South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth is urging people to support Leighton Buzzard’s Farmers Market this coming Saturday (October 15) – or risk losing it.
The branch says the farmers market supports local farmers, helps preserve the countryside and wildlife, promotes cruelty free farming and a reduction in the use antibiotics.
Buying from local farmers also reduces food miles and so helps towards Low Carbon Leighton Linslade.
Some stalls such as Morgan Pell Meats and Janet Stupples from Ashridge have been on the Leighton Buzzard Farmers Market once a month nearly every month for 17 years since it was founded.
However recently the number of stalls on the third Saturday of each month has been dwindling and the FoE branch says it is very concerned that the public is not aware of the farmers market or of the environmental achievements of its farmers. They fear it is tucked away at the top of the High Street and not promoted as well as it could be.
South Beds FoE says it is so concerned about the future of Leighton Buzzard Farmers Market that it successfully applied for a grant of £150 from national Friends of the Earth.
This money has allowed it to produce special banners about the farmers market and the individual farmers. This was first displayed on the FoE stall on September 17, along with a new game to help people understand that the food on their plate had often travelled thousands of miles.
Victoria Harvey, of South Beds FoE said: “Please come and support these farmers who are not only local and affordable , but also are actively supporting wildlife on their farms, using free range methods and avoiding antibiotics.
“For over 1,000 years farmers have been bringing their local produce in to sell in Leighton Buzzard market in our high street. It is delicious food at low cost while persevering both our traditions and the future of our countryside and wildlife. Please come and support it. It would be tragic to lose it.”
The farmers market features produce from farms from all come from the Bedfordshire area.
Victoria added: “Morgan Pell’s farm near to Bedford support beautiful countryside and wildlife. Janet Stupple’s stall sells rapeseed oil which is excellent for omega 3 oils and is grown near Tring without pesticides and the farmer has planted large areas of windflowers to help bees.
“The farmers only use antibiotics when it is essential for the animal’s health and all the animals are free range.
“As the food is direct from the farmers with no middle man it is very affordable and the prices in some instances are cheaper than supermarkets.”