Friday 27 August 2010

Farmers' Markets

I’m often struck by the phrase “grain barons”, sometimes used to describe East Anglia’s farming community. It makes me think of Robin Hood and the fat, greedy barons; the “robber barons” of popular folklore. It’s a lovely evocative phrase, but I can’t see any relation between it and the fabulous hard-working farmers and small producers whom I see at farmers’ markets.

I used to go to the Beccles Farmers’ Market by the Ellough airfield, then more latterly to the markets in the Forum in the City. Here in Norfolk we're blessed with enough Farmers' Markets to ensure that you could go to a different one each week for many weeks; the EDP website has an excellent Farmers' Market Directory.

The one nearest to me, though, is the farmers’ and producers’ market outside The Green Grocers shop on the Earlham Road. Tierney who works at The Green Grocers says she wants the market to be “a local hub, where local people can come and share their passion for food, and learn from each other. We are really lucky to have a cafe and knowledgeable chef who uses the shop produce to create fantastic dishes too.” Farmers’ markets are important for “supporting the local economy, where the money stays in the locality and isn’t lost through chain stores. We want to work with other local businesses, particularly pubs and eateries to encourage the community to support independents.”

For Tierney, good local food is clearly more than just buying something to put on the dinner table. She is passionate about helping people learn to “appreciate the seasonality of produce and encourage questioning of where and who your food comes from. Meeting the growers gives us an overall appreciation of the true value of food!”

The markets happen on the 2nd Sunday of every month outside The Green Grocers shop, Earlham House shops, Earlham Rd/Recreation Rd (behind the big Co-op).

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