Kent Farmers' Market of the month
Tunbridge Wells and Iwade Farmers' Market in the spotlight
Kent Farmers’ Market of the month
As a FARMA certified market, Tunbridge Wells Farmers’ Market and its stallholders were recently recognised with a ‘right royal invitation’ to take part in A Garden Party to Make a Difference at Clarence House. The initiative from HRH the Prince of Wales was aimed at raising the profile of Farmers’ Markets, as well as opening the public’s eyes to the ways they can protect the environment and support rural economies by getting behind the farmers’ markets movement.
Organiser for the event, Gareth Jones of FARMA, said: “It was great to have Tunbridge Wells at the event. They pulled out all the stops and had a fabulous mix of companies and products that really showed what a typical Farmers’ Market in Kent has to offer.”
Nine of Kent’s finest from the market took part, including Beach Dog Bakery, The Chilli & Herb Farm, Coulsley Flock, Gaby to Start, Jo’s Cakes, Great Nineveh Road, Nut Knowle Farm, Perry Court Farm and Winterdale Cheese.
As one of the flagship Farmers’ Markets in Kent, it was easy to see why the Tunbridge Wells Town Hall market was picked to represent the Garden of England. It has been trading outside the Town Hall for the past 11 years and in 2009 was shortlisted as one of the 10 top Farmers’ Markets in the UK.
Under the careful management of Barbara Simmons, it has gone from strength to strength as she ensures that there is a good range of quality products, drawn almost exclusively within a 30-mile radius.
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Barbara also ensures that stallholders adhere to the strict health and hygiene guidelines so consumers can buy with confidence. Tunbridge Wells Farmers Market’s popularity speaks for itself, with around 6,200 visiting the market outside the Town Hall every month, which takes place on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.
Pre-order for Christmas
Next month we’ll be doing a special round up of all the Christmas Farmers’ Markets around Kent. Not to be missed, the Christmas markets really are the highlight of the year with mulled wine and mince pies, carol singers and some fabulous festive food and gifts for all the family.
But don’t leave your Christmas planning until next month! Most stallholders will be taking Christmas orders during November. So if you want the finest, organic turkeys, quality hams, cheeses and condiments, or the freshest, tastiest mince pies, Christmas cakes and puddings write your shopping list now and get your orders in at your local November Farmers’ Market.
Which Farmers’ Market has the X Factor?
A Taste of Kent Awards, the brainchild of Produced in Kent, has just launched its sixth annual awards to find the county’s food and drink heroes. With 12 categories in A Taste of Kent Awards, the search is on once more for ‘Kent Farmers’ Market of the Year’ – and it’s you the general public who decide which market makes the shortlist of three finalists. Last year Shipbourne picked up the prestigious award, but who will it be this time? Voting now by visiting www.tasteofkentawards.co.uk or pick up a voting form at your nearest Farmers’ Market.
Iwade Farmers’ Market
With more than 40 Farmers’ Markets in Kent, Iwade is one of the newest. Set up 18 months ago, Ian and Amanda Hurrell took over the project in July and are looking to build and expand the Market for the whole community.
The fresh fruit and veg stall is run by volunteers who share the vision to bring locally sourced seasonal produce to the area. The Iwade Farmer’s Market creates a real community spirit with the kitchen serving breakfast and hot snacks, as well as tea and coffee. The Hurrells even make sure local magazines are available, so you can catch up on the local news or meet friends in the area after your shopping.
Iwade Farmers’ Market is held on the first Sunday every month from 10am-12noon. Held in the Village Hall in Ferry Road, Iwade, near Sittingbourne, there’s plenty of free parking. Sat Nav: ME9 8RG
NEXT MONTH: Christmas Farmers’ Markets