The farmers’ market has landed

Peter McCarthy from McCarthy's Country Store, at Radlett farmers' market
Peter McCarthy from McCarthy's Country Store.

I nipped down to Newberries car park – the one behind Budgen’s – this morning to experience the first day of operation of Radlett’s experimental farmers’ market. About a dozen stalls with a good range of produce – meat, bread, cheese, plants and honey plus a couple of slightly more offbeat products – were all present and the place was quite busy. Stallholders told me they were pleased with the turnout, especially for day one. The market is run by a large specialist firm and the stallholders present were all professionals in this game. I suspect this is the case with most ‘farmers’ markets’ these days. Not the bucolic, self-organising, community-driven ideal you may have been expecting. Peter McCarthy, whose McCarthy’s Country Store pitches up at over thirty markets per month, told me he’d expect the Radlett market to do well.

I had a particularly nice chat with Mr and Mrs Gorski, whose Hertfordshire Honey stall stocked only the product of their own hives in Benington near Stevenage. Consequently I am significantly better-informed about the different types of honey, about the flowering of hazels and willows and about the booming honey market than I was this morning. Ask me anything. Mr Gorski told me they sell everything they produce and thus won’t be needing any further publicity. Hence no photo of Mr Gorski!

As to the produce, I can confirm that the Gorskis’ light honey is delicious and that the sourdough stilton and raisin bread from Redbournbury Watermill is mindblowing with a bit of cheese on it. The market is set to run on the third Sunday of the next two months, so the next one will be on 15th May.

Did you go down to the market? What did you think? Will it be a hit? Or is the location a bit too well-hidden (that’s my concern)? Leave a comment below. Sadly I only had my iPhone on me so the pictures are a bit rubbish – more here, though and Clive Glover has some more pics and some interesting background on the three-month trial on his Radlett blog. And, by the way, there was a terrific Food Programme about the mother of all farmers’ markets – Borough Market – on Radio 4 today. Well worth a listen.

Honey from Hertfordshire Honey in Benington
Honey from Hertfordshire Honey in Benington.
Peter Coleman from Laycroft Free Range Poultry
Peter Coleman from Laycroft Free Range Poultry
Martin from Redbournbury Watermill at Radlett farmers' market
Martin from Redbournbury Watermill. Martin wins 'Best Facial Adornment' for this month by a mile.
Bread from Redbournbury Watermill at Radlett farmers' market
Bread from Redbournbury Watermill, including a killer raisin and stilton sourdough.

7 thoughts on “The farmers’ market has landed”

  1. Great blog post and a quick turnaround to boot – this is what hyperlocal journalism is all about. Funnily enough I stumbled across the market puerly by chance this morning and tweeted about what a pity it was that, despite the wonderful array of produce, there appeared to be have been no other marketing efforts save for a smattering of A4 sized, signs on Watling Street. One of the stallholders told me that they rely on word of mouth and that she had been assured that the organizers had sent something to the local newsletter. How old school?
    I hope you’ve already mentioned to them that Radlett Wire should be top of their list next time in terms of getting that precious word of mouth going!
    And a 10% discount to anyone who checks in on foursquare wouldn’t go amiss either.

    Andy

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment, Andy. Stay in touch and we can collaborate on social media for other Radlett events if you like. The Summer Festival is only round the corner. That should be a big one!

  3. Hello there
    Just wonder I am market trader and living not far from radlet just wonder I would like to trade at radlet farmers market !
    I do garlic cloves,marinated olives and hand made backlava !
    So please do not hesitate to ask me any further question as I am really interested to become trader at your market hopefully soon .
    Here is my mail
    Wase23@hotmail.co.uk

    1. Sorry to say that the Farmers’ Market was an experiment and that it didn’t really work out so it’s not operating at the moment! Hope to see it back again one day!

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