Saturday, 11 February 2012

Great Garnetts Farmers Market

This morning, Essex was turned into a massive deep freeze with temperatures falling to a mind numbing -15 that sapped the body of heat and chilled the brain so deeply that I almost came to a stand still as I set up stall at Great Garnetts ready for the first Farmers Market this year.  Whilst the 'freezer like' temperatures were chilling you to the bone you could at least enjoy the beautiful clear blue sky and sunshine so bright not even a pair of Ray Bans could not save your retinas from being vaporised in a millisecond!

No honey making today!
If you've not been to Great Garnetts before I assure you that it is well worth a visit. During the week it is a traditional farm that rears in the region of 2000 prize winning pigs for bacon and delicious sausages that have won numerous Taste Awards.  White and free range bronze turkeys are also reared for the Christmas table. This is is a great environment to bring the children and they get to see some of the farm animals as well if the weather is not too cold.  Jonathan and Julie operate the family run business which has been developing since 1971.

Prize Winning Porkers!
Once a month the barns are thrown open to an army of would be retailers selling their homemade products. This is a thriving local market with stalls selling anything from Colchester Oysters to tomb stones!  Yes, you read that correctly! This morning there was a guy selling his skills as a stone mason who would happily carve your details into a block of granite given half a chance.  Fortunately, he wasn't selling coffins otherwise I'm sure he could have had you suitably buried on site. 

Other interesting products include handmade dog biscuits, soaps, soft and flakey pastries, fiery chorizo sausage from Dunmow, locally cured smoked salmon and meats. Traditional pork sausages and bacon, hand reared and slaughtered on the farm are of course available. 

Katy's Kitchen delights
There has been a lot of talk that many farmers markets just offer cheap tat!  Well, that is not the case at Great Garnetts it is full of quality products. I've probably tried nearly everything, apart from the dog biscuits, from this market and I've always felt I've received great service, quality and value for money. 

You can pick up a delicious handmade cake from Katy's Kitchen, some champagne truffles from the Chocolate Truffle Company, hand raised pies from Farm 2 Table, honey produced on the farm, fruit and vegetables from Rocket and Rhubarb grown not more than 10 miles away and a delicious curry for Saturday night?  

The Chocolate Truffle Co
If you're looking for presents then choose from a great selection of pottery and silverware. Great Garnetts farmers markets are held on the second Saturday of each month, from 9.30am-12.30pm. 

Dates for 2012: Feb 11, Mar 10, Apr 14, May 12, Jun 9, Jul 14, Sep 8, Oct 13, Nov 10, 


Address: Great Garnettts, Bishops Green, Barnston, Nr Dunmow, Essex CM6 1NE

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