Parsons Green Farmers Market

I recently heard about a great new farmers market  from Southwestsix when I saw her tweets about it and a link to her own review.  “That sounds right up my street”,  I thought.   And so, with a free Sunday, we decided to go along and see for ourselves

Located at the New Kings Road School it is run by a group called London Farmers Markets.    The market is in the playground and it made me smile to see signs telling me how to line up when the bell rings.   I need to go to my class line when the second bell rings apparently.

The first stall that caught my eye was March House Farm because their banner said “Leicestershire”, an area I grew up in and know well.   Not so local to Fulham but local to my old school.    I couldn’t resist buying from their amazing array of sausages and pork belly / roasting joints / bacon / rose veal.   All the animals are raised on the farm that has been in their family for four generations.

March House Farm’s stall

Now I am a sucker for a cake and these from Miriam’s Munchies looked amazing!   From huge meringues to small mince pies, gingerbread stars and small cupcakes, I just wanted all of it!

Next came cheese and there was plenty to chose from here!  A few stalls selling it from their own herd of cows or sheep but I loved the story of Bath Soft Cheese Co and how they found the recipe for their soft cheese in an old grocer’s recipe book.  It can be traced back to a letter from Nelson from his dad!   I couldn’t resist buying some as you can see below!

(c) Darren Birkin

Having got home C tried this cheese and said “this is the most amazing cheese I have ever had, even better than the stuff you buy in France.   It is so soft that when you spread it, it doesn’t tear the bread.   I love it”.    That is equivalent to three Michelin stars in this house.

There were also plenty of stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables in what I call “proper shapes”.   That is, how you expect fruit to be, natural looking.   Not all clean and shiny and in a plastic bag.   Bunches of odd shaped carrots, huge pears, dirty beetroot.

And then I met James.   James sells pies.  In a tin.   This to me is the most genius of concepts!  You buy the pie and either keep the tin, or sell it back to him next time.   I loved this idea and James was enthusiastic about the different varities on offer, from hare to chicken to spiced pumpkin.   There is threat of squirrel next month!  His website is great Little Jack Horner Pies and there is also blog.  Again, all ingredients sourced locally.  I couldn’t resist buying a couple of sausage rolls as well, to eat immediately (despite only having had breakfast an hour ago)

Oh and bread.  Bread!  Stalls selling the most amazing breads.   Great to see spelt / corn / gluten free too.  Again local producers, doing it themselves.  With this on your doorstep why would you ever buy a loaf in a plastic bag again?

(c) Darren Birkin

This market is not the biggest, probably only about a dozen stalls but you could easily do all your food shopping for a week here if you were local.   And for a Sunday morning stroll with a cup of tea (available there too) it is the perfect way to spend an hour, especially when it’s a crisp sunny day like today.  It is on every Sunday from 10am until 2pm.

I love meeting producers of food, talking to them and hearing their enthusiasm for their products or being offered a sample because I love knowing the story behind what I am eating.   Making that connection some how makes it taste so much better.   And also you know it is fresh, generally with no preservatives or additives and you are helping family businesses survive in these tough economic conditions.

I cannot wait to return later in the month.

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