TWO Farmers' Markets celebrate big anniversaries this month.
South Kensington celebrates 5 years on the 8th June
Marylebone celebrates 10 years on the 23rd June
We'll be holding Farmers' Market Picnics at both of these days, with Punch and Judy Shows and games for kids, hog roasts and some top-quality anniversary cake at both markets to share.
Timings for South Kensington Farmers' Market Picnic:
10am: Punch and Judy Show
12noon: Punch and Judy Show
1pm: Cutting of the cake - come and get some!
More details of the Marylebone Farmers' Market picnic to follow....
Farmers Market Picnics 2013
Roll up, roll up, come and pin the tail on the rare breed pig, sit in our lovely LFM deckchairs & picnic blankets to watch Punch and Judy. It's all free, no booking required.
The first Picnic (in Wimbledon) was a great success, and you can see photos here. Come to the next one (dates below)
South Kensington 8th June
Brixton 9th June
Marylebone 10th Anniversary 23rd June
Walthamstow 30th June
We're happy to accept donations for The London Orchard Project. There's hog roast, ice cream or ice lollies depending upon the location, and lots of lovely food to eat whilst you relax. The picnics are at markets on:-
Wimbledon 18th May
Parsons Green 19th May
South Kensington 8th June
Brixton 9th June
Marylebone 23rd June (our 10th anniversary!)
Walthamstow 30th June (as part of the Appetite E17 Festival)
Islington 7th July
Balham 13th July
Parliament Hill 20th July (in conjunction with the Corporation of London and held on the heath opposite market entrance)
Ealing 21st September
Queens Park 22nd September
It's blossom time!
It's been a tough last 12 months for growers weather-wise - that's putting it mildly. For that reason, its extremely pleasing to receive some positive news starting to come through finally from some of the growers selling on farmers' markets across London.
Malcolm Stone, of Pippins Orchard, recently sent us this "growing report", and some photos of his trees in blossom.
"With an exceptionally late start to the growing season, (10 April-usually by mid March), the trees have virtually caught up and flowering started on some varieties last weekend. Full flower on Cox will be by mid week-15 May, which is only a few days behind the long term average.
As you can see from the photos, most varieties have a profuse amount of flower and size and quality appears to be very good. I have applied several nutrients during the last 3 weeks and will continue for a while yet. The flower rosette leaf quality will be so important for the developing fruitlets."
"Insect pollination plus some reasonable temperatures, will be needed during the flowering period, to "set" a crop. I have 4 usual "seasonal" beehives in place, which are about to double in colony size, due to new brood. This was natures way of coinciding with plenty of nectar becoming available, as the trees reach full flower. There are also quite a few different species of Bumble bees working. Unfortunately there appears to be a severe shortage of Solitary Mining bees, which suffered badly during last spring/early summer and will take a couple of years to re-build numbers.
Lets hope we get some reasonable weather during the coming weeks!"
Malcolm Stone, Pippins Orchard, Essex
Islington Plant Fair 19th May
The only plant fair we're holding this year. Sunday 19th May at Islington Farmers Market.
Plant stalls include Beauchamp Nurseries, Lettuce and Lovage, Meadow View Nursery, Herbal Haven and the lovely and local King Henrys Walk Garden. Time to stock up and get your garden or window boxes looking fabulous.
It's cuttlefish season!!
It's only a short season, mind!
Fisherman Les Lawrence of Christchurch Fish sent us this short video of one of their boats hauling in the cuttle traps at the end of last summer. The season generally lasts for about six weeks from mid April as the cuttlefish come inshore in great numbers to lay their eggs. These traps are left down until late summer so that the eggs laid in the traps have a chance to hatch.
They've been caught in nets as the traps were late going in this year due to the cold winter which has slowed everything down.
Les and his team have been selling them on the farmers' markets during the short season for five years now, and every year they seem to find their way to more London dinner tables. Eat them raw with some lime marinade, grill or flash fry them for a couple of minutes or stew them for a long while.
Top Gluten-Free Nosh
Our markets are increasingly becoming good venues for top quality gluten-free baked goods.
See this article by Kim McGowan of Naturally Gluten Free, which focuses on three of the best gluten-free bakers in London - who sell on London Farmers' Markets!
Of course, to pass our quality standards, any baked goods need to be of good enough quality to be enjoyed by EVERYONE - not just by those with no other option than to eat GF produce. These products certainly stand on their own merits!
Farming can be a tough job
We think this photo (sent in to us by Fabienne of Galileo Farm) illustrates this fairly clearly.
Well done to all the farmers who are managing to get their produce into London, by hook or by crook!
All of our farmers' markets will take place over the Easter weekend.
Love your Local Sausage
Last chance to vote! Tell us which is the capital’s best local sausage in 2013. Following our successful competition last year, The Jellied Eel magazine is joining force with us as Londoners once more choose their favourite from a selection available at Certified farmers’ markets and independent butchers. The 22 sausages entered are all produced by farmers based within 100 miles of the city, and sold on stalls at Certified farmers’ markets, or made by butchers with ingredients from within 100 miles of London.
To add a little extra flavour to the competition, there are than just plain pork on offer, with venison and lamb amongst the options that have been entered. After voting closes on 18 March, a short-list of those with the most public votes will be put to a tasting panel, including Fortnum and Mason’s Jonathan Miller, Opera Tavern chef Ben Mulock, Evening Standard food writer Rebecca Seal and‘Food Stories’ blogger Helen Graves. The winner will be announced in May at a sausage sizzle event at Marylebone Farmers' Market.
Entrants stand a chance of winning a meal for two at The Opera Tavern and a bumper banger bag donated by the winning producer.
From farm to fork
CNN covered Mike and Heather Belcher from March House Farm, following their meat from the farm to the Swiss Cottage Farmers' Market. You can see the link here.
It is great to see the farmers on our markets being used as examples of good practice in the meat industry.
The farmers and producers at Queen's Park Farmers' Market have the following message to relay to customers on where to go if you wish to eat traceable meat from people you can trust.
Our 'horses' will be out at Ealing, West Hampstead and Balham on Saturday;
Brixton and Parsons Green on Sunday. SayNay to long supply chains. Say yes to food you can trust.
Concerned about where your meat comes from?
Shop at a London Farmers' Market!
Our FARMA-certified farmers' markets have picked up significant media attention recently, with the BBC, Channel Four, ITV News and the Independent on Sunday all covering our markets to show where to go in order to ensure traceable meat for your plate.
CNN also did this excellent feature following Mike and Heather Belcher of March House Farm from their farm and to Swiss Cottage Farmers' market.
You may have seen one of these characters horsing around at market recently. Say nay!
All meat at our markets comes direct from the farm. You can come to our markets and speak directly to the people who produce it.
We visit all the farms and businesses on our markets regularly to ensure that all our farmers are genuine and we're Certified by FARMA who inspect our markets.
Short supply chains mean that you know the meat on your plate is what it says it is.
Supermarkets' sole focus on price forces processors to cut corners. Their argument is that this is not a food safety issue but one of labelling. Horse is just the thin edge of a massive wedge and a lengthly supply chain.
Our customers trust our farmers and our markets. They buy from our farmers because they trust that the food they bring is sustainable and has a short supply chain. If something is labelled beef, it’s beef. We have a clear line of traceability.
Through supermarkets we've lost our connections to how food is produced. They set the agenda & price. Farmers markets restablish that connection between the farmer and customer. People may say so what, but what has happened recently shows that we can't ignore it. Before you buy another dodgy ready meal, buy a joint of meat this week from a farmers market and make 4-5 meals from it.
There is no such thing as quality cheap food. It comes at a cost. Everyone should have access to food that is honest, decent & good value; a fair price for a trustworthy product. Say nay to supermarkets and source from farmers markets & farm shops.
Below: Todd from Old Hall Farm, with meat direct from his farm on the Kent / Sussex border.
Raw produce prize draw at Queen Mary University
We're always keen to encourage students and young people to take up cooking from scratch, and so we are running a hamper raffle draw at the Queen Mary University Farmers' Market on the 14th February. The market is held at the university but is open to all.
All customers buying raw produce to cook from scratch will be entered into a prize draw and the winners of the Farmers' Market raw produce hampers will be drawn out of the hat at 2pm by the market manager.
Just go down to the market on February 14th and you'll be given a prize draw ticket every time you buy raw produce.
MARKETS OPEN IN THE SNOW
THANK YOU if you made it to your local market at the weekend. Most farms and businesses made it through the snow and were very glad to see your shining faces.
We had lots of calls and twitter queries asking if markets would be on. We're like The Windmill; we never close. Well, rarely. Apart from a break between Christmas and New Year, we're open every week. It takes more than a few inches of snow to stop our farmers! See pics here
Stall holder of the Year 2013
Do you have a favourite stall at your market? One that you always make a bee line for when you arrive? Maybe you're impressed by the quality of produce, or wowed by the service. Whatever the reason....
Vote for your favourite stall and you could win a hamper of farmers' market goodies.
Send us an email with the following info;
Name of your favourite stall
Name of market you attend
Why you're voting for them
Closing date; 1st February
Wine events at market
A couple of wine tasting events are coming up at Parson's Green Farmers' Market.
Local winemerchants will be giving expert wine and food pairing advice at the market. Come along and taste some fine wines and nibble on some samples of what the market has to offer.
11th November - with Valerie Leveque, of Pop and Fizz
9th December - with Samuel Bisson, of ExCellar
Wine and food pairing schedule for the 11th November will be:
11am: James MacCartney’s free-range beef and lamb
12noon: Stuart Taylor’s high welfare veal
1pm: Simon Peckham’s organic pork
A free range Thanksgiving
Some of our farmers have free range turkeys you can order especially for Thanksgiving.
Fosse Meadows Farm:
Order forms are at their markets this weekend; Parliament Hill, Queens Park, West Hampstead, South Kensington. Orders only.
Bronze free-range 5 ½ month slow grown turkeys, naturally fed with no antibiotics or growth promoters. Game hung for 10 days & dry plucked, average £10/kg
Your order will be available to collect from the market, or they will deliver to your door the day before Thanksgiving.
Order at market from this weekend; Walthamstow & Parsons Green and also at Broadgate & Bloomsbury on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays of each month.
Free range Norfolk bronze and white birds; around £12 kg. They also have some frozen turkeys available for £6 kg. Pick up from the market only.
Richard and Beverly Waller rear turkeys year round and will therefore have some birds on their stalls at markets; Marylebone, Notting Hill (1st, 3rd & 5th Sats of each month), Pimlico, Queens Park (2nd & 4th Suns of each month).
Their prices are £10.62kg for bronze and £9.47 for white birds.
Pumpkin pies? Apple pies?
Try Perry Court Farm for an amazing range of heritage fruit
Akiki Organics; huge variety of winter squash
Wild Flour Bakery are selling pumpkin pies at our West Hampstead market, and other bakers bring seasonal fruit pies and tarts.
Pumpkins, winter squash and turnip heads
Halloween, Samhein, Day of the Dead...However you celebrate, we have something for you
Heaps of winter squash, pumpkins and turnips if your'e feeling like a challenge. Many years before the invasion of the American pumpkin, we used to carve turnips into lanterns. More muscle power and time needed, that's for sure.
You'll also find toffee apples from Brambletye Fruit farm, lots of seasonal apples for apple bobbing and plenty of warming ingredients for chilly October and November nights.
Don't waste the flesh if you're carving pumpkins or squash. Use it to create a warming soup, cook it up with sage in a risotto, roast with cumin and garlic or turn into croquettes.
Apple Days at the Farmers' Markets were well-received over the last two weeks, and there was a lot of fun had by families with apple-bobbing, apple juicing and apple games.
Trevor Roberts School brought some of their children down to the Wednesday market to join in the fun, mashing apples into juice to their heart's content!
We are always very keen to welcome schools and community groups to the markets to take part in activities. If you'd be interested in bringing along a school group, get in touch by emailing email@example.com
Here are a few more images from the Apple Days:
Apple juicing at Balham Farmers' Market
Apple tasting at Brixton Farmers' Market
Splat The Rat at Swiss Cottage Farmers' Market
More Happy Hamper Winners
Julia and Hugh Toller were delighted to be winners in our most recent hamper prize draw at Parson's Green Farmers' Market.
To sign up to receive regular updates on your local Farmers' Market (and to stand a chance of winning a hamper), see here.
Hamper prize draws planned soon at Islington, Swiss Cottage, Ealing, Notting Hill, Walthamstow and South Kensington Farmers' Markets
Fantastic Day Out at the Market
The children from St Paul's Cathedral School had a fantastic visit to the Broadgate Farmers' Market on the 27th September.
The children had a chance to quiz farmers and producers on how their products are grown
Edible flowers, the hog roast and the fresh juice stall were all hot topics of conversation!
We welcome school groups to market, and are happy to put together activities if given enough notice. If your school or childrens' group would be interested in visit a market on an educational visit, please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Hamper Winners
We are now holding hamper prize draws periodically at our markets, for anyone who signs up to our mailing list. To sign up to receive regular updates on your local Farmers' Market, see here.
The first hamper winner at Brixton Farmers' Market was Jolie Graber.
Hollie Brooks was our first winner at Balham Farmers' Market, where the Farmers' Market Hamper arrived by motorbike and sidecar!
Farmers' Market Back On Campus
The Queen Mary Farmers' Market in Mile End is back after a Summer break, and was warmly received by the new intake of students.
The market will be held every Thursday throughout termtime now. Remember that it is not just for students. It's a great place for East London residents and those who work in the area to pick up their shopping as well.
See photos from the first day back on the Queen Mary Farmers' Market Facebook page here.
New weekly Saturday market opens
West Hampstead Farmers' Market opened for the first time on 22nd September
The first day of West Hampstead Farmers' Market was a belter! The stallholders were delighted with the response from locals, and will be bringing even more produce next time.
See photos of the opening day on our Facebook page here.
Farmers' Market Celebrates 5 Years
Walthamstow Farmers' Market is now five years old!
To celebrate the market's half-decade on the 23rd September, we had a delicious celebration cake baked by Sergio of Le Moulin Bakery, piped in by the Caledonian Pipers and cut by the deputy mayor of Waltham Forest and some of the customers from the market who were there on the opening day back in 2007.
The weather was not ideal, but the market shoppers and stallholders alike were undeterred, with many braving the rain to hear live music as part of the Stow-Fest, as well as welcoming in new meat farm Woodhouse Farm, from Leicestershire. Some even had their dancing shoes on (see photo below!)
See some pictures from the anniversary celebrations here.
Ealing Family Day
Punch, Judy and friends made Family Day at the Ealing Farmers' Market a great success on the 22nd September.
The event added an element of fun to the market, complementing some fantastic produce new in season at the moment, such as Victoria plums, delicate Beth pears and the start of the oyster season.
The smiles were not just on the children's faces!
Sweet Little Pears
Beth pears appear at our markets for a very limited season. They are small, sweet and very juicy and have a very limited shelf life. Grab them at their best over the next few weeks from Perry Court Farm who are at many markets every week.
These heritage variety pears are unique; you won't find them in any supermarket as they don't travel well but the taste is superb.
West Hampstead Stall Info Now live
Become a friend of our newest West Hampstead market by clicking here. Receive all the latest news on stalls and seasonal products and the best tips for shopping at a farmers market if you haven't been before. The list of stalls is on the West Hampstead market page, just a few more to confirm...
Around 20 stalls will attend the market each week. Some will come weekly, some less frequently, so make a note of when your favourites are there so that you don't miss them.
Here is the moos....
You may have spotted our Friesian cow on the forecourt of West Hampstead Thames Link, and be wondering what she's up to. Wonder no longer. We're opening a new farmers' market on the 22nd September and she's there to spread the moos. A full list of producers will go live in September and watch this space for more updates.
You can also like the West Hampstead farmers' market page on Facebook, where we'll be posting profiles of the farmers and producers attending. We look forward to seeing you there.
It's that time of year when the best fruit is at market in abundance. Cherries are finishing but plums are starting along with the first new season discovery apples, greengages & mirabelles and lovely crunchy cob nuts not far behind.
Don’t forget the soft fruit; raspberries, blackberries, strawberries. Eat them now or buy in bulk to freeze or boil them up into some lovely homemade jam. We puree strawberries and rasperries for winter sorbets and sauces.
Farmers' Markets over the Olympics
All of our farmers' markets will run as usual over the Olympics period;
Blackheath will move to a temporary new location on the heath 22nd July- 16th September near Duke Humphreys Road.