Tonbridge Farmers Market
Sunday 14th February & It’s Scallop Sunday
Kent’s Largest Farmers Market.
Second Sunday of every month
Sovereign Way, Tonbridge TN9 1RG
9.30am – 1.30pm
With over 60 stalls booked in already this month, Tonbridge is by far the biggest market in Kent. It has also been judged Britain’s best food market.
February at Tonbridge Farmers Market
It’s always a favourite month when the Scallops come into season, so come and try them. If you haven’t tried them before why not give it a go on Sunday. We will also have all your favorite producers at the market for your Fresh Local Produce.
You can find some of your favourite producers at our other markets in January & February.
Aylesford Farmers Market – Sunday 21st February
Elm Court Farmers Market – Sunday 6th March
What to buy in February at Tonbridge Farmers Market
The weather this autumn and winter has given us a taste of almost everything so far but local producers have to get their products to market whatever the conditions so it’s up to us to support them and make that extra effort even of the weather tempts us to stay an extra hour in bed. You know you’ll feel better if you get out and about, and come home with some special goodies to enjoy at their best.
If it’s February then it really should be fish on the menu. Buying produce when it’s in season means you get the best quality at the best price and for fish that means when they are also at their most abundant. Stormy seas make for challenging conditions for the fishermen but bring some species closer to shore. Choosing to shop at a farmers market also allows you the chance to check with the fishmonger from where his catch has originated. For more information before you visit check the Marine Stewardship Council’s web site at http://www.msc.org. The MSC is the world’s leading certification and eco-labelling programme for sustainable seafood with a global programme for fisheries that assesses wild catches of seafood.
Lemon sole, halibut, skate (more properly called ray), monkfish and sardines are all good now, and for it’s a great month for shellfisher lovers with clams, mussels, oysters and cockles all good. Local Kent and Sussex coast scallops come in this month – and have their very own festival to celebrate the season so make sure you don’t miss one of the region’s most enjoyable treasures. Try them wrapped in local streaky bacon and baked or with cooked on a griddle with slices of black pudding or chorizo. Make in a risotto or just cook with chilli, garlic and plenty of chopped parsley and toss with spaghetti.
For meat eaters looking for comfort eating, try mutton for its rich flavour or a lovely piece of rare breed pork – stuff a shoulder joint with rosemary, garlic and slices of lemon and slow cook for 12 – 14 hours (find a recipe on the internet) for a Sunday celebration. Rich beef stews and braises are also wonderful now so make up a large batch with meat from the market and freeze some for future meals. A freezer is the market shopper’s best friend. Locally caught game makes an excellent choice for healthy eating. Venison, guinea fowl, wood pigeon, partridge and hare are all good in February. Most modern game is lean and full of flavour so cook steaks or breasts simply on the griddle or quickly stir-fried, or braise tougher cuts or older birds with wine and bacon and serve with pureed celeriac.
Serve your meat with steamed kale or Brussels sprouts, both at their best this month. Savoy cabbage and purple sprouting broccoli work perfectly in stir fries and curries, and go well with rich meats such as duck and pork. Main crop potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips and turnips provide the starch that keeps us going in the cold so mash them together to go with your game dishes. Or try a mix of roots roasted in rapeseed oil or lard for really good flavour and scattered with sea salt and rosemary.
Local fruit is sparse this month but there are still apples to be enjoyed – the storing varieties keep well until April so make sure to go on buying local when you see them. The flavour is still sweet and fragrant for many crops. Early forced rhubarb is the cook’s friend now – wonderful in traditional crumbles, compotes and pies. Make into chutneys and jams or cook with Chinese spice to go it also goes well with rich flavoured meat and fish such as grilled mackerel.
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. 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
The Cherry Berry Co. Freshly squeezed juice.
Eastcourt Manor. Toasted sandwiches made with their own bread.
Jo’s Cakes. Tea, coffee and of course, cakes, baked just down the road in Halling.
Kay’s 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,
& as a special treat The Thomas Cookie Co will heat up one of their great cookies for you
The Market Kitchen
As always we will have 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-
Also becoming a regular at the kitchen is Paolo from Kent Collection. He is Michelin trained and does some wonderful stuff with the Charcuterie that his company makes. Call by his stall to see if he is doing a demo. It will be worth watching and tasting.
Our monthly charity stall
This month we have Ellenor Hopices. They provide the best care and support for families facing terminal illness.
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, 21st February and the 3rd Sunday of every month.
Or at Elm Court Farmers Market, 6th March and the 1st Sunday of every month.
Next month is Marmalade Month.
Future markets and events at the market will include.
- 13th March 2016 Seedy Sunday and Marmalade Month
- 10th April 2016 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.
- 8th May 2016 Real Bread Month
- 12th June 2016 Our 5th Birthday & it’s Kent Farmers Market Month.
- 10th July 2016 A Berry Bonanza & Hartley Morris Men
- 14th August 2016 The Chilli Circus
- 11th September 2016 A Jam Jamboree – Summer on a Spoon
- 9th October 2016 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.
- 13th November 2016 Love Cheese. A celebration of local cheese.
- 11th December 2016 Christmas Drinks Special. Local drinks to make your Christmas go off with a bang
- 8th January 2017 Farmhouse Breakfast Market
- 12th February 2017 Scallop Sunday
You can now follow what the market is up to on Twitter @TonbridgeFmMrkt & Facebook. Follow the links from our website.
Customers wishing to get a reminder for the market can do so by emailing email@example.com and just put “reminder” in the subject box or for a text reminder, text “Tonbridge” to 07557739903.
Contact details are
Steve Wood 07876 685853
Tonbridge Farmers Market
PO Box 325
Thanks to Mary Gwynn for her input in this news letter and other Kent Farmers Market Association literature. http://trufflehound.wordpress.com
Stuffed slow roast pork belly with prunes and apple cider gravy
Time to prepare: 15 minutes
Time to cook: 4 – 5 hours (or longer – see recipe)
2 kg piece boned free range belly pork
250g soft prunes
123 fresh sage leaves
1 lemon, sliced
4 eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 tbsp flour
300ml local cider
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
300 – 400 ml chicken stock
1 tbsp really good local cider vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 200C/fan oven180C/ Gas 6. Pierce the skin of the pork all over with a skewer then pour boiling water over it and then pat dry with kitchen paper. Push the sage leaves into the centre of the prunes with a slice of lemon. Make slits all along the side of the belly pork where the flesh meets the fat and push the stuffed prunes in as far as possible.
2 Place the pork in a sturdy roasting tin that fits it snugly. Roast for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 150C Gas 3. Cook the pork for a further 3 – 5 hours until the skin is tender and golden. (The pork can go on cooking for up to 12 hours or even longer and will get richer and more meltingly tender). Two hours before you remove the pork from the oven add the apple slices around the pork and baste with the juices.
3 Remove the pork from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for at least half an
hour for the juices to settle. Add the flour to the pan juices and cook for a minute then add
the cider and mustard to the pan, place over the heat and scrape up all the juices, mashing
the apples into the sauce. Boil until thickened then check the seasoning and add the
vinegar. Slice the pork and serve with the pan juices.