TABLE: Meet the Ryneharts – Part 2 – Sons and savings …


Back in April Eat Around Tonbridge introduced you to the Rynehart family.  The Ryneharts are on a mission to shun supermarket food shopping and favour farm shops, feeding their family with seasonal, local produce.  They extol the benefits of this approach – tastier meat & poultry, seasonal veg, creative cooking, minimal wastage and understanding the origins of what they’re consuming.  They were full of zeal when I met them in April – how are things going now?

Headline 1: Susanna admits that she may have strayed off course and has enjoyed wandering the spacious aisles of a Tonbridge supermarket for a food shop!  I know it might hardly seem worthy of the Eastenders’ ending to most of you but when you’ve set yourself a mission, you’ve set yourself a mission: the Ryneharts acknowledge that they have to buy some household items from supermarkets but they had done very well up until this point.  

Home from work with guests arriving, short on time, no food in the house, there was only one option available at that time of day other than a takeaway.  And how Susanna enjoyed it, she tells me!  It was a treat and she splurged buying lots of things they hadn’t had for ages and spending more there than they do in a farm shop weekly shop.  “So are you saving with your farm shopping?” I ask with only a soupcon of cynicism.  (Headline 2) And yes they are! Roughly they’re saving £200 per month which is a substantial amount  – £2,400 per year!  And that’s with teenage boys in the house….

I wanted to meet these young men – what do two teenage boys really think of farm shopping and a life without supermarket snacks?

Henry and Connor were charming (I know that sounds a bit Jane Austen but hey, I can’t lie) & honest.  They had thought this was a “bit of a phase” their parents were going through, didn’t think it would last and as a result, were slightly resistant at the outset.  But now, seven months on, they’re on the wagon too telling me that “meat tastes better”, they feel better in themselves, farm shop eggs are bigger and better, Haywards farm shop granary bread is the best … they’re converted (Headline 3)!  




I should add that as well as being charming, they are also admirable: in their pursuit of sports’ excellence both in and out of school, they had weaned themselves off crisps, biscuits and the like before their parents’ ‘fad’.  This means they’re not missing those products as much as the rest of us might (it can’t just be me?!). 

So the sons are sold on the idea.  Are you sold on the idea?  Do you shop in farm shops or are you a regular attendee at the regular farmers’ markets in Tonbridge, Hildenborough or Shipbourne?  Do you buy from local butchers?  Are you excited about the arrival in Tonbridge of Sankey’s Fishmongers in September?  

OK enough questions but you know where I’m heading – if you love your local food or drink retailer then nominate them in the Kent Life Food and Drink Awards.    


Shipbourne Farmers' Market               courtesy of Severien Vits Food Photography

Shipbourne Farmers’ Market               courtesy of Severien Vits Food Photography


Nominations close on 7th August…

I’ll be visiting the Ryneharts again in a few months by which time their situation will have changed, possibly leaving them time poor.  Will they be able to continue on their mission? 

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