Farm gate to the plate

PUBLISHED: 16:31 14 April 2011 | UPDATED: 17:20 20 February 2013

Farm gate to the plate

Farm gate to the plate

Buying local food and drink from local producers has been a growing trend over the last few years and in Essex this has meant a growing number of farmers' markets

BUYING local food and drink from local producers has been a growing trend over the last few years and in Essex this has meant a growing number of farmers markets. This growth shows no signs of stopping as more Essex Farmers Markets continue to pop up across
the county, with two new markets launching at Abridge and Horndon on the Hill this month.

These latest markets will offer a real festival flavour as the collection
of local producers will be setting up shop as part of these villages annual festivals. Abridge Village Festival, on the weekend of June 13 and 14, is billed as a brilliant weekend of family fun and entertainment. It all begins in style with the annual summer ball and the event itself features arena entertainment, craft and antique stalls, a mini fair, marching bands,
live music and, as a special attraction, the Essex Farmers Markets will be there too on Sunday. With more than a dozen stalls of fresh local produce for you to sample, you can enjoy a fantastic selection of quality food from organic cheeses, locally-baked breads, free-range eggs, freshly-caught fish and a range of delicious homemade cakes and pies too. Plus theres also some exotic Mediterranean treats to spice up your dinner table.

On June 27, an Essex Farmers Market will be featured at the Horndon on the Hill festival. This highly popular event actually dates back to the 13th century when the village was granted a Royal Charter to hold a feast and celebration on the last weekend in June. The village Feast and Fayre is part of Britains heritage and the organisers of the event are keen to preserve the tradition of one of the most charming and historically fascinating villages in the area. This festival boasts street entertainment, charity stalls, a fancy dress fun run, barbecues over the weekend and craft stalls, plus live music to enjoy too.

The organisers are dedicated to supporting the local community and this year felt theyd like to encourage more local residents to recognise the number of local food producers in the area. The expert traders of Essex Farmers Markets will be on hand for both days of the festival with ethically-reared meats, seasonal fruit and vegetables plus a host of other locally produced treats for you to try.

Being part of these festivals represents an exciting new chapter in the development of Essex Farmers Markets as Ian Chisholm, the man behind the hugely successful series of markets, explains. At a farmers market customers are buying direct from the grower or producer, says Ian.

Customers are reassured to know their purchases are farm fresh, ethically produced and really good quality. The only real surprise is how reasonable the prices are because youre not paying for expensive packaging and the traders dont have to travel far. Those savings are passed on to the customer.

3 to try

Get farm fresh produce from these markets

Epping Farmers Market
High Street, Epping
1st Friday of every month
9am to 1pm

Brentwood Farmers Market
High Street, Brentwood
1st Saturday of every month
9am to 3pm

Southend Farmers Market
High Street, Southend
2nd and 4th Saturday of each month
9am to 4pm

Essex Farmers Markets
Norton Field Farm
Norton Lane
Norton Mandeville
01277 362414

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