Thirty mile theme for Somerset Food Trail

THE deadline for entries to the 2023 Somerset Food Trail is on Wednesday 15th March.

The food trail, which last year attracted 8,500 people to visit more than 190 sustainable food producers and retailers, runs from 14th to 30th July and focuses on smaller scale and more nature-friendly farmers and artisan producers.

The 2023 trail aims to build on the success of the inaugural ten-day event which saw nearly 250 events. Participants will be able to taste the best that the county has to offer at a series of feasts that showcase ingredients supplied by Somerset’s growing band of regenerative farmers and sustainable food producers.

Somerset Food Trail is managed and run by Sustainable Food Somerset (formerly Wells Food Network). The organisers are putting out a countywide call to encourage feasts and tastings that can showcase food gleaned and grown within a 30-mile radius.

Author Graham Archer, a campaigner on regenerative agriculture and the importance of soil quality, is a new member of the Sustainable Food Somerset board, says: “We are particularly keen to include events that showcase cost-effective sources of good food, such as foraging and community growing.”

An environmental journalist and the agricultural story editor of The Archers for more than 30 years, Graham says it is important to recognise that these are “feasts for nature”, with the emphasis being on helping people learn more about where their food comes from: “Ultimately, we are trying to create a movement that gets consumers to wield the power they have to impact food production, supporting the shift to nature-friendly farming that is vital for our planet.”

Sustainable Food Somerset chairman Stewart Crocker says: “It’s time to recognise the value of restoring and creating habitat for nature within a productive landscape. It is telling that one of the key topics under discussion at Davos this January was food systems and how they can be revolutionised through regenerative agriculture. Our chemical-dependent food system is simply unsustainable in every sense.”

Venues in 2022 included William Sitwell’s Wivey Wonders lunch at Wiveliscombe, Fanny Hatstand’s Riverside Market and Supper in Langport, On the Spoon’s Shatwell Farm dinner and a Friday Feast at Pigpen in Over Stratton.

A feast can be anything from a three-course sit down dinner to a picnic in a field, as long as most of the food is sourced from a 30-mile radius. The deadline for event applications is 15th March. To find out more about setting up a feast in your area, contact the organisers via the Somerset Food Trail website