Farmers bring quality to the market

On the second Saturday of each month, an excellent Farmers’ Market is held in the centre of Oundle where local produce is sold directly to the public. There are numerous stalls to choose from including vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, bread and cakes, fruit juices and dairy products.

Grasmere Farm is an award winning, family-run pork farm from Deeping St. James, Lincolnshire. They have three butchers shops in Peterborough, Bourne and Stamford, and an online site specialising in selling meat raised, butchered and prepared on the farm. Their products include a full range of sausages such as Lincolnshire, Cumberland, bratwurst, caramelised red onion, pork & ale, pork & chorizo, Lincolnshire chipolata.

Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese, run by brothers Simon and Tim Jones, produces the very best cheese using only their own unpasteurised milk and traditional methods to produce delicious varieties including Lincolnshire Poacher, Vintage Lincolnshire Poacher, Smoked Lincolnshire Poacher and Lincolnshire Red.

The milk from their 230 Holstein Fresian cows goes straight into the daily cheese-making process. Debbie, who staffs the market stall said, “It’s the fact that it’s such fantastic quality milk that makes this beautiful cheese.” They also sell raw milk as a by-product of their cheese at the farmers’ markets. Regulars come and buy as many as ten bottles at a time.

“It’s more natural, because it’s unpasteurised. It has all the lovely nutrients. It’s good for your gut. We’ve been told that the grade of milk is the highest you can get. They always say the best quality comes from cheesemakers,” Debbie said.

She held up a bottle to show off a thick layer of cream at the top, and her customer confirmed that it was a treat. “The kids make their chocolate with it,” she said.

Greg, a regular who comes to the market from Glapthorn, said, “I get everything here. All the Poachers are lovely, but depends on how strong you like it. The extra mature has got quite alot of lactic crystals in it, that really nice taste.”

Debbie confirmed that it gets tastier as you get near the rind. Greg said, “It’s all local. We don’t eat anything else anymore. Our fridge is full of this.”

Celtic Bakers is a wholesale craft organic bakery from Tottenham, North London, one of London’s leading producers of hand-crafted bread, cakes and patisserie and supplies products to establishments across London. They are especially passionate about making their sourdoughs and use natural leavens, baked on the stone sole of the oven.

New Lodge Farm has been owned by the Singlehurst family for over 100 years, focusing on Aberdeen Angus cattle and sheep rearing with traditional organic methods of farming. Over the past 20 years the farm has evolved from a traditional producer of livestock to a provider of leisure and event catering services, currently run by Simon and Sarah Singlehurst.

Most of their products are sold from their award-winning farm shop near Bulwick, and they bring their meat to the market, along with a hog roast. The pork for their famous hog roasts is supplied by another local farmer near Towcester. Their butchery and cafe near Bulwick serves lunch and coffee overlooking their fields.

Brockleby’s Pies, based in Melton Mowbray, was founded in 2003 by Ian Jalland, whose family has been farming for over 500 years. Their farm shop closed in 2012 to make way for a bigger bakery producing their hugely successful range of pies, such as Mowbray pork pie, organic pork pie, beaver pie, kiwi pie, penguin pie, gluten free pies and sweet pies including Isaac’s apple pie and Scrumper’s Pie.

They source all their ingredients from the Leicestershire area and use original recipes handed down through the family or from the bakers who have worked with them.

A regular customer filled her bag with a selection of pies. “My husband eats these. When I’m not at home, he doesn’t need to worry about cooking, and he has one of these. He really likes them,” she said.

Longshore is one of the most popular stalls, where there’s always a queue waiting to be served. Carol and Simon Long have been coming to the Oundle Farmers’ Market for 15 years. With Oundle being landlocked, a supply of fresh fish is a rare treat. Based in Blakeney, Norfolk, they fish from their own boat called “Don’t Know”, and also work with other inshore boats along the coast.

Julia comes every month. “Once a month we have a fish fest for a couple of days. This fish is fresh and reasonably local. Supermarket fish is not the same.”

Customers choose from a wide variety of seafood including potted shrimp, mussels, monkfish and crab.

Meagan Iu
May 2020