Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Weekend 1 - Midleton Farmers' Market

So the first weekend here and instead of a lie-in I was up at 5.30 to help out at the Midleton Farmers' Market where Ballymaloe has a stall with all the produce from the farm. At 6.30am and wearing my wooly hat I was helping to lug the cool boxes of pheasant and crates of jams and pickles into a truck in the freezing morning air. This was not the job for a fairweather farmer! It was cold, cold, cold and only the second market of 2012 so I was wrapped up warm for the day ahead. The farmers' market in Midleton was set up and championed by Darina and hosts an array of local producers, veg, cheese, chocolate, organic poultry, fish, bread and baking.

Once we'd rigged up the tents, set up the tables and produce the customers rapidly appeared. It was clear that some people are regular customers that always get bread or eggs or salad, then later on more people were just browsing. The chicken liver pate, frozen soups and prepared red cabbage were all popular. I wrote up the blackboard signs!:
There were a cornucopia of stalls at the market selling loads of cool stuff, such as smoked fish from Frank Hederman's Smokehouse based in Cork:

Bread from Arbutus Bakery and Spices from Green Saffron, run by a former Ballymaloe student:

The whole place was busy, even though it was January and had a real community feel which I liked. It finished at 1.30 and everything had to be packed away and driven back to the school. I was knackered but still ended up in the pub to all hours that night. On Sunday I took some photos of the sea at Garryvoe down the road; so many shades of gray!

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