Talking directly to the people involved in making the food that you buy is one of the ways to turn shopping from a chore into a more rewarding experience. Coupled with the ability to ‘try before you buy’, markets and shows are a great way to take the risk out of what you purchase. Those who have visited The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight will know that, just like at the markets and shows, we go to great length to encourage our visitors to taste all our products, for free. It’s not only our visitors that benefit, we do too; it’s a great way of getting immediate feedback on our produce. In both circumstances, here at the farm as well as the markets, shows, fairs and events that we attend across the country, getting face to face with our customers and sharing our passion is a hugely important part of what we do.
Tasting products from a producers table in a historic market town, or at a rustic event in the middle of a field is very different to picking a jar form a crowded shelf as you race around the shops. It is different again from clicking ‘add to basket’ from a web page. These three methods of purchase all have their advantage but there is nothing like chatting to us about the nuanced difference between our Garlic Mayonnaise and our Toasted Garlic Mayonnaise as you try both for yourself.
As a third-generation family farming business, we are very grateful for the recommendations that our customers make to their friends and family. This is what keeps us going, both commercially and spiritually! The digital age of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram help us spread the word but when we see our customers call to their friends at a food fair or farmers market and say “…come over and try this Garlic Jam, it’s so yummy…” this the best reward for us and our team.
Sometimes it’s easy to take for granted the effort that goes into lugging crates of garlic and garlicky product across the water and into an event. The reward for our visitors is there in form of the free tasters and ability to learn about the products ‘direct form the producers. The reward is also there for us – we love the feedback we get from you all and look forward to the next event, come rain or shine!