Living off the Land

When we go camping or caravanning for our holidays in the United Kingdom we have a tendency to load up with lots of unnecessary fast food or food that can be heated simply from a can. Likewise we also have a tendency to stop off at roadside cafes and restaurants or country pubs.

When you consider how cheaply you are able to go on holiday in the first place, isn’t it a shame that when you look back you see how much additional money you spend on food and drink whilst away?

There are however, a few alternatives:

Farm Shops

When camping or caravanning there will nearly always be a farm shop within walking distance of the camp site or caravan park; this is because most camp sites and caravan parks are built on farm land and usually always on a working farm.

With this in mind it is always worth while to check before you set off as to whether there is a farm shop and its opening hours.

You can buy fresh eggs, fresh milk, cheese, and perhaps some fresh meat and poultry from these shops and – if you have the right equipment with you to cook – you will find that you can save quite a bit of money and also produce a tasty breakfast or meal for you and the rest of your group.

If you are going to be staying on a camp site or caravan park for a number of nights consecutively you can ask the owner of the farm shop to keep an order for you each day until you leave; this way you ensure the products you want.

Village Butchers

Most camp sites and caravan parks – although they may have their own shops – are near to villages. In rural villages which have not yet succumbed to the yield of the larger supermarket chains there still remain small family run butchers who will be open from early in the morning. Again this may sound like cheating but a leisurely stroll into the nearest village – weather permitting – will give you the opportunity not only to get to know your surroundings but also to pick up quality cuts of meat, sausages, mince etc cheaply and very fresh.

Crop Producing Farms

A great number of the farms you will encounter will produce crops such as wheat, corn, barley and the likes and as a result these farms will produce their own products for sale in their own farm shops. You may be able to buy fresh bread, mueslis and other cereals, at considerably less than the retail price and also get the opportunity – where possible – to see how the products are made on site.

Mushrooms and Berries

There is also a mix of wild berries and mushrooms that can be picked to eat but it is advisable that you have a manual or book and at least one member of your group who knows about such things. There is a wide range of wild mushrooms that can be eaten which include:

  • Oyster Fungus
  • Common Puffball
  • Sulphur Polypore
  • St.George’s Mushroom

And for berries a selection of the edible ones are:

  • Elderberries
  • Raspberries
  • Gooseberries
  • Blackberries
  • Wild Strawberries (although growing in the wild these are harder to find)

Again it is recommended that you seek advice before attempting to pick and eat any of the aforementioned. In addition they should be thoroughly washed and you should not eat a great many in any one sitting.

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