Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Ely Farmers Market

An early start on Friday morning – up at 5.30am to prepare for Ely Farmers Market. The children decided they would be responsible for the sign board and they did a lovely job with their writing and drawing.
It is an 8am start there and when we arrived in the dark at 7.30am most of the other stall holders were already setting up. It is clearly a thriving market with all manner of locally produced food available – organic vegetables, flowers, cheese, bread, fish, beef and even ostrich! There is also a general market selling everything from clothing to crafts to toys to musical instruments (which was particularly appealing to our children).
We found the other stallholders really friendly and welcoming and very willing to share advice gleaned from years of experience at Farmers Markets (thanks especially for the tips on layout and labelling!). What was most gratifying, however, was the fantastic market shoppers at Ely. They were terrifically knowledgeable and really interested in what we had on offer. They asked all about the animals, the cuts, cooking advice, where we farmed etc. It was really great to be able to talk to such well informed customers.
Ely Farmers Market has been around for ten years and it has a very loyal following. The veg stall next to us had queues forming at 8am! We were impressed too that people really came to do a big food shop from all these small suppliers. They all had their own reusable shopping bags (I think we gave out two bags the whole day long) and clearly used to this kind of market shopping.
For us it was a very special day as we were selling our own Black Welsh Mountain Lamb for the first time. We are the only lamb producer at Ely and were given a very warm reception and the meat sold exceptionally well. We now have a regular spot at Ely and will be there on the fourth Saturday of every month. If you’re in the area, do come along and say hello!