It is Sunday morning at 9:30am, there is 15 cm of snow on the ground and it is still falling thick. Not a person to be seen on the roads nor streets but waiting tenaciously under the tarpaulins at the top of Ascot High Street, is the Farmers’ Market.
Ascot’s Farmers’ Market runs on the 3rd Sunday of every month all year round and the produce really is the best. It is part of the Thames Valley Farmer’s Co-Operative, which you can find information about here -their motto to bring ‘local food, to local people’.
Slipping and sliding all the way there in my inappropriate footwear was worth it, because not only do you get to sample some of their delights (homemade fudge, sausage baps, goats cheese & chilli jam), you have to admire their love of excellent produce.
These days it is easy to forget where food comes from and at the Farmers’ Market food is produced for flavour and not to feed the masses. The prices are comparable with that of supermarkets but you really can taste the difference!
With several dedicated butchers on hand to explain the heritage of the meat (pork, beef, chicken…) you come away feeling more knowledgable and satisfied. I had a brief discussion about pork chop with a farmer from Reading, who explained about the distribution of fat and demand for leaner cuts resulting in essentially flavourless meats. Personally I would much rather eat less meat with better flavour than a huge great chunk of meat which tastes of nothing, which is why seeking out these kind of market’s is worthwhile to me.
Huddled together, with freezing fingers and toes is just part and parcel for the farmers, who rely on our custom for their livelihood. Some of them deliver of course if you can’t wait until the next month’s outing or make the most of it on the day and stock up your freezer.
Check out their website and find out when and where your local Farmers’ Market is. I promise you won’t be disappointed because this is what food should taste like…. and not a horse in sight, not even on the race course!
Thames Valley Farmers’ Market Co-operative assesses all producers before they’re accredited to trade at our markets. This means you can be sure you’re buying food and drink from the people who’ve grown, reared, baked and made it, all to the highest standards. All our markets are FARMA certified.