Farmers' Market of the month
PUBLISHED: 09:43 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:34 20 February 2013
Vigo Farmers' Market is in the spotlight this month
Farmers Market of the month: Vigo
Some shop owners are concerned that when a farmers market starts up in their area it will take away custom - not those in Vigo though. Their association, which also includes the post office, pub and parish council, was set up expressly to bring new life to the Village Square. They soon learnt that experience proves that local shops actually gain, both from the additional shoppers attracted on market days, and the greater awareness of what local facilities are available everyday.
Mike Bodkin, one of the traders most closely involved, told me that, With the help of Bob Taylor from the Kent Farmers Market Association, we soon had enough stallholders. The first market was in August last year. We were astounded at the success of the event, says Mike, and with a grant from Kent County Council to pay for publicity, the market has become a monthly feature of village life.
Two of the stallholders share land in nearby Meopham. Chris and Bev Brown from Roundwood Orchard Pig were featured in our March edition last year, so I was delighted to learn more about how they work with John and Anne Tobutt on Broomfield Farm. The Tobutt family have been fruit farming for over fifty year, and now the Browns 250 pigs are rotated around the farms orchards and fields, which benefits the fruit crops that are subsequently planted. In return, the pigs have a lower disease rate - and get to eat any fallen fruit.
Vigo is just off the A227 between Wrotham and Meopham. The Farmers Market is held on the 3rd Saturday of every month in the Village Square, or if the weather is bad in the Village Hall. There is plenty of free parking
Broomfield Farm Shop is open all week from mid-June to end of March for seasonal fruit (strawberries and raspberries in the summer; apples and pears in the autumn and winter). Chris and Bevs pork is on sale there all year round from 2-5.30 on Fridays, and 2-5 on weekends.
Next month: Challock
Shopping Tip - Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Look for dark greeny-purple leaves and florets with crisp stalks, no bigger than 1cm in diameter, which snap cleanly when broken. Discard any plants with yellowy florets, wilted leaves or bendy stems. The tasty leaves are edible, just trim any woody ends.
Seasonal Recipe Spicy Purple Sprouting Broccoli Pasta
500g purple sprouting broccoli
1 red chilli, deseeded
2 garlic cloves
1 small tin of anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained
4 tblsp oil
4 tblsp of cheese, grated
Trim any woody stalks from the broccoli. Wash and chop into inch/1cm sections.
Warm oil in pan, then add chilli, garlic and anchovies (all chopped finely). Cook for a minute, then add the broccoli, season with a little salt and pepper, then continue to cook gently.
Drop the pasta in boiling water and stir immediately.
After the pasta has been cooking for 5 minutes transfer a small ladle of the cooking water to the broccoli. Turn the heat up, and then add the cheese.
Finish cooking the pasta, drain and then stir in the broccoli and serve.
Pick of the months produce
Purple sprouting broccoli