CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe for £25 today CLICK HERE

Focus on Horsmonden Farmers' Market

PUBLISHED: 13:24 14 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:00 20 February 2013

Roger Couchman

Roger Couchman

Horsmonden Farmers' Market has been running fortnightly since May 2006, switching between the village green in summer and the village hall in winter. It is managed by friends who came up with the idea over a meal out...

Horsmonden Farmers' Market has been running fortnightly since May 2006, switching between the village green in summer and the village hall in winter. It is managed by friends who came up with the idea over a meal out in a local restaurant. They have highly complementary backgrounds.

Liz Taylor has a Masters degree from Wye College and has worked in environmental education; Pippa Ankjaer has run her own business and Mary Moffat has senior marketing experience.

Liz says: "The market is firmly embedded in the community. The refreshment stall provides a place for shoppers to gather and catch up, and since it is run by local charities, it helps with fundraising projects too. The village school also visits the market to help children develop a closer understanding of farming and food."

One of the stallholders is Roger Couchman from Chun Farm (above). Roger's grandfather had grown apples and plums on the farm, but in 1939 he and his family moved out. When the farm went on sale in the 1970s, Roger, a trained horticulturalist, bought it back. He used to sell his crops to wholesalers and a few local shops, but with only eight acres, it was difficult to make a living.

However, he recognised the opportunity Farmers' Markets offered when they started in Kent and he was one of the original stallholders at Wye market, Kent's first.

Roger also formalised his reluctance to use any chemicals by becoming accredited by the Soil Association. Now the extra margin he earns by selling direct to shoppers means he can focus on what he loves: organic market gardening. In addition to a wide range of unusual salad leaves, he grows winter vegetables, herbs, aubergines, melons, peppers, peas and beans.

Roger planted 30 walnut trees seven years ago, which will start shortly to produce a harvest to supplement his existing cobnuts, which he particularly enjoys growing because of their Kentish connections.

Horsmonden Farmers' Market is held from 9am to 12 noon on alternate Fridays, which in June means 12 and 26 June. Winter markets in the Village Hall, Back Lane; Summer markets on the Village Green, usually from May onwards. Roger Couchman can be found at the following Farmers' Markets: Horsmonden, Hildenborough, Shipbourne, Tunbridge Wells (Town Hall), Wye and Yalding, although he attends fewer in winter.

More from Food & Drink

Tue, 08:02

'Kent, sir, everyone knows Kent. Apples, cherries, hops and women,' proclaims a character in Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers. We have gathered some traditional dishes from around the county that were borne of the fruitful orchards and seas of Kent

Read more

One of the many things we excel at is afternoon tea, and in Kent there are few finer settings than Eastwell Manor

Read more

The story of Chapter One continues to evolve under the expert touch of executive chef-patron Andrew McLeish

Read more

Meet the young man determined to take his family's fruit and cobnut farm into the future

Read more
Thursday, October 24, 2019

After a long nomination and judging process we can reveal the finalists for the Kent Life Food & Drink Awards 2019 taking place at the Ashford International Hotel on November 28

Read more
Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Wine Garden of England Festival is taking place at Rochester Cathedral in November, in celebration of the fact that some of the finest tipples can be found right here in Kent

Read more
Thursday, October 10, 2019

The chef-patron of Chapter One, Andy McLeish, on an old family favourite, pumpkin pie

Read more

The Best Western combines Victorian detail with modern convenience and offers a cracking steak house too

Read more
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

From Creole-inspired seafood to rustic Italian dishes, Margate is rapidly becoming one of Kent's top places to eat. We've gathered 10 of the best places to eat in the town

Read more
Friday, August 30, 2019

No Sunday is complete without a roast dinner, and in the glorious county of Kent you'll be spoilt for choice with fantastic places to go. We have picked 12 great places where you can indulge in a roast with all the trimmings

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life