Sourcing meat was no problem at all. Free range turkey, goose, and duck could be easily purchased direct from the producer's farm. There was a choice of both Limousin and Aberdeen Angus beef, outdoor reared pork, bacon and sausages, and home bred lamb. More intensively reared produce was also available for those choosing that option.
A nearby bakery made their own mince pies and Pudding as well as bread, we bought local Berkswell Cheese, and local free range eggs.
Getting good locally grown vegetables was another story. The local farmer's market was held too early for the veg to still be fresh on Xmas Day, and none of the farm shops sourced from close by. So it was off to the supermarket where nothing was local, but at least the sprouts came from Lincolnshire, the carrots from Notts, and the potatoes from Norfolk. Sadly the mushrooms were Irish, so they had to stay on the shelf.
But what about taste and price? There's no getting away from the fact that these locally sourced products cost more, sometimes alot more, than the supermarket equivalent, and there is a time and hassle factor involved in visiting various different shops. But the quality and taste was far superior. The Kelly Bronze turkey was outstanding as were the bacon and sausages, lamb and Aberdeen Angus beef. The Limousin beef was good too, and certainly better than supermarket beef, even from a premium range. The bakery items and cheese were excellent.
To this Christmas cook knowing exactly where the food had come from, and the quality, justified the extra cost and the time involved in sourcing locally.
On my shopping travels I asked each producer whether the difficult economy had led to a downturn in business. Most said that sales were holding up fairly well, although there were some signs of consumers trading down, for example from a Kelly Bronze turkey to standard free range,and from steaks and roasts to casseroles and mince. There was also a trend to buying meat to a price rather than a weight.