I'm sorry, this is not going to be a short review. That's because I love Orton Farmers' Market!
We were later getting there than I'd intended, and found that the lovely, sleepy Cumbrian village of Orton had its own rush hour!
Yes, the droves of visitors meant that it was very hard for two tractors to pass...
I always think good markets are colourful places. It's nicely illustrated by these tomatoes at Orton:
If we all had veg this fresh, I'm sure we'd eat more:
It's great to meet the producers, and learn more about what they do. This is Keverigg cheese:
from Winter Tarn organic farm, and it's named after a wood on the farm. Their butter won a 3 Star Gold in the Great Taste Awards earlier this year.
Dianne from Country Fare (who's based on a working farm in the Mallerstang Valley), was selling biscuits, cakes, gingerbread, and handing out samples J.
I'd already met Bessy Beck:
at Artisan Markets in Cheshire. So I know how good their smoked trout pâté is. Their farm and smoke-house are just seven miles away from this market.
Steve Dunning, is a fifth generation Cumbrian farmer and farms at nearby Raisgill Hall. His family had a stall selling their traditionally reared beef and Rough Fell lamb:
It was service with a smile, and a free recipe for Kashmir lamb (keeping up the Cumbrian tradition of combining good local ingredient with spices from around the world). I was interested to read in the Farmers Guardian about how Orton Primary School nearly lost its kitchen, but now uses local ingredients from farmers like Steve and makes a profit.
Next, another local farmer, John Noble from Stoneyhead Hall Farm. John was selling high welfare traditionally reared pork from Gloucester Old Spot/Saddleback pigs:
Leagram Organic Dairy were selling cheeses produced from cow, and sheep's milk, from the Forest of Bowland:
Elliot's Chutneys, from Milnthorpe, were selling home-made chutneys, jellies and piccalilli:
James, from Outreamer Homemade Foods, was selling zesty lemon drizzle cake and his award winning jam:
I'd met Paul, from Creative Seafoods, at The Merchant of Hoghton's Food Producers' Market. I told him I was disappointed he wasn't wearing his Sou Wester!
So he kindly put it on for me:
His fish is top quality.
Next to Paul were handmade chocolates from Annette's Lakeland Kitchen (in Shap):
These would make an attractive gift.
I must visit follow Prince Charles, and visit Kitridding Farm Shop:
Earlier this year they won Cumbria Life's Farm Shop of the Year.
There's more stalls, and refreshments, in the Market Hall:
So we bought some fudge and rum butter:
from Country Flavour in Kirkby Stephen.
Having tried Forest Pigs chorizo, I didn't think I'd find anything as good, but I managed that here:
I've wanted to visit Broughton Village Bakery, ever since I saw them on ITV's Britain's Best Bakery programme. They had a great display of bread, quiches and cakes:
We had to try one of their cinnamon & raisin scrolls:
It wasn't all food. I thought these cards, with local photographs from Alan Roberts Photography were beautiful:
There was also a lady playing a guitar, which added to the good atmosphere.
I then took a stroll up to the pretty All Saints Church. The tower is 16th century and other parts even older.
They also had a sale inside the church, and I saw some great second hand cookery books at bargain prices. Sadly my wife tells me if I buy any more, I'll have to through the same number of mbooks out!
The people in the church were really friendly, and gave me advice on some lovely walks and where the best places were to go birdwatching.
Back at the Farmers' market I had a long chat with David Knipe of Knipey's Free Range. He sells free range chickens, ducks, eggs & his famous chicken sausages!
Because his chicken are free range and mature, they've got more flavour. You can get a lot of tasty meat here for just 68p:
Now I've deliberately left one of my favourites to the end. I first came across Garth Cottage Nurseries a few years ago at Nantwich Food Festival. They are specialist growers of culinary herbs, including over 40 thymes, and over 100 varieties of lavender. Here they were selling herb-infused oils, vinegars, dressings, and garlic:
But what I was really after was some chilli plants. I'd bought some from them several years ago and was surprised how long I'd managed to keep them alive (I'm not the best gardener) on my kitchen window sill.
Their plants are very attractive, and best of all taste great:
I've grow chillies ever since, there's a wide choice of varieties in different colours/shapes/flavours and heat strengths. So I purchased two new (for me varieties) to decorate my kitchen and feed my family.
I've really fallen in love with this market. There's such a diverse range of sellers, all fascinating people, with great stories to tell. They're all passionate about what they do, and I'm passionate about what they produce. If you find food shopping a chore, come here and chill out!
Orton Farmers Market