My visit to: The Underground Farmers’ and Craft Market

I knew I had to visit the first of it’s kind in the UK, an Underground Farmers’ and Craft Market, held at a secret location somewhere in London.
Travelling all the way from Leeds was going to be worth the journey and I wasn’t disappointed. Upon entering the door of msmarmitelover’s house we were greeted by the very friendly Rachel (described as the ‘evil door pixie’ by msmarmitelover on her blog here,) who checked our names against her list. Friendly as she was, I had no doubt that anyone would get by her if they were not on the list.The flat was filled with Foodie and Craft Heaven, all Homemade or course.

Once inside, I was amazed at the amount of stalls that msmarmitelover had managed to get into her flat. I had come well prepared with every intention of searching out the Homemade Produce at this Market.My first port of call, or I should say stall of call was The Laundry I had purchased Gloria’s book of preserves Fruits of the Earth some months earlier and wanted to buy some of her lovely preserves.

Gloria’s Glorious Seville Orange Marmalade and Blackberry Curd for breakfast this morning, delicious.

In the garden under a Gazebo I found Samphire where I bought and enjoyed one of their Rare Breed Pork Pies, with Onion Marmalade, so good I had to buy another to take home.

I sampled Cotswold Gold Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil such a fine flavour I had to buy some.

Cheese was next on my list so I went along to meet Denise of Moelfabansecretsupperclub where she was selling local Welsh Cheeses ‘Caws’ and ‘Black Bomber’. Another item crossed off my ‘shopping list’.

By this time I needed a dessert and I bought a slice of a very delicious, moist Portuguese Custard Cake. Some Anzac Biscuits from Afternoon Tea at 410 followed by some squillionaires shortbread from The Chocolate Moose

In the kitchen msmarmitelover showed us how to make Focaccia shots. The Porridge Lady demonstrated the best way to make good porridge, Mama Lan her dumplings and handyface demonstrated how easy it is to make Halloumi. At the end of the day, Astrologer and writer Neil Spencer gave a very interesting talk about the links between astrology and food. It was my dash for the last train home to Leeds that prevented me from staying longer and listen to more of what Neil had to say.

Mama Lan cooking her Dumplings on the Aga

Although tired, my train journey home, gave me time to reflect on all the lovely Homemade produce I saw that day. Where the only conversations I heard were about Food and Drink. It was a joy to see people of all ages, coming together to eat, drink and enjoy the company of like minded people. I could see new friendships being made.  This may have been the first Underground Farmers’ Market in the UK, I hope it won’t be the last. I think if Msmarmitelover has anything to do with it, it won’t.

There are lots more pictures of the market on msmarmitelover’s blog called The English Can Cook
Also here A forkful of spaghetti


To Market to Market………….

Just where do you buy and sell this Homemade produce? Farmers’ Markets have existed for many years and many Home Producers are taking their product to these places. One such Market is Country Markets Ltd.

“These Societies consist of over 400 separate co-operative Markets selling the goods of more than 12,000 producers, who are shareholders of the Societies.
They enable home producers to sell items locally and co-operatively, directly to the public. These producers come from all walks of life”

The pictures above show displays at Otley Country Market venues held at the Scout Centre on Burras Lane Otley, every alternate Friday from 9.30am – 11.30am. The first event of the year begins on 12th February 2010.
What better way to sell and buy a Homemade product than at a Market, where you have direct contact with the producer, who can give you all the information you need about it. Knowing that it is freshly made with the best ingredients.