Notes from Catherine Rowett, former Green Party MEP for East of England and deputy coordinator of the Eastern Region Green Party*(UK). Biographical reflections on life as an MEP. Longer reflections and discussions on issues relating to policy, the good life, justice, equality, anti-austerity economics and the future of the planet. This is also a forum for exchanging ideas on how to tread lightly on the planet and avoid supporting exploitation and corrupt practices. Here we go...

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Sad news on the Urban Farm Shop

I tried to go to the Urban Farm Shop to buy cooking apples today and found that it has shut down. Alas.

Reflections on why it was not a success: one would be its opening hours. It opened too late in the morning. For instance, on a Saturday morning, you couldn't go there first, to buy whatever was obtainable there, and then finish your shopping at the market or the supermarket. But it didn't make sense to do it the other way round, because the range available at the Farm Shop was more limited, and you didn't know what to hope for there.

Also, unlike the Green Grocers, it was not in close proximity to a supermarket or other staple shops, so you couldn't go there in the knowledge that everything you needed could be bought in the vicinity.

Also I think that because of the late opening hour it must have missed out on the mothers taking their children to school, who should have been able to go to school with little Billy, carrying his book folder and lunch box, leave him there and go back empty handed, stopping on the way to buy the vegetables and meat for the evening meal. You don't want to do that shopping when you fetch little Billy from School in the afternoon, because then you have an arm full of his gym kit, lunch box, the paintings he has to take home for the kitchen wall and the invitation thrust into your hand by Emily's mother outside the school gates. Also you need to hold Billy's hand. So doing the shopping then is much less satisfactory than the morning slot after you've dropped Billy at School. So if you open your shop at 10 a.m. you've missed the key moment, if your shop is on the prime route to the primary school.


Anonymous said...

On Victoria Road, there is a shop called the Radmore Farm Shop, which see1ms to be quite new. It doesn't have a website (yet) and I don't know whether it's as good as the Urban Farm Shop was (never having visited the latter). And I'm afraid I failed to take notice of its opening hours, sorry.

Catherine Rowett said...

Ah, yes. I've seen this, and peered through the window once. It looked as if it might have quite a lot of things in jars and packets of biscuits and things, but less evidence of locally made stuff. There appeared also to be a stand of furit and veg, but it was hard to see hoe much or whether it was local produce.

Need to check it out perhaps.