London Farmers' Markets
Rhubarb in the Spring, strawberries from May, rasperries, blueberries, currants, following on, cherries in July and fresh apples from August, blackberries, pears and plums in September. A huge range of fruit with varieties you'll never find in a supermarket.
There are 24 producers selling Fruit at London Farmers' Markets:
Akiki Organics is a small holding of 12 acres in Worcestershire, farming to biodynamic standards. Their aim is to be self sufficient producing a range of products that meets the needs of their large family. When they took over the farm five years ago it was very neglected with only a few trees remaining in the orchard. With a lot of hard work they're achieving their aim of producing foods as close as possible to nature and bringing their fruit, vegetables, eggs and preserves to London for you to share.
ane and David Barker (aka Barker Organics) are very much of the old school of farming, and that's the way they intend to keep it! Jane and David farm biodynamically on their small walled Norfolk smallholding, using methods which have served their plot of land well for generations of tenant farmers before them. They stick strictly to the traditional Norfolk four-course rotation system, a system pioneered on the surrounding lands in the late-17th century - it guarantees them decent yields whilst ensuring that the future biodiversity and productivity of the land is not sacrificed.
Stein Leenders and his colleagues at Brambletye Fruit Farm farm to strict biodynamic principles - meaning that the farm is a closed system, all farm outputs being fed back into the farming process. Eggs are laid by some of the most curious and free ranging hens we've ever seen. The orchard produce some truly fabulous apples, some of which are crushed into apple juice that is sold fresh and unpasteurised. Look out also, in season, for strawberries, currants, blueberries, blackberries and pears. They also have beehives in the orchards which, aside from pollinating their fruit, produce some outstanding honey, and look out for their oyster mushrooms.
David and Linda Deme sold at the first London Farmers' Market - in Islington in June 1999 - and since then have not looked back. They now grow an impressive range of top and soft fruit, including a number of unusual heritage varieties. They are still best known for their fantastic apples and pears, all of which are now certified organic. Their fruit is juiced on the farm to create a fabulous range of fruit juices, including unusual flavours like apple and beetroot.
Roz Corum grows unusual herbs, vegetables, perennials and beautiful bunches of cottage garden flowers and pussy willow on her nursery near Hastings. Her stall displays a somewhat quirky side to the traditional country garden, with a number of rare varieties, and all sorts of things that your nearest garden centre (and often us!) will probably never have heard of.
DGJ Tanner (Sopley Farm)
The team at Sopley Farm, in Dorset, are always a welcome addition to any market. Their season starts with them bringing up massive amounts of rhubarb and asparagus. It's some of the best rhubarb and asparagus you'll be able to find, as most of what they sell has been picked within 24 hours of sale, so it truly is the freshest fruit and veg available. Soon after, they start their strawberry season, and later on in the season they bring, amongst other things, raspberries, blackcurrants, gooseberries, marrow, squash, bunches of Sweet Williams and some stunning-looking globe artichokes.
Michael Dallaway grows cherries at four different sites on the Kent/ East Sussexborder. He sets his standards extremely high and only picks the cherries when they are fully ripened so that each and every cherry is a truly mouth watering experience. Come and find the stall to try some of the best cherries you will ever have eaten. During the 5 weeks of the cherry season Michael will bring over 15 different varieties for you to be able to try at selected market.
Eden Farms is a small pioneer organic farm, run by David Lucas and Marjorie Stein, which is now approaching 30 years of organic vegetable growing. It's a family farm in the Lincolnshire West Fen, growing around 60 different sorts of vegetable, from potatoes and carrots to unusual tomatoes and aubergines- Marjorie and David have even travelled abroad to track down special seeds for these!
Organic farmers Lucio Salas and Anna Wardman (aka Edgebank Organics) are primarily growers of delicious strawberries but at different times of the year you will be able to pick up gooseberries, blackcurrants, blackberries, redcurrants, rhubarb, pears, plums, cherries, quinces and melons from their stall; all from their smallholding in Cambridgeshire. Through the summer months their freshly-made smoothies can be a godsend on a hot market day while all their excess fruit goes into making delicious cordials and preserves available year-round.
Fiveways Fruit Farm
Julian Mead farms a delicious array of fruit at Fiveways Farm near Colchester, Essex. For those of you that haven't come across them before, in the Summer months they bring along a glorious range of different soft fruit, followed in Autumn by a selection of traditional apple varieties, just set to make mouths water all through London. Before the main fruit season begins in earnest, they bring along their equally mouth-watering asparagus crop, sold at the height of freshness and with an unparallelled flavour.
Home Cottage Farm
Mole End Farms Ltd
Sara and Paul Ward of Mole End Farms grow top fruit across 5 sites in Kent, which is pressed straight after picking to create sublime fruit juices. Their main site in Cranbrook is managed as a conservation areas to provide the bio-diversity essential in organic production systems i.e. a home for natural predators who feed upon the crops insect pests as well as offering a wealth of habitat for native wildlife. They have found a method of production which allows them to create a top-quality natural product whilst providing benefit to their immediate natural environment.
New Park Farm Asparagus
If you haven't tried Michael Bourne's Kentish asparagus yet you are in for a treat, as it is as fresh as you are likely to find anywhere. As the year progresses, Michael brings his full range of soft fruit, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries and cherries.
Martin Fermor's father came to Perry Court after the 2nd World War. Martin planted up a huge orchard of apples and pears - they currently have over 150 varieties. They bring many of the more unusual varieties to market on Apple Day in October. They also grow cherries, plums, soft fruit and more recently have been trialling nectarines, apricots and peaches.
Malcolm Stone grows over 40 varieties of top fruit at his Essex orchards. He specialises in rare varieties you won't find at the supermarket, including several Essex apples. Look out for Peasgood Nonsuch, Charles Ross, St Edmonds Pippin, Chelmsford Wonder apples and Beaure Hardy pears.
Fenland farmers Edwin and Karen Broad put the environment at the heart of all they grow, with strict adherence to organic principles being the bedrock of their philosophy. They grow a vast range, with a full compliment of organic vegetables and, in season, fresh windfall apples from their orchards. At selected markets they also offer freshly baked jacket spuds, potato wedges and baked apples, to munch on while you shop.
Ted Dawson farms a full range of vegetables using traditional methods in southLincolnshire. This family-run farm has been attending many of London’s farmers’ markets for around 10 years now – they have now built up a formidable reputation for quality. Their range of growing expertise means their stall always has something to make it stand out whatever the season. Look out for their exemplary artichokes in Winter, their mouth-watering asparagus in the Spring, their bendy cucumbers and knobbly squash in the Summer, and massive juicy pumpkins in the Autumn.
Wash Farm are a traditional Pick Your Own farm run by Peter and Shirley Stevenson, based near Braintree, Essex. Their produce depends entirely on the seasons. Around May they start bringing their freshly-picked asparagus, before quickly adding strawberries, gooseberries and raspberries to their repertoire. In late Summer comes their crop of fresh juicy sweetcorn.
Wild Country Organics is run by Dr Adrian Izzard, who has pioneered growing organic vegetables and oriental leaves from Green in snow to Komastsuna, in glasshouses without using artificial heating. The farm is located seven miles south east of Cambridge in Abington and has been organic since 1988. In the summer they specialise in producing a wide variety of organic tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, aubergines, lettuce, pak cho, herbs and salad leaves.They're still with us in winter, with rocket, pak choi, celery, mustard greens, various herbs; coriander, sorrel, parsley, land cress, etc. and they've moved into growing winter veg too.