Goodbye Pheasants, Hello Flowers – Suffolk Market Events’ Diary
Guest blog post by Justine Paul of Suffolk Market Events
As the seasons slowly change so too do many of the products found at our Suffolk Farmers’ Markets. At this time of year it may still be well below freezing at night (and during the day too!) but there are some subtle signs of spring in the air. The evenings are a little bit longer, there are a few beautiful silky buds appearing on the branches and at the Farmers’ Markets there is no more fresh seasonal game so I for one know that winter is almost behind us!
Since getting involved in the Farmers’ Markets, almost six years ago, I have become much more aware of seasonal produce and I find myself looking forward to February and mussels, March and wild garlic, elderflowers and asparagus in June, samphire in July and those gorgeous autumn mushrooms in October. In fact I am somewhat food obsessed and I tend to see the months in ingredients rather than birthdays!
At the regular Farmers’ Markets run by Suffolk Market Events, there are over thirty producers, all year round, all of whom will have travelled no further than 30 miles, with many of the producers coming from neighbouring villages and small towns and everything that is sold at the markets is produced by the person who is selling.
The produce changes with the seasons and so this month it is time to say goodbye to Will Shropshire and his freshly shot game until the autumn and welcome back The Suffolk Flower Farm, one of my very favourite stall holders! The Suffolk Flower Farm is based just outside of Boxted, south of Bury St. Edmunds and all their flowers have been grown, not flown with minimal impact on the environment. Alison and Margaret are not only lovely people but their product gives the Farmers’ Market in Lavenham are real taste of colour and beauty.
We also have a new face joining us for the spring; Good Souls Bakery from Colchester which is owned and run by the fabulous Emma Chesters. A love of world travel coupled with a real connection to nature is the inspiration behind her amazing baked products using local produce to create worldwide flavours!
Of course all the favourites will be at the markets throughout the year ahead too so whether it’s sunshine or showers you can find yourself locally grown vegetables, free range pork, beef & lamb, homemade jams and chutneys, fresh venison, Suffolk apple juice, homemade pates, terrines and chocolate cakes, local honey from hives in Suffolk and the Essex border, Sutton Hoo chicken and award winning real ales.
Finally, if you really want to connect to the seasons, then book yourself into our Wild Garlic Forage run by Michel Roux trained chef, Carl Shillingford on March 22nd when we will be spending a couple of hours tracking down this gorgeous, short lived ingredient in ancient woodlands near to Lavenham followed by much needed refreshments, time to wander around the Farmers’ Market and then an hour long cooking demo. There’s nothing like forage in the woods to feel a Spring in your step!