The Truffler: Stoneleigh and Royal Welsh, the fishing industry, Borough Market, The Organic Food & Wine Festival, Ben & Jerry's.

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Indy Lifestyle Online

It's not just the Royal Show, which was to have taken place at Stoneleigh this week, and the Royal Welsh, that will be missed this year. The list of agricultural shows cancelled because of foot-and-mouth disease makes lengthy and poignant reading. Doune & Dunblane, Machen, Dalkeith, Ashby de la Zouch and Taunton are not taking place as scheduled. Nantwich International Cheese Show is among other events abandoned until next year. Many specialist and small food producers rely on these shows to sell their produce direct to the public. They may be supplying their local farm shop, however, and if you want to support producers and buy locally produced food, the Farm Retail Association, PO Box 575, Southampton, SO15 7ZB, www.farmshopping. com can provide a list of farm shops. For a copy of Harvest Times, listing pick-your-own farms and farm shops, write to the FRA, enclosing a first-class stamp and your address, but no envelope.

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Not that the fishing industry is in the greatest shape, but there's a slightly brighter outlook by the seaside, as far as food – fish and seafood, anyway – festivals go. The Dorset coast's seafood industry, and the marine conservation that accompanies it, is being celebrated tomorrow at the Weymouth & Portland Fish Festival. From 10am until 4pm, Weymouth Harbour, where the fishing fleet is based, will be given over to stands and displays, activities and demonstrations. Buy spanking-fresh fish, learn how to fillet and cook it from the experts – the scales will fall from your eyes and you can take home the finest fish supper. Other attractions are a scallop bar, where the most sublime of seafood will be cooked on the spot, an oyster bar and another selling seafood chowder.

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More fish so fresh it's still alive, including scallops caught by divers in Lulworth Cove, can be bought without travelling to Dorset for it. Next Friday, 6 July, and Saturday, Borough Market, near London Bridge station, has a seafood festival. The Saturday market has four stalls devoted to fish and seafood, while on Fridays, Furness Fish sells its sublime Morecambe Bay potted shrimps. But next Friday, they'll be joined by other fish stalls, including Shell Seekers, with the scallops and dressed crabs and live lobsters, and Brighton Fish, selling its catch brought straight from the boat. There will be a Seafood Brasserie on Stoney Street, selling barbecued sardines and prawn skewers. The market's open every Friday 12-6pm, and on Saturdays 9am-4pm.

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Organic, A word so ubiquitous it's hard to imagine what we ate before it was invented, will be on every visitor's lips next Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 6–8 July, when The Organic Food & Wine Festival 2001 takes place at Alexandra Palace, London N22. More than 100 exhibitors will show food, wine, other drinks, even clothing and cosmetics; Clipper teas and coffees, Graig Farm Organics' meat and wild fish from St Helena, Rachel's Dairy, and Sheepdrove Organic Farm are among my favourites. Debates and lectures come from, among others, Bob Kennard, who recently won a Radio 4 Food Programme Award for best campaigner, and will discuss the subject for which he earned the accolade, the future of small abattoirs. Cookery demos range from Sri Lankan and South African to children's recipes, and low-fat gourmet tips from Michel Montignac. Organic Food & Wine Festival ticket hotline (01208 746 2832), admission £6.

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Ben & Jerry's, one of the ice creams I love to pig out on, has added a new flavour – and their aptitude for cooking up great names has not been lost. The Full Vermonty joins Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey, and got trotters-up from tasters for the mix of maple syrup, pecan nuts and caramel swirls. Even the fact that Ben & Jerry's is owned by Unilever, maker of Wall's pork sausages, doesn't affect my appetite for their ices.

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