Friday, June 17, 2011

The New Tonbridge Farmers Market on second Sunday every month....

To my shame Tonbridge Blog didn't make it along to the first of the newly revived Tonbridge Farmer's markets. Shop open, carnival to see, people to talk to, fete to take photos at etc. etc. excuses, excuses! I have heard several reports though that it was well attended (despite the awful weather on Sunday,) that there were around 50 stalls selling a huge variety of local produce and that the location seemed to work well. So it seems that Steve (who calls himself the Chilliman) might just know what he's doing. A little birdie tells me that he used to organise the successful West Malling market so he ought to. I wish him good luck with this venture as I've been banging on about the need for a good one for many years now. I will come along to as many as I'm able and would dearly love to see it go weekly so that the good folk of Tonbridge can make it part of their weekly food shopping routine. In the meantime the monthly ones are a good start. Here are the dates for the other markets this year so you'll have no excuses:
Sunday July 10th; August 14th; September 11th; October 9th; November 13th; December 11th.


copy7t said...

The market was pretty good, I knew it was taking place but wasn't sure exactly where until I ran past them setting up early on Sunday morning.

We would have browsed for longer if it wasn't tipping it down! Best things were the local (Kent) strawberries and cherries that we bought (can't remember which farm they came from though, doh!). Looking forward to the next one. I definitely agree that it would make sense to hold it more often, weekly would be ideal.

sebfox said...

Why is it only monthly and not weekly? I mean...who decides and why?
If there was a decent farmers market held on a weekly basis and at a slightly more noticable venue, such as round the castle, or along the river, then it might even be of some practical use. It's not a market if it just takes place monthly, it's something "special" to be pencilled into peoples' diaries. said...

Just wanted to give you guys a reminder that this Sunday we have the second Tonbridge Farmers Market.
Also, I had read your comments and wanted to respond to them, maybe I can help...
Sebfox, you ask why monthly and not weekly, and who decides.. well, We, the organisers decide.
However It is based on various factors such as, Tonbridge has a market with 50 stalls, if we were to go more frequently then the stall holders would not sell every week.. which would mean most would only attend once a month anyway. Also... quite frankly, there just isn't enough local producers to cover all the farmers markets, which means quite often the producers you will see at Tonbridge, will also be attending many of the other regular markets around Kent. Local produce is in high demand.
Another point is that having over 12 markets a year would mean that we would need planning permission, which takes us into a whole new ball park. The cost of running a market is high, So in it's second month of running it does not have any where near enough funds to be able to run weekly.
Quite often what you find with weekly markets is that they are much smaller, they are also normally run by a charity/ volunteer which has a site that is free to use, such as church yards, or village halls. The main reason the market is not along the river is that through the winter the grass area can not be used, which would mean no markets through such a great season.
And the reason the market is not at the castle is that it is not available through out the year, which would mean moving the market around. That was one of the major problems with the old Tonbridge farmers market... people never knew when it was on because it moved too much. (that is what a couple of local people have told me, so please don't quote me, however I can see that would naturally cause a problem, so it is likely)

I hope I have been helpful, and answered some of your queries, thanks for blogging about it.. I hope that the market is a real success. The people of Tonbridge have asked for one for a long time... it's a work in progress.
It's great to hear feed back, honestly it is... so please keep in touch.
Come by the chilli stall and say Hi to me this Sunday's Market.

Oh one other thing, the cherry stall is Pine Tree, lovely bloke called Kevin... he'll be pleased you love his fruit... you should try his apple juice!
I love working anywhere he is trading because I get to stock up, in fact... I just ran out this morning. Honestly!

Thanks for taking the time to blog and come along.
A Tonbridge market 'Helper'.