day I still make a lot of vegetarian and vegan fare. I love meat though and have found a solution to my dilemma.
Local meat from local producers
Purchasing a box of locally-reared and butchered meat from the Andreas Meat Company and cured sausages from Mann Biltong sets my mind at ease. Animals aren’t factory farmed on the Island and the quality of the products is unbelievable. You can’t even compare the bacon that the Andreas Meat Company produces with the stuff in the shop — it’s firmer, more flavourful, and just looks like it came from a healthy animal.
The Smoked Cured Manx Sausage from Mann Biltong is the same and is spiced to perfection. This time I’ve also picked up a pack of David’s Pastrami. Smoked for ten hours you can smell the deliciousness through the packaging.
My Larder is Stocked
The potatoes and onions are in the drawer, meat and pies are in the freezer, veg and dairy are in the fridge, and Noa Bakehouse bread is already in my belly. The baguette was still warm from the oven last night and went perfectly with our meal of two Betty Pie Company pies. There’s enough produce here to last at least ten days of meals and I have sausages and mash on the menu as well as my own homemade leek and steak pie.
Registering with the Food Assembly is free and if you sign up you’ll receive reminder Emails to place your order. I highly recommend the service and producers and am so pleased to support it. It’s a win-win situation!
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