Market stalls embellishing the colourful tarmac of a primary school playground is no unusual sight. After all, most people will have been to a fête of some sort at their local primary school. Few of those stalls, though, can boast items as exotic as purple cauliflower and samphire alongside the staples of potatoes and carrots.
But that’s exactly the sort of organic produce you can find at St John’s Wood Farmers’ Market.
Based at Barrow Hill Junior School, deep in leafy suburban surroundings, the market itself has only been running since May 2011. Its organisers hope that the market will entice people to not only pick up their regular fruit and veg, but also to try other different types of food too.
While only a baby in the world of farmers’ markets, and quite small at present, the stalls are diverse enough to render it a worthy visit. Even nearing closing on a quiet Saturday afternoon, there’s enough choice of meat, fish, dairy and vegetables to make Sunday lunch hearty. And with a capacity for some 25 stalls, there’s potential for it to develop into a real basket of goods.
The market doesn’t offer much in terms of parking facilities. However, it is an easy stroll from St John’s Wood station and regular buses service the area too. Or you could do as the locals do and go by foot – there are plenty of yummy mummies pushing prams and dapper gents walking dogs. Of course, it also has the great bonus of playground facilities – great, if you’re shopping with kids.
Featured stallholder: Gary’s Fresh Fish
Gary’s Fresh Fish’s mission is to bring the freshest fish to market. Based in the small town of Walton, Essex, Gary Haggis and his two crew members catch all of their fish from a small day boat called ‘True to the Core’. Using both nets and pots on their fishing expeditions means that they can bring in a variety of fish and shellfish. However, their catch is always very dependant on the seasons so what you will find at market will change from week to week. Hauling in their catch just off the coast, where the North Sea meets the Thames, their food miles to London are definitely enviably small.