Garsons of Titchfield welcomed a new generation of customers to its Farm Shop this month: a group of Year 8 students from Boundary Oak School in Fareham. The special visit was arranged to give pupils the chance to learn about the best of Hampshire produce from Farm Shop manager Kerrie White and butcher Paul Ball, and discover why they should shop local.
The students sought inspiration for their own culinary creations as part of Year 8's ‘Create and Cook’ competition and visited the Owton's butchers counter in the Farm Shop to find out if buying local produce could make for tastier dishes. Paul was on hand to answer all the pupils' questions about the kinds of meat that Hampshire is famous for, such as Owton's award-winning sausages and bacon, all made with locally-reared pork.
As well as learning about the types of food available in the Farm Shop, the budding cooks learned about trends in food and cookery and how they could be cost-effective when using meat. The students also conducted a survey of products in the Farm Shop, evaluating ingredients and packaging, and took photos to use in their work back at school. With their new-found knowledge, they also had the opportunity to purchase ingredients for the dishes they will go on to cook back at school.
"Our Year 8 pupils enjoyed a really informative visit to Garsons, and learned a lot from Paul about the different types of meat and how buying local food benefits small businesses," said Emily Grice, DT Food Tech teacher at Boundary Oak School. "They came away feeling very inspired, and some of them are now designing dishes based on meat from the counter at Garsons. We are introducing different skills each week until the competition deadline at the end of March."
"It was fantastic to have the students from Boundary Oak School visit the Farm Shop to learn about local food," says Clare James, director at Garsons. "We think it's never too early to encourage enthusiasm for food and cooking, and who knows – we may have inspired one or two future Michelin-starred chefs! We're all looking forward to hearing about the delicious meals the students created with their produce from Garsons."