Tonbridge Farmers Market
Sunday 8th March 2015
March is Marmalade Month
& it’s Seedy Sunday
at Kent’s Largest Farmers Market.
Second Sunday of every month, Sovereign Way, Tonbridge TN9 1RG, 9.30am – 1.30pm
With over 70 stalls booked in already this month, Tonbridge is by far the biggest market in Kent.
March at Tonbridge Farmers Market
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 Cranbrook Conserves and Kent Fine Foods.
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.
You can find some of your favourite producers at our other markets in March and April.
Aylesford Farmers Market – Sunday 15th March
The Heritage Transport Show – Saturday 28th March at the Kent County Show Ground.
Elm Court – Sunday 5th April
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 third 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.
West Kent Young Enterprise
West Kent Young Enterprise are with us this month.
Young Enterprise is a charity to get young people experienced in running their own business.
They will be running about 10 stalls. This is part of their end of year judging so please do support them. They do make and sell some great products and they are here for one month only.
Tonbridge Farmers Market Voucher Draw
And the winner is 25487
If you have this ticket, which is worth £800 of vouchers, you must notify us at the market by 10am this Sunday. If the ticket is not presented by 10am at the market the prize will be rolled over.
There’s £100 worth of vouchers to be won each month & the draw will be held at 10.30am on Sunday. If it’s a roll-over it could be worth £900.
Selected producers* give their 1st 50 customers a draw ticket with purchases every month, hang on to them for the next month’s draw and you could win a minimum £100 worth of shopping vouchers for the market.
Find out if you have won at the market after the draw at 10.30 or on any of our reminder services.
* Producers in the draw
Court Farm Butchers
Far Acre Farm Eggs
Fat Carrot, The
Kent Fine Foods
Kentish Pie Man
Naked and Ready
Nip from the Hip
Proper Tea Co
R & D Payne Plants
Sevenoaks Candle Co
Sylvia & Terry Chocolates
Winterdale Cheese Makers
What to buy in February at Tonbridge Farmers Market
The middle of the month is the spring equinox which means spring is well and truly on its way.
Before all the spring produce arrives at market it must be the time to get the last of the winter comfort root vegetables. By next month many of them will be disappearing until the Autumn.
The pork is good at the moment and game is still flying in thick and fast.
There’s still plenty of local fish as the water is still cold and in my opinion the best eating fish come from the colder waters.
We may be lucky to have some forced rhubarb this month so look out for it at the fruit and veg stalls.
It been reported in the press that one of the supermarkets has moved it’s daffodils away from the fresh veg in case the customer’s get confused and eat it. We won’t be doing that. We know you know the difference!
The Market Eatery
We have a fabulous selection of food at the Market Eatery. You can sit in our covered area, have a chat, watch the band or the cooking demo’s. Or if you are around at 10.30 see if you’ve won in the £800 prize in the market draw. Hot, cold and alcoholic drinks can also be purchased. Supplying us all these mouth watering treats include:-
Balm’s Noddle Stall. Tasty authentic Thai noddles
Jo’s Cakes. Tea, coffee and of course, cakes, baked just down the road in Halling.
Kay’s Street Food Kitchen. Breakfast Baps and much more.
Little Brittany. French Crepes with a local twist.
Pinetrees Farm. Award winning Cider & Apple Juice
Sukoo Sukoo. Traditional Indian food. To eat at the market or to take home.
Sussex Wild Food. Burgers & sausages in rolls. Wild boar, venison, pork & beef.
Taste of Kent Awards
So many of our producers have got as far as the finals of the awards, it’s great to
see their hard work paying off. These include
Court Farm Butchery
The Kentish Pieman
Dudda’s tun Cider
Pinetress Farm Apple Juice
Music at the Market
We’re taking it easy with the music this month, so let’s just see what happens.
The Market Kitchen
As always it will be frantic at the Kitchen. Matthew Kearsey-Lawson from Kent Fine Foods
will be show casing some of his fabulous goodies in a variety of dishes.
John the Baker will be baking something special. If you want him to show you anything in particular let him know and he will try and demo it next month.
He is still very busy doing group demonstrations in customer’s homes. If you like the idea
of this his contact details are-
Our monthly charity stall
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, 15th February and the 3rd Sunday of every month.
Or in the new year at
Elm Court Farmers Market, 1st March and the 1st Sunday of every month.
Next month is Scallop Sunday .
Future markets and events at the market will include.
- 12th April 2015 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.
- 10th May 2015 Real Bread Month
- 14th June 2015 Our 4th Birthday & it’s Kent Farmers Market Month
- 12th July 2015 A Berry Bonanza
- 9th August 2015 The Chilli Circus
- 13th September 2015 A Jam Jamboree – Summer on a Spoon
- 11th October 2015 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.
- 15th November 2015 Love Cheese. A celebration of local cheese.
- 13th December 2015 Christmas Drinks Special. Local drinks to make your Christmas go off with a bang
- 10th January 2016 Farmhouse Breakfast Market
- 14th February 2016 Scallop Sunday
- 13th March 2016 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