Posts Tagged ‘farmers market’

Lincoln farmers market Castle Hill

May 15, 2021

A cold, wet miserable day, mid-May but feels like winter. Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one hundred and twenty-one.

Farmers market in Lincoln, like everything in Lincoln, something of a disaster, few stalls, and only the cheese stall worth a visit.

Stomach-churning stench from the doughnut stall outside Central Market. 

In the city centre, too many people, horrendous. I walked up Steep Hill; it too was busy. The famers market though deserted.

The writing on the door of Imperial Teas ridiculous. Why not simply write, Customers Not Welcome, as that is what they are effectively saying. Yes, we all need to be careful, especially with Indian mutation spreading like wildfire and already in Lincolnshire. And yet the most important measure they can take, keep well ventilated, their door is always closed. It has already been drawn to their attention, keep the door open, for at least one day, the door was open, but always closed when I pass by. 

A cold, wet, not very pleasant day.

A few plants from greengrocer around the back of Bailgate, a courgette and runner beans. I learnt the shop now closes early at three o’clock on Tuesday and Wednesday.

I would have walked back down Steep Hill, but it started to rain. I ate outside a little deli off Bailgate, Bailgate Deli. It was cold, as cold as when I sat outside Coffee Aroma Wednesday of last week. Somewhere to sit outside on a pleasant warm day. The food though was excellent, a bowl of falafel and salad.

To take home, I bought cheesecake. It was delicious.

Looked in Lincoln Eco Pantry. An improvement in their offering of cholate, a chocolate I had not heard of before, Cox & Co. I picked up a bar of each on offer.

Walking back down Steep Hill, the rain must have cleared everyone off the streets. No one about.

Coffee outside Coffee Aroma. As I arrived, a massive M&S lorry nearly damaged the tables at Coffee Aroma, either the driver did this deliberately or should not be driving, as a wide gap the other side of the lorry.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

April 18, 2021

Saturday a lovely sunny day, lockdown day ninety-nine.

Tuesday I expected the bus to be busy, two passengers. Saturday I expected the bus to be busy, two passengers.

As last week, very little traffic into Lincoln. But, as Tuesday, a lot of traffic within the town centre.

Tuesday I expected the town to be busy, it was but not as bad as I had feared.

Saturday it was horrendous far worse than I expected. The town centre packed with people, worse than anything since August, apart from when the dysfunctional city council decided to hold a junk food festival in the middle of a pandemic. Far too many people.

I was pleased to find PC Coaches now running the Walk and Ride. I hopped on, saved time, I was on my way to the farmers market.

Fruit and vegetable stall in Lincoln Central Market told me there was a famers market. The last three months there has been no farmers market, nor was there one in November.

Lots of tourists milling around, long queue outside the ice cream shop. Even the Tourist Information Office was open.

Chat with some of the stall holders. Cheese stall I asked why the milk was semi-skilled. I was told it was not, straight out of the cow. Vegans, is the cheese vegan, no it is real milk from a grass-grazed vegan cow.

Crass stupidity of environmental health officer, objecting to the sanitiser wipes on the stall.

Long chat with man selling soap. He said too many are melt and pour. Sums up many selling what is claimed to be artisan chocolate.

A new charity shop in Bailgate, or so I thought, except not, has a board outside saying a charity shop.

Excellent haddock and chips from Elite on the Bail. And yet quiet, no queue, and in the little square where I sit, not busy.

The Snake and Lion not as bad as I expected.

I kept looking a my, watch had it stopped, why the wrong time? No, it was the tolling of a bell from Lincoln Cathedral for the funeral of Prince Philip.

Three o’clock, a minute’s silence for the funeral of Prince Philip. Not respected by the drunken scum at The Lion and Snake.

Walking past The Lion and Snake after eating my lunch, noisy, drunken scum shouting, no social distancing. Why is this pub not shut down and landlord stripped of licence? Last year, fights in the street, urinating up the wall. Saturday I saw no portaloos. I was told Friday night was bad. At a guess, far worse Saturday night.

Walking sown Steep Hill, surprised to find the shop selling Lincolnshire produce not open.

I looked in Imperial Teas. I wished to tell the owner, green bens from Cameroon had arrived. But now only there on a Monday. I left a message

The young lady, always helpful, has done an excellent job on their displays. But a customer wished to enter. I pop back out then another customer wished to come in.

I wanted a French Press. I wanted to look at several, luckily on display. Too much to carry. I will try another day.

Glassware for tea and coffee I have never seen before. Simple Lab a Hong Kong based company.

I tried to remember, of course, I forgot. I did take photos, but could not read.

I looked up on their website. No name, other than the name of any individual piece. Check out their website, stunning photos. Imperial Teas must have the largest collection of tea and coffee making paraphernalia of any site.

I worked backwards, and found the company, Hong Kong based Simple Lab, the name I could not remember. I found through the name of a range of products Micro.

Long queue outside ice cream parlour on The Strait. I would not recommend.

I looked in the art shop on The Strait, opposite the ice cream parlour. I often pass by and look in their window, but have never in the past ventured inside. Upstairs a a small gallery. Very steep and narrow stairs to climb.

Sit outside Coffee Aroma with a coffee. Now too cold.

Whilst sat outside Coffee Aroma, an idiot drives through the pedestrianised street the wrong way, turns around, parks outside the bank, then goes for a walk.

Walking through Sincil Street heading to the Bus Station, an idiot drives through, turns around, parks outside Everyman Cinema.

Lincoln farmers market

August 15, 2020

Friday farmers market in Louth second Friday of the month, Saturday farmers market in Lincoln third Saturday of the month.

An alert I found at two o’clock a farmers market today, sent five hours earlier. Poor use of social media. OK for a reminder but should have sent out an alert at least day before. Though I am also at fault for not checking.

Dash into Lincoln, maybe make farmers market as packing up.

Whilst waiting for a bus,  I am passed by a convoy of Porsche and Lamborghini. To my surprise I encounter later parked up near Lincoln Cathedral.

I made the farmers market as stalls packing up.

I was curious, why if farm in the Lincolnshire Wolds Lincolnshire Poacher does not have a stall at the Louth farmers market. Too many shops selling their cheese. Maybe that explains why the Louth farmers market only has one stall, many excellent local food shops therefore what does a farmers market offer?

Bread stall half price bread? No. Two for the price of three. A deal with a lady who was made the same offer. Two pound each. I gave her two loaves and she thanked me and said she would give the second one to a friend she was meeting later.

Excellent haddock and chips, late lunch at Elite on the Bail.

Parked outside a car with parking ticket stuck to the windscreen. No one came to the car.

Lack of social distancing The Lion and Snake.  Loud music audible half way down Westgate.  When will dysfunctional Lincoln City Council act and shut down pubs and bars flouting covid-19 regulations?

Walked around Lincoln Castle to have a coffee on the terrace at Stokes at The Lawn, if open. Sea haar last few days, making cooler. It was open but now too cool to sit on the terrace.

Walked the back way down into town.

Loud music, horrendous noise binge drinking bars top end of the High Street. Breach of covid-19 regulations but no action by dysfunctional Lincoln City Council to enforce the rules and close the bars and pubs flagrantly flouting the rules.

Cappuccino at Coffee Aroma.

Whilst sat outside Coffee Aroma, large gangs of drunken yobs roaming around. No sign of police.

Lincoln Christmas farmers market

December 21, 2019

Held Castle Hill, a dismal Christmas farmers market, a pale shadow of when I last visited the farmers market in the summer of last year or Easter this year.

Sadly it seems to be following the ad hoc farmers market held in the High Street which became smaller and smaller and finally died.

Contrast with Guildford Christmas farmers packed with Christmas shoppers.

I managed to pick up cheese from two different stalls, and raw milk unpasteurised milk from the same stalls.

I regret I did not shop in Redhill Farm shop in Bailgate, when I passed by it was busy, later when I passed by it was closed.

Lincoln hosts smallest farmers market in the country

January 11, 2019

At one stall, Lincoln can proudly lay claim to the smallest farmers market in the country.

The farmers market used to be held in the High Street, to be pedantic two different locations in the High Street, one week north of the level crossing, the following week south of the level crossing.

By swapping locations, guaranteed to ensure the market was never a success. A couple of stalls, maybe three, if very very lucky six.

It has now relocated to the side of the river, outside the side entrance to the Central Market, with little footfall, maybe out of sight, out of mind.

There is no information in the High Street to say the farmers market has relocated, therefore it is assumed it has finally collapsed.

Nor is there any information at its new location.

I found by pure chance.

I hoped last week to find the fruit and vegetable stall, but too late, it had already packed up and departed. I was in time to see a van for Redhill Farm departing.

In the week, I checked with Redhill  Farm shop in Bailgate and they confirmed, the farmers market had relocated.

Sincil Street has been trashed by the local Council in cahoots with the local Coop, the Central Market trashed by the local  Council, which guarantees very little footfall.

I found the regular Friday fruit and vegetable stall, this one stall is what constitutes a market in Lincoln, a market town, a bread stall, a disgusting doughnut stall and one stall for the farmers market.

At two o-clock, the one stall for the farmers market had already packed away his stock. I visited the fruit and vegetable stall. When I looked around, the guy running the stall had gone.

The doughnut stall should be kicked off. The stomach churning stench is guaranteed to kill any market.

Guildford farmers market

December 18, 2018

A day like last Saturday, windy and heavy rain. Luckily the rain held off until afternoon, then killed the market.

I learnt from one stall the market was open until four, but closed earlier due to the inclement weather.

A farmers market should be growers, farmers and producers. Non-producers only allowed at last minute if a spare pitch. It would also be worth following the example of South Bank Street Food Market, a couple of spare pitches reserved for guest stalls.

There is something very very wrong when producers are denied participation on the market, told fully booked, when pitches are taken by non-producers and on the day spare pitches where regulars or maybe not regulars have failed to turn up. All the worst when producers are local and have experience of other markets, where they are made welcome.

Stalls selling tat, an importer of Spanish foodstuffs, tea.

If something from a chiller cabinet is found on the shelves where it should not be in a supermarket, it is not put back in the chiller cabinet as not known how long it has been out of the chiller cabinet.

Why then a stall with poultry, turkeys, turkey sausages, the worst meat products to leave outside of a fridge, sitting on stall all day with temperature a little below 10C? Though not as bad as the summer when on a stall with temperatures exceeding 25C if not 30C.

Why no action by Environmental Health?

Talking to one cheese producer, cows the black and white bulk milk producers, I asked was the milk unpasteurised? No. Did I wish to buy? No. I did not ask were they using bought in cultures for the milk, or traditional methods for what was claimed to be Cheddar.

I can do no better than cite the excellent advice given by Bronwen Percival on buying cheese in an Appendix to Reinventing the Wheel (the book on cheese):

Buy unadulterated cheese … if a cheesemaker hides behind added ingredients, whether smoke, added fruits or spices … it is either a tragedy … or a sign their milk was devoid of character in the first place … Buy raw-milk cheese … Buy complex cheese … Buy from a cheesemonger … good cheesemongers are curators of good cheese.

We are fortunate in Guildford, excellent cheesemonger at end of Chapel Street.

One stall had 10% off vouchers for the cheesemonger, but objected to taking any on the grounds that I had taken a few off her stall before. Whilst this was true, I had given these away to encourage people to visit the cheesemonger. Not only had I given away, but at the time I had asked could I take more then one as I wished to give them away. Her attitude short sighted and infantile to say the least, as the only loser is the cheesemonger.

Cupsmith appear to have given up. No bad thing. Excellent coffee can be obtained in Guildford either from Krema in Tunsgate or FCB Coffee kiosk on Guildford Station. In both cases will be talking to baristas knowledgeable about coffee.

A long queue at the paella stall.

What looked like peanut butter was not. Very cloying when I tried. A nut, I cannot recall what, and added espresso. Did they mean coffee beans? Yes. If so, say so, espresso is from an espresso machine. Tasted not of coffee but of chocolate.

Engaging in one conversation, overhearing another, lack of knowledge on use of social media. To be fair, I would not expect otherwise.

One stall, was I going to tag on Instagram? Absolutely no way. Another how a food writer increased their sales. And no it was not me.

In use of social media, twitter is a must, facebook a very low second, instagram a major no no. Always post pictures direct to twitter, never via instagram. If posted via instagram, not visible on twitter.


  • claims ownership rights of pictures
  • acts as bait to entice into facebook walled garden
  • facebook business model theft and abuse of personal data
  • pictures posted to instagram not visible on twitter

Social media should never be used for marketing, it is an intrusion into personal space. It is not broadcast, the clue is in the name, social networks, ie interaction, many to many.

  • broadcast — one to many
  • social — interaction
  • network — many to many

A blog may be useful if have something worthwhile to say, if can write. For example a chocolate maker may describe bean to final product, direct trade, why use cocoa butter, not pad out with cheap alternatives such as palm oil, a cheesemaker rare breed cows, out on pastures, unpasteurised milk, a cake baker recipe for a cake.

The market was to be plastic free in 2019, except no one knows anything about it, and the very idea is being denied.

How many retailers will be around in the New Year?

House of Fraser bankrupt, Debenhams on the verge of bankruptcy, at least one coffee shop closing, others on the verge of closing, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill will close if unable to negotiate a lower rent, Tunsgate Quarter boarded up units, corporate chains selling overpriced tat, devoid of people other than those using as a short cut when raining.

Excellent lunch at Bamboo Shoots in Jeffries Passage, the only business I ever see busy in Jeffries Passage. The coffee shop, three customers.

Excellent coffee in Krema. Like Ben’s Records next door, always busy.

Unlike chains which compete with on-line by cutting service, in other words engage in a death spiral, indie businesses offer quality in products and service.

Autonomous farmers market Exarchia Square

October 21, 2018

An autonomous farmers market held in Exarchia Square in Athens.

An informal market of local producers in the heart of the anarchist district of Athens.

Goats cheese, nuts, fruit and vegetables, honey, peanut butter, olive oil, wine, soap.

First and third Sunday of the month.

I bought excellent goats cheese, peanut butter and pistachio nuts.

Exarchia can be a dangerous area of Athens, be wary.

I was informed faircoin in use on the market. I saw no evidence of this. I made inquiries of stallholders and drew a blank.

There was food, free food, but by the time I had looked around, all gone.

I learnt of another market every day bar Sunday, in a squatted building, no prices, pay what you wish.

I then climbed a nearby hill, Strefi Hill.

On the way to the market, I passed Taf, an excellent coffee shop, which I thought I would visit later. Sadly not open on a Sunday.

Luckily Warehouse nearby was open, which I paid a visit.

Castle Hill farmers market

September 15, 2018

I was on my way to Lincoln Cathedral. Heritage Open Day, the one day of the year free entry to Lincoln Cathedral, unless of course attend a service.

Rather than walk up the High Street, up The Strait, up Steep Hill, I took a different route. Along Sincil Street (sadly trashed by the local Council in cahoots with the local Coop), over the River Witham, up past The Collection, then Well Lane which brings out on Steep Hill a little past Base Camp.

To my pleasant surprise, a farmers market in Castle Hill, held the third Saturday of the month.

A wide choice of stalls, a marked contrast to the pathetic market held in the High Street on a Friday, now alternate Fridays, all of two stalls, three stalls if lucky, half a dozen stalls if very lucky.

I would question that Bailgate Deli having a stall, unless to make up numbers, as nether a grower nor a producer.

As with too many markets, low environmental standards, food served in plastic containers. What though was in many ways worse, two organic stalls with produce in plastic, as they should have known better.

I stopped and chatted with one of the organic stalls about their use of plastic, an organic growers association.

A guy on the stall also drinking poor quality coffee in plastic-lined takeaway cup.

There is absolutely no excuse for use of plastic on market stalls or from food stalls, as alternatives exist. Whoever is responsable for this market must set higher standards.

Off a bread stall, scones, OK, not great, sweetcorn off the organic produce stall excellent. Excellent cheese from Cote Hill.

Nothing off Redhill Farm as visited their shop in Bailgate, where a wider choice.

After visiting Lincoln Cathedral, cappuccino from Base Camp then a V60 from Madame Waffle from their excellent choice of guest coffees.

The way to enjoy coffee, is relax and enjoy out of glass or ceramic. But had I a takeaway, compostable takeaway coffee cup that can then be dropped on a compost heap.

Guildford farmers market

August 7, 2018

Another very hot day.  Coolish before ten, half an hour later hot.

Thoroughly disgusted to see turkey stall on the market with turkey and turkey sausages sitting on their stall, not refrigerated. Sitting on cold packs will make not a jot of difference.  Ambient temperature close to if not exceeding 30C.  Ice in a glass melts within minutes.

One stall had bottles in water in a box with large blocks of ice. The ice melted within an hour.

Food and hot weather do not mix. Where were the Environmental Heath Officers? In this hot weather they should be patrolling all food markets.

If this is what we see in public, what happens behind the scenes?

What is is market waiting for, a major outbreak of food poisoning, for people to die?

Farmers market a synonym for quality is a myth they like to project.

I would not buy from many of the stalls. Fresh, quality produce, on many this is not the case.

Fresh produce wrapped in plastic, sweetcorn with dry papery outer leaves which should be lush and green.

Cupsmith coffee stall with open hessian sacks of roasted beans. If this lack of respect for coffee beans then avoid.  I have had the misfortune of trying both the tea and the coffee, neither are good.

Spoilt for choose these days for excellent coffee roasteries there is no excuse for buying low quality coffee.

Locally if looking for coffee beans, then visit Krema in Tunsgate (next to Ben’s Records).  For tea, Bamboo Shoots in Jeffries Passage.

Very disappointed  have again failed to have a stall on Guildford farmers market, especially as the market lacks and needs a speciality coffee stall from a local coffee roastery.  In the meantime Horsham Coffee from Krema.

Not to say there is not quality on the market.  Wholemeal bread off Celtic baker, cakes off a stall, excellent sweetcorn off the stall where Secrett’s used to have a stall, plums, strawberries, apples and chilled apple juice off the apple stall.

Guidelines have been produced on food handling, but they are meaningless.  Meat, fish and cheese has to be as in any shop, in refrigerated units.

Winchester has an excellent cheese stall, a refrigerated stall. In the hot weather he knocks of early as impossible to keep the cheese cool and it would have to be thrown away.

From where to obtain excellent cheese? Cheesemonger in Chapel Street? Direct from the farm?

I had a chat with one cheese stall. Raw milk, not pasteurised? No. Milk has many microbes, these are what makes the cheese, gives it character. Pasteurisation does not make the cheese ‘safe’ as cheese ideal breading ground for microbes. Kill off the microbes and have to add a culture. Far from making the cheese safe, grant the opportunity for pathogens that otherwise would not get a look in. And the cows? Those black and white bulk milk producers, feed in one end, watery milk out the other. Totally unsuitable for quality cheese production. This is sadly to reproduce on the farm industrial cheese production. The only difference scale and lack of mechanisation.  Contrast with artisan cheese producers in France, milk straight into a wooden bucket, cheese left to mature on wooden planks.  Maybe that is why French produce excellent farm cheeses that command a  premium price.

Excellent lunch at Bamboo Shoots.

Passed by Surrey Hills Coffee twice, on both occasions empty.  Passing by a second time, coffee grounds for the garden.

Why do more coffee shops not put the coffee grounds outside for passers by to help themselves? Maybe something to be encouraged.

V60 Japanese iced coffee sat outside Krema. A little disappointed compared with their cold brew.  Maybe not suited to Ethiopian coffee. Maybe needs a single origin Colombian, or better still Panama Geisha. I have offered to bring in beans from Burundi to try.

Apple stall had saved me a chilled apple juice. Drank and bought a second to take home.

Passing the ginger ale stall, a cold ginger ale.

Cold ginger ale, like cold brew coffee, very refreshing on a  hot day.

Two girls dropped off a leaflet for social media. Only problem showed they were clueless on social media. Some fliers they had not even bothered to cut out straight, leaflet lacked web address, twitter account.  Classic example of how not to social media.

The market is to go plastic free next year. A step in the right direction which is long overdue. It needs to be rigorously enforced, offenders barred from the market.

Chichester farmers market

August 3, 2018

What was I doing travelling to Chichester then on to Arundel on a very hot day when I would have been better off sat in the shade of the trees in my garden?

It was already hot by nine o’clock in morning.

Whilst changing trains at Guildford Station, a cappuccino from FCB kiosk. It was not great.

Train to Portsmouth from Guildford packed. A fast service London Waterloo to Portsmouth only five coaches.  Drunks on the train.

At Havant, slow train to Brighton pulls in, time to run across the bridge and catch the train. Why not time it better?

Train packed, standing room only. Train full of drunks.

Many more drunks when I alight at Chichester. The reason  why,  racing at Goodwood, Glorious Goodwood.

At Chichester Station a train of Pullman coaches. I expect a steam locomotive. Sadly not, diesel engine front and back.

Train is so long,  diesel locomotive on the crossing, road closed.

I decide to take a walk along the Chichester Ship Canal. I think not far to Chichester Harbour. I am wrong, a long way.

Amazing sculptures along the route.

I call in Coffee Lab. Very annoying, Clifton Coffee beans shipped from Coffee Lab in Winchester on Wednesday not in. Makes it even worse. Old beans. Their Colonna beans also old. They say they have more recent, will bag for me. I say ok, will pick up as I pass by later. Cold brew? No, but will do me a Japanese iced filter later.

To the market. Only one stall I am interested in. The stall with the excellent onions and tomatoes.

At first I mistake the wrong stall, but eventually find.

Environmental standards on this market a disgrace. On one stall, fresh produce wrapped in plastic, sweating in the heat.

The man with the tomatoes and onions, tells me that on the Arundel farmers market they will not even be able to use plastic carrier bags. I say use paper. He says costs. I say tough. There is a cost to the environment on using plastic,. Society should not carry the externalised costs, but at least the stall is using brown paper bags on which to drop produce, as do most market stalls.

Coffee stall with beans in the midday sun, temperatures in excess of 30C a disgrace.

If want coffee beans, Edge coffee van in Draper’s Yard or Coffee Lab, but not off this stall.

Lunch at St Martins Coffee House. It is packed, but I manage to find a table in the shade in the garden.

Owner not around. A pity as I had found sources of organic coffee.

Head down Pallant, North and South. Quiet streets running parallel to South Street.  Lovely buildings.

Cut down a narrow street, which brings me out at Coffee Lab.

They have bagged the beans, make me a Japanese iced coffee.

Train is running several minutes late. I miss connecting train to Arundel, have to wait for next train.

I nearly miss Arundel. I see Arundel in the distance and think that is where the train is heading. No, have to alight at Arudel Station and walk to Arundel.

As I am about to leave the station, Chinese girl asks me the way to Arundel. I say I am going that way. She joins me. Do we need a taxi? No, we will walk.

It is not far.

We look in a few coffee shops, catering supply coffee.

We find Tarrant Street Espresso. It is closed. It is a little after 3-30.  What sort of place is this? He closes at four, but today early. We make do with a takeaway. For Square Mile Red Brick espresso blend it is a disappointment. The coffee shop more of a kiosk.

As we are half way up the hill, we head further up the hill to what could be the entrance to Arundel Castle. It is not,  and does not even list the opening hours. My new found Chinese friend had been told entrance was at the bottom of the hill, but I thought we best check, not walk down the hill to have to walk back up the hill.

We find the entrance, to be told as we walk in it is closed. Not even a quick look? No, go for a walk along the river.

We walk a little way along the River Arun, then back up the hill to Arundel Cathedral.

At the bottom of the hill, a square with on one side a lovely little food shop. I buy cheese and a Florentine and a yoghurt coated flapjack. Lady serving tells me top entrance used to be the entrance or at least the exit. She said its closure has killed the town. People enter the castle at the bottom entrance and most not aware of the existence of the town.

Interesting exhibition in Arundel Cathedral. Ghost like apparitions in the pews. At first I thought only those near the door. But no, throughout the Cathedral. I guessed it was the departed souls of those who died in World War One. I was surprised how many, Arundel only a small town. My guess was correct, to mark 100 days of the end of WWI. I think 95.

Then to the station. A train at 1902, only running late. Caught the 1832 running late at 1807.

Change for Havant. Havant to Guildford. Then another train.

Walking home very warm.

Home a little after ten, very tired.

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