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Humber Bridge Farmers’ Market Getting Better?

Is our local Humber Bridge Farmers’ Market getting better?  What do you think?

It is usually held on the first Sunday of every month, is held UNDER the Humber Bridge, not on it thank goodness or we’d all get blown away, and has been going for some time. There was a very big ‘hiccup’ with organisers a year or so ago,  but it has now been re-organised with totally new people at the helm.

What I can’t understand, given the fact that there is a huge space for parking under the Humber Bridge, plus a cafe selling breakfasts and hot drinks, that the number of actual food stalls is quite small – masses of craft stalls, in fact, at the moment it is more of a Craft Fair.

That is not to say that the food produce sold is not of a good quality. We are able to buy amazing bread, masses of biscuits, cakes, pies and cheese, pickles, mushrooms, fabulous beef, brilliant pork, oil, chocolates, fish – you name it, it is there.  But given the space, there could be 3 times as much choice.  I believe only one big vegetable stall is usually set up, full of ‘straight from the soil’ chunky vegetables.

Some of our 'Goodies' from our Farmers' Market

Last Sunday, a chilly but stunningly beautiful Autumn morning, Erik and myself were there at 9.00am, as were many, to be met with a lot of empty gaps in between the Food Stalls, which didn’t bode well.  When are we going to have a full house?

Lets face it – Yorkshire is a very large county, with a huge amount of Farmers, so for us just above the River Humber, it doesn’t make sense to drive 1 1/2 hours to North Yorkshire where there do seem to be a lot more markets.  We need good Farmers’ Markets all over the county, with plenty of choice of foods. To be honest, there is so much space both for stalls and cars under the Humber Bridge that this could be the Ultimate Farmers’ Market for East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, say a once every quarter get together, to give us all more choice.  Parking is so easy, not like some other local markets where you park miles away on the main road and walk in fear of your life to the actual market, or you take so long in a queue to park that half the produce has gone before you have a chance to buy anything.

Our monthly bread from our favourite baker, Patrick Crabtree

Personally, and maybe selfishly, I just want it to get better and better. I love the food markets in France and Italy, where the displays of food wares are to die for, almost an art form, and they are so mouthwatering beautiful – also the stallholders sheer love of food is apparent to all.

Having been in retailing, I know that whilst standing behind a counter (even on a very chilly day) you still have to smile, acknowledge a new customer even when busy with another one, and make everyone seem welcome.  Not just for the first half-hour, but from the first customer right through to the last one.  Most of our favourite stall-holders do this, and I suppose we avoid the other more grumpy ones now.

That said, we enjoyed shopping at our favourite stalls, met one or two new producers and went home with a large bag of ‘goodies’, some of which are in the pictures above.  The numbers refer to the producers of the products which are:

No 1.  Dexter Topside of Beef (roasted for Sunday tea, with Crispy Roast Potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding, Herb Roasted Parsnips & Carrots (both from vegetable stall) and our home-grown Runner Beans.  The Beef was only roasted for 35 minutes in the AGA, then left to rest for 20 minutes, and it just melted in our mouths – so tender, so tasty!

No 2.  Dexter Beef Sausages – great sausages, these went straight into the Freezer for next weekend’s breakfast.

No 3.  Dexter Beef Meat Pies – going to sample these tomorrow.

These 3 items are all from Superior quality, grass-fed  Axholme Dexter Beef, produced by Alan and June Turner on the Isle of Axholme, Email:  alan@axholmedexterbeef.co.uk

Stunning quality Dexter Beef – the Dexter cow is a smaller size than most, so the quantity of meat from one cow is less than in the larger, normal sized version.  Hence the meat is not cheap, but very special.  We have had sausages, burgers, Brisket, and steak, and this Sunday the brilliant Topside.  It was well-worth saving up to buy this special meat.

No. 4.  The Mushrooms are from (I think it’s called) Autumn Harvest, whom we buy from every month.  The sell Wild Mushrooms, such as Porcini, Morel, Chanterelles, Blewit (and loads more) and Farmed Mushrooms (Portobello, Crimini, Shitake, Eryingi, Shimeji and loads more) and Other (Dried Mushrooms, Mushroom Powder, Black Truffles). Usually I buy Eryingi, which I love to slice up lengthwise with Bacon, Sausage, or Steak. But this month, I had seen a recipe by Elaine Lemm for Wild Mushroom Lasagne, so bought a ‘selection’ pack of the Farmed Mushrooms, plus one Porcini and a (small) handful of Chanterelles. Ummmmm …… can’t wait.

To contact these lovely Mushroom people, ring Jane or Adriano on 07837 630145 or Email:  autumnharvest@live.co.uk

No.  5.  The last on the board is a Black Pudding, Apple and Pork Sausage Roll (I hope that’s right) by a new young man with a stall full of beautifully produced individual savory tarts, pies and ‘sausage rolls’ as well as some stunning, sweet tarts and the most luscious Chocolate Brownie Erik and I have ever eaten (crisp outer shell, so soft and almost gooey inner – Heaven!!) All superbly decorated, all shown off  and expertly displayed. Unfortunately we were just leaving, he didn’t have any literature and I forgot to look at his stall name.  But the Black Pudding sausage roll was scoffed by Erik and myself for Monday lunch, and was gorgeous with some of our home-made Green Tomato Chutney. And the Chocolate Brownie was eaten late afternoon in front of the fire!!

One of our other Food Producers we visit every month is Jonathan Clarkson of Three Little Pigs, whose logo is  ‘Rare Breed, Rare Flavour’.

This month, we just bought Jonathan’s Bacon – Eric thinks it is one of the best tasting bacons he has eaten, and I agree.  (What do you think we had to eat when we went home.  Yes … a bacon sandwich)  Jonathan’s pork is special, full of taste.  We have tried so many of his products, even his Yorkshire Chorizo Sausage, but his mainstay is his Rare Breed Berkshire Pork joints and Bacon and Sausages (this month he had a Fennel Sausage, which I think would go well with Pasta, in the Italian fashion).

Three Little Pigs also share their fields with Black Welsh Mountain Lamb, all raised high up on the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds.  I must try some of that next month.

Jonathan’s Website is: http://www.threelittlepigsonline.co.uk

Of course, our favourite baker, Patrick Crabtree of Feast Rising Bakery, who’s bread freezes brilliantly, has had many a mention in this blog of ours.  His bread just gets better and better. His Focaccia and his Batons are our favourites at the moment, but his huge fruited Tea Cakes , smothered in butter, are a close second, with a nice warm cup of tea.

So, hopefully the Humber Bridge Farmers’ Market will gradually get better, and more Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire Food Producers and Food Stall Holders will gravitate to the enormous car park under the Humber Bridge and word will spread that this Farmer’s Market is not to be missed.

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