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June at Herefordshire's Farmers' Markets
6:10pm Friday 8th June 2012 in Food & Drink
OVER the last 10 years there has been a big push nationally on how important it is to buy British.
With the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee firing renewed patriotism, food producers are particularly keen to promote truly British products.
And not just British wool, but local wool. Hatty Baggins from Orleton in north Herefordshire makes fleece from local sheep into felted goods – lovingly made, useful, beautiful things you can snuggle up to.
Their speciality is Ryeland and Herdwick wool, because they own those breeds of sheep. Sheep Steve and Alan provide the Ryeland wool while Isabel and Bluebell give grey Herdwick wool. Ryeland is a particularly significant breed for Leominster because of its historical importance.
Known as Leominster ore, it made the town famous across Europe in the Elizabethan times.
Hatty Baggins makes felt hats, bags, slippers and much more.
You can see them at Leominster farmers’ market every second Saturday of the month.
Of course when we think of a truly British summer we think of strawberries and Herefordshire is particularly well blessed with strawberry growers. Court Farm at Tillington attends marmers markets’ in Leominster and Hereford, and has strawberries available at all of them.
This spring has been a difficult one for fruit and vegetable growers, however.
“Everything is very late, due to the unseasonal cold weather this spring,” said Tim Gilbert from Court Farm. “Our asparagus was extremely late this year and things are still running late, in some cases two to three weeks, and due to a very wet spell in May, a lot of planting was impossible,”
Now the warmer weather has arrived at last you can count on the weekly Hereford farmers’ market on Thursday for a good supply of new potatoes, broad beans and strawberries.
Ask the producer which type of potatoes they grow and tips for cooking them to perfection. You can be confident that the potatoes and strawberries will have been picked just hours before reaching the market stall.
Other farmers’ market producers have put their mind to the Diamond Jubilee festivities.
Kim at Foxgloves Liqueurs has made a jubilee strawberry and rosehip liqueur – very British and excellent as a long summer drink with sparkling wine.
Orchard Grove Preserves has launched a gift pack collection named Celebrations 2012 containing some of their hand made preserves.
Prices vary as the products inside are chosen by the customer, but start from £7.
One Jolly Girl has jubileethemed cupcakes and decorated shortbread as well as Empire biscuits for sale at farmers’ markets.
For latest market dates and times, visit hfmg.org or follow @HFDshireFarmMkt on Twitter.