Congratulations to Growing Communities, winners of the Best Independent Retailer award in this years’ Observer Food Monthly Awards. This is recognition for the incredible work this community based organisation has been doing over the last 17 years. Together with a thriving food box scheme, they have established the weekly Stoke Newington Farmers Market as a real alternative to high street food shopping, providing direct connection with food at source, with stalls run by farmers and suppliers of locally produced, organic produce. I had a conversation recently with Kerry Rankine, one of the Market organisers, about the difficulty of generating publicity for an activity which is not really that newsworthy. Running the market simply means showing up, all year round, contending with challenges the different seasons provide, with fluctuation in availability and quality of produce. There’s not much in the way of ‘new angles;’ just a commitment to the simple pleasures of alignment with and appreciation of local, seasonal food grown or produced with care and attention. This award is a tribute to an organisation which continues to ‘show up,’ providing an incredible resource to its community, and an inspiration to others about how things can be done. Check out the Observer article here.