Here it is — 40 entries to help us buy fresh, local food which has been produced with care, and has not been hauled from one side of the country to the other. Copies available from The Green House, Rhosmaen Street, Llandeilo
The print version of the 2015 Llandeilo & Tywi Local Food Guide will be out soon and as last year, will be distributed free. To read the draft version online, click on the title: Llandeilo & Tywi Local Food Guide 2015. Thanks to everyone who agreed to be listed. The entries reflect the wide spectrum of food businesses in Llandeilo and the surrounding area. It’s clear, though, that dairying has fared very badly in recent years, and the survivors deserve medals. The location map is originally from www.walesdirectory.co.uk — to whom we give thanks for permission to use it. May 4th 2015
The final copies of Llandeilo Food Network’s first food guide — Fresh Local Food and Drink in and around Llandeilo 2014 — are in The Green House, 91 Rhosmaen Street, Llandeilo. Copies are free, just take one.
We plan a bigger version for 2015, and have lots more producers and shops to include. Preparation will start in December.
Please email me, email@example.com, if you produce or sell food originating within about 20 miles of Llandeilo, and would like to know more about the guide — or call in when passing The Green House (01558 822646), and collect a copy while there are still some left.
Just down the road from The Green House, at 83 Rhosmaen Street, Y Pantri opened today. Y Pantri sells wholefoods and local produce, a lot of it organic. You can find cheeses, cold meats, yogurts, baked goods, vegetables, groceries, preserves, treats and more. Open 9-3 Monday-Saturday, 01558 328206.
Local producers were attracting customers during the Llandovery Sheep Festival on September 27 and 28. Earth Oven’s wood-fired oven baked popular pizzas (07976 945245), HedgeRose from Pumsaint sold rare-breed pork (07946 606079), and Mrs Pook’s Kitchen from near Lampeter had enticing marmalades and chutneys (01570 472810). Mrs Pook’s stock list includes Jamaica marmalade (with rum, naturally) and Creole mango chutney — not local ingredients, but prepared in West Wales.
Local home delivery services are a boon, especially in rural areas with very little public transport. Jac’s Fruit and Veg van delivers in many villages of north Carmarthenshire and into south Ceredigion, 07817 101794. Now Cooper the Butchers of 4 Carmarthen Street, Llandeilo, have a delivery service for locally-produced meats, including beef, lamb, chicken, pork and chicken, sausages, bacon, faggots and burgers. Find out more from 01558 823463.
Coming up, Llansawel Market next Saturday, October 18th, in the village hall, 10am-1pm. Refreshments, as well as local foods and crafts for sale.
Pat Dodd Racher, Llandeilo Food Network
Busy updating the guide and preparing a printed version.
If you know of any food or drink producers or suppliers, within about 30 miles radius of Llandeilo, who would like to be included, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or post a comment to this site.
We in Llandeilo Food Network / Rhwydwaith Bwyd Llandeilo are a wholly voluntary group, an offshoot from Transition Town Llandeilo. Our purpose is to increase the local production and consumption of food and beverages, to give shoppers the best fresh produce, to boost the local economy, and to cut food miles and thereby carbon emissions.
Fiona Gallagher knows her onions — and a huge range of plants growing wild all around us. Fiona, from Tumble, led a group of Llandeilo Food Network members and friends on an off-beat tour of Llandeilo on Sunday, February 16th.
Starting in the car park of CK’s supermarket, Fiona (right) quickly found lesser celandine, also known as pile wort, which in times past was used for an anti-wart tincture, and some people would dry the leaves for a tea. The tubers can be cooked — apparently stir-frying is good — but one would need a lot of them to make a meal. We tried soup made with lesser celandine root, wild parsnip and nettle, tasting like a tangy green parsnip broth.
Fortified, we strolled down to Llandeilo station via a footpath which crossed a disused play area. The play equipment has gone, a couple of old mattresses have been dumped, and the area is full of weeds.
For Fiona, virtually every plant has at least one use, and that includes thistle, which normally I would not be tempted to try.
Between the station and the swollen river Tywi, we failed to find any shoots of wild garlic, also called ransoms, but on the path back up towards St Teilo’s Church we learned that dock roots provide a yellow dye, and that birch trees can be tapped for sap between mid-February and mid-March. If the sap is boiled and reduced by a third, the resulting liquid is sweet, apparently, but I have not tried it.
Fiona had a tip about using ivy vines. Cut and split, and leave to dry, she said. The sticks when rubbed together will spark — great for lighting a bonfire. Useful knowledge when you have neither matches nor firelighters.
King Alfred’s cakes are also flammable and usable as barbecue fuel. They live on dead ash trees, said Fiona, and are not baked goods but dark fungi which look like burnt cakes. We saw several on the path up towards St Teilo’s Church, easy to spot once you know to look for them.
The churchyard has a rich variety of trees, Llandeilo’s own arboretum, and among the different types of yews and cypressus, the stranger specimens include a large monkey puzzle tree, native of southern South America, and a maidenhair tree, the ‘living fossil’ officially called Gingko biloba, the nuts of which are reputed to help prevent dementia, Fiona told us.
The little park adjoining the churchyard has been newly planted and primroses were enjoying the sun, which emerged for at least some of the walk. Many thanks to Fiona for being a walking encyclopaedia of wild plants and their uses. Always best to be in the company of an expert!
Pat Dodd Racher