Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Get Fresh on Market Date

Location: Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK

After what seems to have been relentless rain and storm force wind since December, the UK has been a battleground for the elements. Our media has been filled with the reality of flooding, with some southern areas of the country underwater for several weeks. Motorways were closed, public transport halted, numerous homes suffered power cuts and whole villages have been cut off.

One of the worst hit communities has to be that of the farmer, suffering damage to crops, loss of feed and accommodation for livestock, along with the flooding of their own homes. I've read of the agricultural community banding together by sheltering livestock for flood hit neighbours and donating feed. But what can we, the consumer, do to show our support? Build an ark? Well, yes, quite possibly. But perhaps something a little more realistic is to invest our hard earned.

Oxon and Bucks have a stunning selection of farmers’ markets and farm shops, where you can buy direct from the producer, often at lower prices and fresher than in supermarkets, but with higher profit margins and less restrictions for the farmer. Not only that, but you can stop for a tea or coffee at an onsite cafe or refreshments stall, get some fresh air, meet the producers, pick up a bargain or two and discover a whole world of fabulous local produce that may not end up on your supermarket shelves... could this quite possibly be the most enjoyable good deed ever?!

Most of our local towns, even villages, have regular weekly or monthly markets. Often steeped in history, these markets can date back hundreds of years, to a time well before the big supermarkets – though the produce has probably moved on somewhat.

Reopening in early February was one of my favourite markets – Vale Harvest Market. Based in the quaint village of Haddenham, the market runs on the first Saturday of every month, from 9am to 1pm. Make sure you get there early though, to avoid missing out on all the good stuff - such as fresh fruit and veg from Bucksum and Sandy Lane Farm, wonderful fresh bread from Cornfield Bakery, breakfast-ready bacon and sausages from Egg House Charcuterie, fresh beef for your Sunday lunch from Oving Dexters and delicious Italian dinners from Award winning CiCi-CoCo.

It doesn't stop there though, you'll also find plenty of fabulous cakes, soft centre Scotch eggs, hot drinks, beer, oils and chutneys. I don't know about you, but I’d much rather amble around a lovely local market than elbow my way round a packed and frenetic supermarket at the weekend. Better still, you'll be supporting your local producers through what, for many, will be a very challenging time. That has to be a no-brainer, right?

Just remember to pack your wellies though; while I can promise great food, I'm afraid I can’t do much about the weather.

Published in Mar/Apr edition of Vale Life Magazine. If you haven't had chance to pick up a copy yourself, then you can read the whole magazine on-line.

Vale Life
Aylesbury & Thame
Twitter: @ValeLifeMag
Website: www.vale-life.co.uk

2 comments :

  1. Vale Harvest is a newi(ish) find for us too, as we haven't been in the area very long. Gorgeous foods, and this weekend it was back outdoors. A fabulous market. For a new girl in town your reviews are invaluable! #Mummyshire.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Tracey, glad you like the site! Let me know if you're looking for anything in particular, always happy to recommend :-)
    We have some wonderful farmers' markets in and around the area, so plenty to choose from.

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