Leighton Buzzard Farmers Market is 20 years old on October 19.
On the farmers market (held on the third Saturday of the month) you will find variety and value in foods sold directly by farmers, growers and producers to consumers. Traders are selected for their quality, knowledge and customer service.
To mark the landmark anniversary, Janet Stupples and Kevin Morgan-Jones, the two longest-standing traders have put together their story about the two decades they have had on the market...
“Gosh, we were a motley crew that met in the May at the White House to further the possibility of a Farmers Market in the High Street monthly.
There Janet met Kevin, a young, keen and enthusiastic farmer. This has typified the community of the farmers market all these years.
Councillors and managers, come and gone, we have traded through you all in a calm but determined manner to bring local produce to the area
Looking back, how quickly the time has passed. Many different stalls have come and gone, some to pastures new, some to retirement. Hertfordshire Apple grower Tim and his father Buffalo Gold with milk cheese and manure, Paul with goats cheese and chilli jelly.
But the stalwarts remained. Liz, until 2 years ago with homemade produce ,fruit and veg. Kevin (Morgan Pell Meats) with home raised and butchered beef and lamb. Posh Janet with home-grown and homemade produce, honey and latterly Chiltern Rapeseed Oil then Debby (K.C.Robbins) with pork, bacon, sausages and pies.
You will have seen us in several places in the High Street but always returning to the top end, always in shadow, windy and cold in winter but ideal for our produce.
It has been the loyalty of customers over many years that reaps it own reward.
We have faced several food crises, BSC, foot and mouth, horsemeat in supermarkets, fuel protests not to mention the challenges of the weather.
More recently we have had to explain the effects of growing food on the land, global warming, and climate change whilst combating the tiny majority of vegans, chained to a Lamp post come to mind.
The farmer’s market remains the place to purchase fresh, locally produced, high quality, great value food.
We keep food miles to a minimum, reduce transport emissions and do not cut down rain forests
We tell you. How it is produced and where. Can speak to the producer. Are there in all weathers. Can pre-order. Are friendly and helpful.
It is the best food at a sustainable price for both of us as long as you do not throw away food and enjoy it our prices are competitive.
Have you not tried us? Give it a go surprise yourself with fresh healthy tasty food that is all local.
Many have enjoyed these secrets for 20 years. Come and find us in the High Street on the third Saturday each month and become known to our stallholders
We look forward to meeting you.”
Kevin in the Morgan Pell white trailer.
Janet, the first stall in the market.