Tonbridge Farmers Market
9th March and March is Marmalade Month.
Second Sunday of every month
Sovereign Way, Tonbridge TN9 1RG
9.30am – 1.30pm
With over 50 stalls booked in already this month, it is going to be the biggest market in Kent.
March at Tonbridge Farmers’ and
March is Marmalade Month
Yes I know, Marmalade isn’t made with a local fruit, but all ours is made by our local producers, so this is how we got to “March is Marmalade Month”.
I have the pleasure of travelling around our beautiful county talking to local producers, whether just for a cup a coffee and a chat, or checking that producers are up to our extremely exacting standards.
At the beginning of the year wherever I go all I see is boxes & boxes of Seville Oranges, the sight, feel and smell is amazing. These fantastic fruits give our local producers something to work with in the depth of our winter when the local fruit crops are still a few months off.
Also I must just mention that I love marmalade and it gives me the best of reasons to try many different jars of this sweet but tangy preserve.
In general in the supermarkets the sales of marmalade are down, but this is not the case at Farmers Markets and small delicatessens where sales are increasing year on year.
So if you are a seasoned marmaladian or new to this wonder in a jar, now is the time to sample and buy as many different jars as you can, and at your local farmers market is probably the best place to get stuck in.
At Tonbridge Farmers Market check out Great Preservations. Kathy has won two bronze awards from the ‘Worlds’ Original Marmalade Awards. Also making some fabulous marmalades are Pine Trees Farm and Kent Fine Foods.
Don’t forget still in season are Cabbages, cauliflower, purple sprouting broccoli, leeks and kale. You can make some wonderful dishes with these and all the stored produce from last year.
Although it is officially spring the spring produce will not start appearing until next month, but it will be worth waiting for.
There’s still some fabulous fish around at the moment to do pay a visit to Gary from Enterprise Fisheries and see what he has fresh from the day boats at Hastings.
Have a bite
If you haven’t been to see us before do stick around for a cup of coffee and something to eat. You may find out why so many people enjoy their shopping trip.
We try to make your food as fun to buy as it is to cook and eat it.
It’s also Seedy Sunday at Tonbridge Farmers Market.
At this months market we are holding a Seedy Sunday in conjunction with HadLOW Carbon Community. http://hadlowcc.wordpress.com/
This is the second year of the seed swap at the market. Seed swapping is immensely popular in other parts of the country. Oh yes, forgot to say “you don’t have to swap you can always make a donation”.
WHY A SEED SWAP?
For generations gardeners have saved seed to use for the next year’s crop. It is only in recent years that gardeners are annually seduced into buying glossy packets of seed which promise bigger and better crops or blooms.
EU legislation prohibits the sale of many old commercial vegetable strains which means that these are no longer available to gardeners. A variety which may suit your particular local soil or conditions may have been dropped from the list so it can no longer be sold in this country. For example, dwarf peas are ideal for the mechanised commercial market, but many gardeners prefer the 6 foot varieties which taste better, crop for longer and look attractive in the garden. Tomatoes which have great flavour may not be suitable for commercial production if they have thin skins and get damaged easily or perhaps they ripen a few at a time rather than all together. These are the ones that gardeners want to grow but they have been outlawed by the EU.
Old and unusual varieties serve as a reservoir of genetic diversity and may provide genes for disease resistance or drought tolerance which could become invaluable in the future. These seeds may not be sold but they can be swapped!
Schools and community groups can use saved and swapped seed as a low-cost way of growing vegetables and flowers.
We don’t just swap outlawed varieties. You may have a bean which has been passed down your family for generations or a favourite potato which is well suited to Kent’s varied soils and you can pass it on with your cultivation and culinary tips. But seed saving isn’t just for vegetable growers. Flower seeds, bulbs or whole plants can be swapped. Especially easy for seed saving are the cottage garden annuals and biennials; love-in-a-mist; marigold; poppy and hollyhock. Maybe you just have some left over seed packets from last year – bring them along to Seedy Sunday, meet other Kent gardeners, learn how to save your own seed and go home with something new for the garden.
The Market Kitchen
Lots going on at the Kitchen this month.
Matthew Kearsey-Lawson from Kent Fine Foods is doing some wonderful stuff with his own and other marmalades.
We will also have John the Baker giving us an insight into baking. He’s been busy for the last few weeks mixing dough with marmalades, I’m sure his offerings will be very tasty.
Need a private baking lesson? …just pick up one of his business cards.
There is a rumour on the tomato vine that George the Campervan chef will be on the stage in full cooking mode.
Who knows what could happen?
Our monthly charity stall
This months Charity is RSPB.
The RSPB is the country’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with their partners, they protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. They also play a leading role in a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.
If you follow us on twitter you may be able to help them raise some money.
The market gives a free pitch to a charity each month, so please contact us if you would like to take advantage of this. These pitches are going quite quickly so do please get in touch if you are interested.
By supporting your local markets you are supporting small and micro businesses, the backbone of the economic recovery.
If you need a bigger fix of Farmers Markets and local produce please come and see us at
Aylesford Farmers Market at the Priory, 16th March and the 3rd Sunday of every month.
Elm Court Farmers Market, 6th April and the 1st Sunday of every month.
Future markets and events at the market will include.
- 13th April 2014 The Big Curry. With the help of our customers some of the producers are raising money for the Big Curry which is part of the Soldiers Benevolent Fund.
- 11th May 2014 Love your Local Market
- 8th June 2014 Our 3rd Birthday
- 13th July 2014 A Berry Bonanza
- 10th August 2014
- 14th September 2014 A Jam Jamboree – Summer on a Spoon
- 12th October 2014 Pink Sunday. Raising money for Breast Cancer Care. Customers dressed in something pink will have 10% of all the money they spend today donated to this cause. And lots more pink stuff.
- 9th November 2014 Love Cheese. A celebration of local cheese.
- 14th December 2014 Christmas Drinks Special. Local drinks to make your Christmas go off with a bang
- 12th January 2015 Farmhouse Breakfast Market
- 8th February 2015 Scallop Sunday
- 8th March 2015 Seedy Sunday and Marmalade Month
You can now follow what the market is up to on Twitter @TonbridgeFmMrkt , Facebook and Flickr. Follow the links from our website.
Customers wishing to get a reminder for the market can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and just put “reminder” in the subject box or for a text reminder, text “Tonbridge” to 07557739903.
Photos. We now have a good selection. You can view these on our flickr page,
Contact details are
Steve Wood 07876 685853