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Kent's Farmers' Markets

PUBLISHED: 18:07 20 September 2015 | UPDATED: 18:07 20 September 2015

Having fun at Hildenborough Farmers' Market

Having fun at Hildenborough Farmers' Market

Archant

Kent's Farmers' Markets are renowned for their delicious food and drink, but many offer additional community services

Kent is Delicious

St. George’s CEP School in Wrotham has won the fourth Kent is Delicious cookery competition.

The hotly contested final took place in the Why Farming Matters demonstration kitchen at this summer’s Kent County Show in Detling.

Convened by the Diocese of Canterbury’s Communities and Partnerships Framework and held in partnership with the Kent County Agricultural Society (KCAS), Kent Farmers’ Market Association and Produced in Kent, the aim of the competition was to raise children’s awareness of the quality and importance of local, seasonal produce.

The competition was open to all primary schools in Kent and children were asked to devise a tasty packed lunch using as many locally grown, sourced or produced ingredients as possible.

St. George’s School impressed the judges in the final with their St. George’s Healthy Lunchbox which included a home-made sausage roll using sausage meat produced at a pig farm only five miles away, a cheese salad and chutney sandwich using local Winterdale cheese and butter made by the children using cream from the Winterdale diary, apple and school-grown carrot crisps, pressed local apple and pear juice, and a raspberry muffin made using local berries, eggs and honey.

Canon Caroline Pinchbeck, Director of the Diocese of Canterbury’s Communities and Partnerships Framework said: “We are absolutely delighted for St. George’s CEP School who really spoilt us with their delicious packed lunch. They showed real knowledge of their ingredients and had clearly enjoyed the whole experience.”

The three other finalists were: Herne C of E Junior School in Herne, Christ Church C of E Junior School in Ramsgate and The Granville School in Sevenoaks.

All four schools receive KFMA vouchers to use at a market near them to put together a hamper of delicious local food. As winners, St. George’s receive free transport for years 3 and 4 to the popular Living Land show at Deltling next year.

Schools can start thinking about their entry for next year’s competition which in 2016 will be about creating a tasty, locally sourced after-school snack. To receive more information schools should email: kentisdelicious@diocant.org or visit https://www.canterburydiocese.org/kentisdelicious/

Biddenden Vineyards’ Sandra rewarded

Alexandra Barnshaw, known as Sandra, was presented with a prestigious long-service award from Kent County Agricultural Society in recognition of her 47 years’ continuous work at Biddenden Vineyards by KCAS chairman Kevin Attwood at this year’s Kent County Show.

Sandra started picking and packing at Biddenden in 1967 when it was still an apple orchard and has seen it develop over the years into the 23-acre vineyard it is today. She was a key part of the team who planted the very first vines in 1969 and was heavily involved in the first-ever harvest in 1972.

Sandra went on to work in the vineyard and winery participating in all integral aspects until her retirement in May 2014.

Sandra was nominated for the award, which is open to employees of farmers and land owners who have completed a minimum of 25 years’ uninterrupted service on the same estate, by Sally Barnes, director at Biddenden Vineyards, in acknowledgement of all her hard work and continuous support.

CAPTION: Sandra Barnshaw with Julian Barnes at the County Show

Extra offers

Kent’s Farmers’ Markets are renowned for their delicious food and drink, but many also offer additional community services. Lamberhurst Market runs workshops alongside the monthly market. Manager Julia Cruse says these have included a talk by a homeopathy expert and reflexology ‘taster’ sessions, while this month they’re holding an art display by local artist Jane Gray, a wool workshop in October and in December a Christmas-themed food demonstration and a talk on the medieval traditions of Christmas during the last market of the year.

Julia adds: “We also run a book-swap stall for anyone to take a book or two at no charge and hopefully to donate ones too. These activities are proving a great way of attracting new people to the Market.”

At Horsmonden Market, organiser David Goff says they often welcome their local community police officer who can offer advice of defeating rural crime. “Last year our local MP Greg Clark even held his surgery at the market. Shoppers loved the chance to tell him what was on their minds, as well as gaining his assistance with problems.”

At Hildenborough Market, they organised a Big Bee Bonanza in the summer. Janet Richardson explains: “Kent Wildlife Trust came along to tell shoppers and pupils from four schools who visited us how to recognise different bee species, their importance in the countryside and how to build bee-friendly habitats.”

Local beekeepers brought a glass-fronted demonstration hive and bee-keeping equipment, as well as giving honey and mead tastings. Every August the market holds free, hands-on cooking classes for children, this year they involved stir-frying, ice-cream sundaes and vegetable fritters.

Benjamin Dent, chairman of Kent Farmers’ Market Association, believes these types of events further emphasise markets’ wider role in the community. “Whether it’s encouraging cookery skills, offering a chance to meet representatives of public services or learning about the work of organisations like Kent Wildlife Trust, markets are a valuable meeting place. And we’re always keen to talk to anyone interested in using markets as a community forum.”

More details at: www.kfma.org.uk or follow @KentFarmers on Twitter

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