Farmers' Market of the month: Sissinghurst
PUBLISHED: 10:17 02 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:29 20 February 2013
Sissinghurst first opened a farmers' market in 2004 in the shadow of the beautiful and much-visited National Trust site, Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens
Farmers Market of the month: Sissinghurst
Sissinghurst first opened a farmers market in 2004 in the shadow of the beautiful and much-visited National Trust site, Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens
The Market has grown and evolved and regularly hosts more than a dozen stalls each month showing locally grown and made bakery goods, chocolates, organic fruit and vegetables, eggs, granola, cheese, meat, beer and preserves.
The Farmers Market was initially a great way to promote the wonderful local producers used by the National Trusts Granary Restaurant, situated in the grounds of Sissinghurst, as well as in the gift shop, but has now become a monthly event in its own right.
Sugar and Spice (01622 880653), one of the stallholders, is run by mother and daughter team Edna and Anna. The duos beautiful range of jams, chutneys, sauces and pickled onions are available from Famers Markets and visitor sites around Kent, while their fruit jam features in The Granary Restaurants delicious cream tea.
Edna says their mantra is locally grown and seasonal ingredients, adding: Were lucky to know some great local growers through the Farmers Markets and we love to try and use each fruit when the seasons in full swing, so you get the best flavours.
Everything is homemade and contains the traditional, natural preservatives of sugar, vinegar or salt. Sugar and Spice also pickles organic eggs and its pickled onions are one of the best sellers. One of the best-selling chutneys is a family recipe and was Dads favourite, according to Edna, while Ednas all-time favourite is Runner Bean & Pear chutney.
One of the reasons our jams and marmalade are so very popular is that people dont have the time to make them anymore, yet still hanker for the home-made taste, says Anna (whose favourite jam is damson and apple).
Guardian at Sissinghurst
Don Keen is an essential cog in the Farmers Markets wheels. Not only does he ensure the market runs smoothly, he also volunteers at Sissinghurst and works with Sissinghursts guardianship schools.
As Don explains, Frittenden Primary School has been involved with the organic vegetable plot at Sissinghurst Castle Gardens since its inception in 2008. Every July they pack up their desks to become stallholders at our Farmers Market.
The hands-on scheme sees the school planning what vegetables they want to grow in portable raised beds, designing the layout for planting, then sowing and planting. This month their gardening scheme will reach fruition when Frittenden Primary School harvests the crops and sells them at the Farmers Market on 12 July. All the children get involved in weighing, packing, determining prices and setting up the stall - even designing and producing the labels for the display.
Sissinghurst Farmers Market is held within the famous National Trust site. It takes place the second Monday of every month from 12-3pm (closed Jan-Feb). Sat nav: TN17 2AB
Pick of the months produce
Purple Climbing Beans