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Produce At Farmer's Markets

By: James Murray-White - Updated: 3 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Produce Farmer's Markets Seasonal Local

What is Available and Where it is From

Buying produce from a farmer's market direct from the grower or producer, gives the consumer an implicit guarantee of freshness, seasonality, and localness – i.e. the food will have been grown or produced within a reasonable car journey of the marketplace.

The range of produce available also entirely depends on the season, and whether the food can be grown in that season, be it summer, spring, autumn or winter. There will be no kumquats on sale on a Bristol farmer's market in the winter, or pumpkins in the height of summer on an Edinburgh farmer's market. In both these British cities however, the local big supermarkets will probably be selling these out of season items on their shelves, imported from many miles away.

Case Study: Bristol Farmer's Market, Corn Street, Bristol

The City of Bristol, in the south-west of England, has a strong reputation for it's support of organic, locally-grown food. It is the home of the Soil Association, and there are many organic and wholefood shops, restaurants and cafes.

Bristol was one of the first cities in Britain to introduce a regular farmer's market, in the central shopping location of Corn Street. Now other farmer's markets are being set up across the city and in the surrounding area. Corn Street farmer's market is on Wednesdays, and usually has around 15 stalls, some of which are used by the same seller each week and some of which are held for visiting and one-off sellers, growers and producers.

Meat and Fish

Meat and fish products available on a one-off visit to the Corn street market are:
  • Hickory smoked beef sausages
  • Whole rabbits
  • Venison steaks – all of the above are from one supplier
  • Tubs of crabmeat and other shellfish – from one specialist seafood supplier: 'Handpicked Shellfish'
  • Organic Thai-style fishcakes made from trout – sold by 'Simply Organic'

Fruit and Vegetables

The variety of fruit and vegetables available include:
  • Romanesque variety cabbages and runner beans (sold by the large handful)
  • Bunches of coriander and other freshly grown and picked local herbs
  • Marrows – big enough to feed a hungry family of four

Other Items

Other luxury or specialist items include:
  • Organic eggs, sold by either the half dozen or dozen
  • Homemade Lemon marmalade with honey
  • Pure apple juice – made from the Romany russet apple variety
  • Lavender – sold in a variety of forms, from plant through to processed oil
  • Carob chip and hazelnut cookies, sold singly or in packs of four

Bristol Farmer's Market: The Best there is

This selection of produce available on a single day at Bristol farmer's market on Corn Street shows the range available from local growers and producers in the Bristol area. Meat and fish of many varieties and styles are always available, and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Other items, of a more luxury, specialist, or sweet nature, also are always on sale, depending on each local producer.

Each farmer's market in every city across Britain will be different; each highlighting the best in-season products available from local farmers and producers. Go with an open mind, without a fixed shopping list, and pick up produce representing the best of your local area today.

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