Meet Tim and Vicky, a foodie lovin’ couple who one of our Food Assembly in South London. We meet at their weekly Food Assembly pop-up market to talk about local food, eating better, and food comas.
Tim Daborn and Vicky Tedder started their Food Assembly in 2014 and since then they’ve seen it blossom into the community.
“I got involved in this because I love food and I love to know where my food comes from – to hear the stories behind my food. That’s really important – just connecting to the whole process,” says Vicky, who works in community development.
“For some reason the enjoyment of the food and the flavour changes massively,” adds Tim, with a rustic box in hand, full of fresh veggies, cheese and bread – his shop organised for the week ahead.
Tim, who works as a student nurse, is pretty happy with his food order this week, which carries a Brockman Farm’s Veg Box, sourdough bread from Elephant Bakehouse, and his favourite ‘billion-ways-to-eat-it’ Bermondsey Frier cheese from Kappacasein.
Every week new members join Food Assemblies in the UK, who order local food online and then pick it up at a weekly pop-up market. As they begin to experience fresher, local produce, they also get to meet their neighbours.
All the food is sourced within 100 miles of The Food Assembly, with most producers coming from within 30 miles.
“People are so alienated about their food. Shops don’t want people to think about the production of food, but that’s the most important part. It’s about getting closer to that,” says Tim.
“You can put a face to the name of the person who has to go out in the early hours of the morning to pick that thing in the cold and wet. You’re not going to waste that, are you? The more you know about the food, the more you enjoy it,” says Vicky.
Vicky and Tim started their Food Assembly because they wanted to buy healthier food, and be involved in a system that’s fair to farmers and also to animals.
Farmers who sell through The Food Assembly get 80% of goods sold in comparison to as little as 20% from supermarkets.
Each week their Assembly is on a Sunday morning at The Ivy House pub in Nunhead – a community-owned pub.
“The pub was going to be sold for flats so the community campaigned, got it listed and bought it through shares. It’s being supportive to The Food Assembly, everyone knows The Ivy House is associated with good stuff. We are lucky to have them,” says Tim.
The two South-Londoners enjoy sharing recipes and stories with members and finding out how people cook things.
“People love meeting the baker and the cheesemonger. In turn, the producers love telling our members about how their food was made,” says Vicky.
What’s their favourite moment of hosting their Food Assembly?
“Falling into a food cave,” says Tim, laughing.
Vicky says: “I regularly come home to find the bread being half eaten, along with the cheese.”
Tim responds: “Or, during the week Vicky checks the order and says, ‘eh, did we order that cheese?’
“And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’ve eaten that already.’”
Interested in hosting or joining your local Food Assembly? Click here.
All photos for this blog were taken by London photographer Helen Jermyn.