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Notes from The Village – Farmers’ Market

Our correspondent Nala Shyne reports on activities taking place in May 2005

This month sees the return of our very popular Farmers’ Market. As the first village in the area to launch such a project we feel justifiable proud of our achievement. Although, it must be admitted, at our first Farmers’ Market, there was something of a misunderstanding as to its purpose. Some people seemed to be under the impression that it was literally a market for agricultural workers. That is, a place where old ones could be swapped for newer models, with some cash incentives included to liven up the deal. And this concept even stretched to include farmers’ wives, and brought an entirely new meaning to the phrase wife swapping. Some of them were exchanged for tractors, milking machines, and in one case an almost new combined harvester. (Though to be fair the deal did also included the daughter, a sow, and half-a-dozen chickens.)  However, once such initial teething problems were solved we have gone from strength to strength. And this month is no exception.

Due to its runaway success at the last market, we will be seeing the return of Malcolm Miah’s stall selling freshly slaughtered Chicken Tika Masala. But this time he has expanded to provide us with such favourites as Goa Garlic King Prawn on the Half Shell, Bhindi Bhaji Baps and Peshwari Pasta Shapes. This one will certainly be worth visiting!

Also returning will be the Boots the Chemist stall. It was thought by the Village Committee, last time, that this stall was not quite in keeping with the overall concept of the market. However, the Village Committee received an apology from Boots, and had it explained to them, that someone at Boots’ London office seemed to have had a very loose grasp of what a ‘Farmers’ market was. But the stall proved to be so very, very popular with the customers, that it returns again. As before it will be selling a selection of aloe impregnated toilet rolls, anti-itching creams, and haemorrhoid preparations.

And new to this Farmer’s Market we will be welcoming the Vegetarian Meat & Poultry Collective. This company is becoming more and more popular throughout the country, and making inroads onto the continent. They employ their own inspectors to visit each and every farm on their books, to confirm that the meat is approved by the collective. This means that vegetarians can be assured that each animal died of natural causes, usually in their sleep. It is said that the temptations of a bacon sandwich cause the downfall of most vegetarians. But now you can enjoy it with a clear conscience, knowing that each and every pig died of old age surrounded by its family, friends and loved ones. Go on you Vegetarians, give it a try, you know you want to!

Our Townswomen’s Guild will, once again, be having a stall. You may remember their ingenious money-making scheme from last time. That is, buying up all the out of date Canadian Cheddar from the local supermarkets, removing the packaging and re-selling it as Farm Fresh Mature Goat’s Cheese. Mrs Cavendish explained that the title was not meant to be misleading. Farm Fresh is the name of their company. Mature, well some of the cheese was old enough to be allowed out on its own. And Goat’s Cheese refers to the fact that any unsold cheese was to be fed to the local goats; so if they didn’t sell any of it, all of it would go to the goats. So, strictly speaking it was the goat’s cheese. However, we did feel that the idea was not in the true spirit of a Farmers’ Market. This time, they have been asked to confine themselves to producing foods from their very own recipe book. So look forward to such treats as Rhubarb and Celery Crumble, Sprout and Radish Surprise, and Vegan Steak Tartar. Also they will be selling various cooking oils, such as Olive Oil, Virgin Olive Oil, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. (Which, Mrs Cavendish assures me, is Olive Oil that has not even been looked at by a man!)

If you are in the area please come and support us, it will be well worth your while. We hope for continuing success for all out traders and look forward to a splendid day.
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