Our gorgeous collaborator Emma Savage of Grace and Ted in Kingsmead Square explores the array of local produce that’s on offer at our very own weekly Bath Farmers’ Market…
Did you know that our city is home to the UK’s first ever Farmers’ Market? Established in September 1997, Bath Farmers’ Market was set up in partnership with B&NES as a way to encourage the production and consumption of local food.
Today, Bath Farmers’ Market can be found at the historic and beautiful Green Park Station every Saturday morning. Home to over a huge variety of stalls, you’ll find seasonal vegetables (including organic) fresh bread, handmade pork pies, award winning local cheeses, jams and chutney, homemade cakes and loads more.
I try to visit the Farmers’ Market every Saturday (it usually means I get to the shop a bit late but i’m supporting the local economy so it’s ok, right?) and I always make sure I have a big bag ready to fill. The diversity and choice is second to none and at this time of year it’s the ideal place to stock up on treats for Christmas. In fact, you can quite easily get the majority of your Christmas feast here – from the turkey and trimmings to the festive centre-piece for your table.
I spoke to Laura Loxton; Director of Bath Farmers Market, Manager and Treasurer (she is a busy lady!) about this unique little community of growers, makers and bakers.
Why do you think Bath Farmers’ Market is important for the city?
Bath Farmers Market is important as it offers local, sustainable goods and is accountable for the products supplied to the people of Bath and surrounding areas. Customers nowadays are much more aware of the food they are eating and are able to engage directly with the farmer/producer and be confident of the whole production process – from farm to table.
How do you choose traders?
Traders have to complete an application form and adhere to strict rules and regulations regarding their produce. We accept some ‘guest’ stalls to the Farmers’ Market – those that are not registered as full members as they do not fully comply with our rules and regulations. A guest stall for example might be someone that sells spices/dried herbs – the product could be bought in but the trader creates unique mixes that add an element of ‘artisan’ to the product. We believe these stalls add a different element of interest to the market.
Do you have a favourite producer or stall?
Difficult question! Clearly after 20 years I have built up strong friendships with some traders and customers – I have many favourites but it generally is those who have a sense of humour (and whose food I like to eat) or those who don’t take themselves too seriously!
What would you say to people who prefer to go to the supermarket because they assume Farmers’ Markets are too expensive?
There is generally the assumption that we are more expensive than supermarkets and clearly some products are – but not all! Vegetables from Phil Collins are harvested the day before the market – it doesn’t get much fresher than that! They are local (grown in Bromham) sustainable and there are zero air miles. That’s something hard to find in a supermarket…
Fresh products mean great taste and the customer is assured that they are getting the most delicious produce. The Farmers’ Market is a great way to shop and meet friends – occasionally we have live music and we are 100% child and dog friendly so you can bring the whole family. Win win!
What should someone interested in a stall at Bath Farmers’ Market do next?
Have a look at our website www.bathfarmersmarket.co.uk and if you think you and your product are the right fit, contact me on: