The beauty of farmers' markets are the wonderful selection of really fresh vegetables, fruits and meats. Not everything is available throughout the year, as one crop finishes another one starts adding excitement to your weekly shop. This means you get to cook with produce when it tastes the best, but you won't always be able to pick up strawberries or spinach to cook your favourite recipes. Plan your meals around what's at market. The table below can help you with what's available throughout the year.
|January||Cabbages, Brussels, celeriac, beetroot, Jerusalem artichokes, purple sprouting broccoli, celery, chard, kohlrabi, leeks, parsnips, radishes, swede, turnips, carrots, stored apples, conference & comice pears, crabs, oysters, hare, partridge, mallard, pheasant.|
|March||Winter vegetables- potatoes, swede, onions, spring greens, salad mixes, herbs, bedding plants, Bramley apples, early spinach.|
|May||Asparagus, lettuce and salad mixes, spring greens, broccoli, cauliflower, new potatoes, cucumbers, new carrots, courgettes, baby beetroots, strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, peas, pea shoots, early broad beans, spinach, elderflowers, cherry tomatoes, cherries; black, red and white currants; oyster mushrooms.|
|July||All the spring crops plus, baby plum tomatoes, cucumbers, broad beans, chilli peppers, golden beetroots, courgette en fleur, patty pan squash, sweet peppers, corn salad, pak choi, bunches of rocket, dill, mint, fennel, coriander, parsley, mustard leaves, onions, broccoli, runner beans, several flavours of basil, parsley, cut flowers, leeks, pumpkins, sweet corn, Tuscan black cabbage (cavolo nero), yellow and purple French beans, round carrots, cauliflower, swiss chard, aubergines, globe artichokes, fennel, asparagus peas and kohlrabi. 'Ever bearing' strawberries raspberries, gooseberries and currants, blackberries, Tay berries, elderberries, plums & cobnuts. Earliest eating apples, full selection by the end of the month. Game season starts in August with grouse, September with partridge and mallard. You can still find samphire and sometimes grapes, figs and melons.|
|October||Apples and pears are at their best, plus all the late autumn/winter vegetables. You might find some late season peas: Carrots, potatoes, yams, onions, parsnips, winter squashes, Jerusalem artichokes, pumpkins, broccoli, kale, cavolo nero, Hamburg parsley and cauliflower. We still have what you might think are summer vegetables: red and green Swiss chard, spinach, lettuces and edible flowers, tomatoes, pod radishes and even the last courgettes. There are green tomatoes for chutneys and pies. Sometimes red raspberries are still going. Pheasants and new season mussels are coming into season. In early October, there is still sweet corn!|
|November||Jerusalem artichokes, all the winter root vegetables such as cylinder beetroot, swede, celeriac, & carrots. Cauliflowers, celery, kale, kohl rabi, leeks, Bronze and Black turkeys for Christmas. Geese|
Duck and goose eggs are in season from February to June and in September. We have tomatillos and okra from one farmer, and callalloo from another. Aylesbury ducks are available all year (from the last remaining producer in the country). Native oysters come to market from September.
Visit the Farmers' Market and see for yourself
Once you get to know a farmers' market, shopping and cooking with the seasons is fun and simple. Don't fret about what's in season when. Just look for the best-looking produce. If you don't know how to cook it, ask the farmer, or the person next to you in the queue.
It's much more sociable than the supermarket!