Kent Farmers' Markets
PUBLISHED: 15:04 22 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:35 20 February 2013
Your perfect Kentish summer picnic ingredients and where to buy them near you
Kent Farmers Markets
One of lifes simplest pleasures is packing a hamper and heading out for a summer picnic. With nearly 40 Farmers Markets in Kent theres a market near you to help you pick up all your fresh and seasonal picnic goodies, from Kentish cheeses, meats and smoked salmon to pickles and chutneys, bakery and sweet treats.
July is also peak season for soft fruits and youll even find locally brewed beer, cider or wine if you fancy something stronger than the countys apple juice. Most markets have a choice of deli produce, cheese and chutneys for your hamper.
Home Gurr'own is an example of deli at its best and the company appears at five Farmers Markets across Kent. The smallholding was set up by Nicci and Julian Gurr six years ago and the pair began appearing at Farmers Markets around Kent two years after that.
Nicci says: Our basic concept is that he grows it and I cook it! We both passionately believe home-cooked produce should be local and fresh from the ground.
If we dont actually grow or hand rear the ingredients ourselves, we only source locally grown ingredients from Hastings fresh fish to Cranbrook windmill flour and Biddenden cider - and the recipes are seasoned with our own chilli plants, edible flowers, herbs and spices which we grow on our family farm.
Nicci, who was trained by the Roux brothers, has given each of her recipes a contemporary twist. Scotch eggs make the perfect picnic food, but weve given this retro recipe a modern twist. People love our Scotch eggs with beetroot and horseradish, which also give a lovely splash of colour to a picnic spread. The smoked salmon scotch eggs are a bit different too and are a light, healthy alternative to the traditional recipe.
Home Gurroowns hand-raised pies make another delicious addition to a summer picnic, with the pastry, providing a self-contained casing for easy transport. Nicci has created a delicious pork pie recipe with Stilton and apricot, and a game pie with Biddenden cider jelly.
John and Sue Allen are the faces behind Temple Foods, a company specialising in Middle Eastern and Far Eastern deli products. John was a chef in both hotels and restaurants before setting up his own outside catering business.
While he has taken the inspiration for his hand-cooked food from the other side of the world, the ingredients are locally sourced, so to add some spice to your summer picnic, check out his vegetarian samosas, Moroccan filo pastry pies and Bombay potatoes.
Where to find us?
Home Gurrown, which runs the Cranbrook Farmers Market, also appears at Sissinghurst, Horsmonden, Shoreham and Penshurst. Temple Foods appears at Challock and Whitstable.
Whats in season?
Where to eat
Penhurst and Sissinghurst have the benefit of being located in the historic and beautiful grounds of Penhurst Place and the National Trusts Sissinghurst Castle Gardens. Both make a lovely day out with your picnic.
Penshurst Farmers Market: first Saturday of the month, 10am-12pm
Sissinghurst Farmers Market: second Monday each month,12pm-3pm.
If you fancy a seaside picnic, several Farmers Markets provide the perfect venue for you to fill your picnic hamper with fresh local produce and then head to the beach. The trio below offer clifftop walks, stunning views and plenty of history.
Cliftonville: last Sunday of the month, 10am-1pm
St Margarets-at-Cliffe: last Friday of the month, 12.30pm-3pm.
Whitstable Farmers Market: second and fourth Saturday of the month, 9.30am-2pm.
NEXT MONTH: Fish