The farm to fork concept is a simple one – it is being able to track and trace the food you consume through every step in the production process, from where it’s grown to how it ends up on your kitchen table.
At Craigies, we aim to shorten the farm to fork process as much as possible, and in some cases there are only two steps – from our farm direct to you!
The benefits of farm to fork
As fifth generation farmers, we have always had a strong connection to the land and we are passionate about sharing that with our customers. We focus on producing and selling produce that is as local as possible, with the overall aim of shortening the food supply chain.
This comes with so many benefits – one of which is of course minimising the environmental impact of your shopping basket. By focusing on local produce, you reduce the miles travelled by your food and support a range of local businesses too.
Re-connecting with the countryside
A lot of the problems that farmers and those working in the rural sector face is that people don’t understand how their food is produced. Many years ago, whole communities got involved with hand picking fruit and vegetables – the October school break was called the ‘tattie holidays’ for a reason!
These days, there isn’t as much demand for hand picking as the process has been largely mechanised – meaning people don’t have that same connection to the land and the food that grows there.
That is why activities like pick your own fruit are so important – people can go back to basics and pick the produce right off the plant or out of the ground! It can be a real challenge to get the message across about farm to fork, but things like pick your own allow people to physically connect with the food they eat.
Engaging the next generation
One of the things we are most enthusiastic about is educating and engaging younger generations with food and farming.
School visits are something that we are passionate about, and we find that a lot of the kids that come to us have not had the basic cooking skills that my generation might have enjoyed when we were younger! We welcome kids to the farm through the Royal Highland Education Trust which does a great job of bringing farming to life for young people.
It’s really important that we allow children to embrace the fun of producing and cooking their food just as much as the enjoyment of eating the end result – we help do this through our jam making classes, which always prove a hit and give kids that satisfaction of eating something they made from scratch.
Simple skills like these and just seeing what goes on at a working farm go a long way to raise awareness amongst kids. Places like Little Farmers go one step further, allowing them to get up close and interact with animals and learn about how they are used on the farm.
John’s top tips for connecting with the countryside
- Visit your local farm shop to discover producers to support in your area
- Pick or grow your own fruit and vegetables if you can – even if it’s just herbs in a window box!
- Get kids involved with the cooking process
- Go outside and spend time out in nature – get up close to animals in the Little Farmers animal shed, embrace nature in our PYO fields or explore the walking trails around Craigies!