Martin Simcock is the owner and head chef at Bread & Flowers, a catering company founded on a warm, creative, social style of cooking that complements relaxed and joyful celebrations

I VISITED Simon Martin’s farm open day in Nunton on Sunday, I was the 747thseven hundred and forty seventh visitor and it was only 1.45pm. An impressive tally and a reassurance that the countryside remains an intriguing and reassuring environment to which, when invited, people will flock.

The dairy farm can milk 400four hundred head of cattle in an hour in their its state-of-the-art rotary milking parlour, with enough technology employed to impress the most disinterested teenager. Looking out across the vast tracts of Wiltshire countryside, I’m thinking, from a dairy cow’s point of view, life is not an unhappy one. Neither is it for us really, with an excess of pathways to ramble down, not that I’ve ever rambled, I prefer to venture off-piste, picnic and get completely lost in the depths of the downs. Inevitably, we repaired to the Radnor Arms to contemplate our good fortune.

Will Dixon grows his beef cattle and sheep up on the same down land, well a bit further south towards Downton and I’ve just started buying and cooking his magnificent beef and lamb, now available from Price butcher’s in the village, a supremely good quality product. Fantastic to know that less than a few miles away we are surrounded by reallypassionate growers and producers from which we can feed our families and revive communities.

Downton might be becoming a bit of a hub for quality produce, Hugo Stewart at Botley’s Farm has just planted 4,000four thousand vines on one of his south-facing slopes and is hoping to harvest his first crop and turn it into sparkling wine in five years’ time. Meanwhile, he rents small units to a variety of makers, including the hugely successful Katie Sergeant and her Utta Nutta peanut butter, available from street markets and farm shops near you.

On a slightly different tip, we supply the Morning Star charity with excess food from our events to feed the homeless of Salisbury. There are some 20 to 36 hungry, and vulnerable adults who attend the Banquet Run (soup run) three times a week to grab some nourishment to keep themselves going. Dave and Bev, who give their time and considerable effort tell me numbers are increasing, as endorsed by the Trussell Trust and any other number of food banks around the country. It’s rewarding to know that a Freekeh salad, roast peppers, asparagus, griddled courgettes and spring onion, with a coriander dressing isn’t going into landfill.

Going into the season of abundance, it’s important to give back and distribute your harvests.