The second of the regular Tonbridge Farmers Market is on Sunday so try to get along to support it. Shamefully I missed the first one so I'm very keen to get along to this one. There have been a number of questions asked about the market and some comments have asked, for example, why not weekly market? or why can't it be in and around the Castle? Well the organiser, Steve, has just left quite a lengthy (and timely) comment about it against an older post which I thought should be highlighted here:
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.