This week we are delighted to welcome a new organic pork producer to the market. I am sure some of you will already have come across John & Celia Thomas from Penrhiw Farm at other farmers markets. Pork is part of their family business, reared by Celia's brother Graham at Cefn Coed, Llansannor. The Welsh Pigs are organically reared roaming freely outdoors, rooting around in the soil and enjoying life to the full. When the weather is bad they go indoors and enjoy deep straw beds. There will be a full range of roasting joints and chops, as well as sausages - plain pork; pork & apple, pork & leek; honey & mustard all made from natural ingredients. No artificial preservatives, flavourings or colours. Plus Celia's speciality - hand made faggots.
Our summer loyalty draws were made in July at both Cowbridge and Penarth Farmers' Markets. The winners of the Cowbridge draw were Judith and Tony Davies and the winners in Penarth were Vince and Christine O'Donoghue. They each received a selection of market produce donated by the stall holders. A further 50 names were drawn out who were invited to a farm walk at Pwllywrach Farm, Colwinston on July 27th. 48 people enjoyed a ride around the farm on a tractor and trailer, and then returned for a warming cup of tea, beef roll and slice of cake.
Last Saturday I purchased a large ham hock from Carmynydd Piggery at a cost of £4.00 and made a delicious ham hock terrine enough for 8 generous portions at a total cost of less than £4.50. I thought I would share the recipie with you.
*Put the ham hock in large stock pot with one onion, one carrot, sprigs of thyme, bay leaves and pepper corns. Cover with water.
* bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 2 and a half to 3 hours, until meat is very tender and falls off the bone. Leave to cool in the pan.
* Shred the meat and mix with one spoonful of whole grain mustard and a handful of chopped parsley.
* line a 1 litre tin or mould with cling film. Press the mixture into the prepared tin.
*Take some of the stock and boil rapidly until it is reduced, then pour over the meat.
* chill for 4 hours or overnight. Remove from mould and Carve into chunky slices and serve with salad leaves from Riverside Market Garden and fresh bread from Elm Tree Bakery.
The presentations were made for the Cowbridge Easter Loyalty draw at a rather wet and dreary market in Cowbridge this morning. Thnak you once again to all our loyal customers who come to the market what ever the weather. Next loyalty draw mid summer.
The draw for the Penarth Easter Loyalty draw was made and the winners collected their prizes from the Farmers' Market at Westbourne School this morning. Thank you to all our lovely loyal customers who support us every month, we do hope you enjoy your prizes. Keep filling in your loyalty cards, there will be another draw in the summer.
We are going to add recipes to the website using produce that can be purchased from the Farmers' Market. We would be delighted if you would like to submit some of your favourites.
Salmon baked with Pesto.
Ingredients (Serves two):
2 fresh salmon fillets (from Mackerel Mal)
Sun Dried Tomato and Walnut Pesto (from Tregwylim)
Seasonal greens (from Riverside Veg)
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C Fan). Place the fillets in the centre of a piece of baking foil and spread the pesto over them. Add a knob of butter and fold up the edges to make a parcel, leaving room around the salmon. Put onto a baking tray and stand aside ready. Slice the potatoes, usually one per person, and lay out in a ovenproof dish. The thinner the potatoes are sliced, the more quickly they will cook. Slice the onion and sprinkle over the potatoes. Drizzle over a little Olive Oil and season to taste. Both dishes can now be placed in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. When ready, carefully undo the salmon parcel (there will be escaping steam, so please beware) and transfer the fillets to a plate along with the potatoes and seasonal veg of your choice.
The Vale Farmers' Market Food Court will once again be one of the main attractions at the Vale of Glamorgan Show this year, on Wednesday 10th August 2016. This has proved to be one of the stand out events over the last two years, and goes from strength to strength every year.
All exhibitors must be from within Wales, and priority will be given to local producers and members of The Vale of Glamorgan Farmers’ Market. The Food court will be arranged around three sides with only one entrance/exit and a central space for people to sit and enjoy their food, and with a childrens play area in the centre. Once again we will be having cooked food stalls where the public can come and buy their lunch, and enjoy truly local produce. The cooked food stalls are restricted to 6 with 1 ice cream seller and 1 tea/coffee. Priority will be given to Vale of Glamorgan Primary producers, while ensuring a good range of foods.
Those selling alcohol must have a personal licence, the Food Court itself will not be licensed so alcohol for sale is for consumption off the show field only. No alcohol can be sold by the glass.
If you would like to be part of this great event, please download an expression of interest form from the link below and return asap.
Thanks to Illtud, one of our farmers' market shoppers for sharing his scotch egg recipe with us.
Scotch eggs could well be a staple of your food intake for the week, part of your children’s lunchbox, in your fridge to snack on between meals, but have you ever thought about making them yourself. Tair Onnen resident Illtud Dafydd explains his Scotch Egg recipe, using only produce bought from our Cowbridge Farmer’s Market.
I’ve been making scotch eggs for a couple of years now, I was living in France and believe it or not the Scottish delicacy could not be found anywhere in a small town of no more than 20,000 people in the centre of France, so I went ahead to make a batch. My recipe hasn’t changed at all since those days but the produce I’ve used since there has evolved from the marché near Clermont-Ferrand to Cowbridge’s farmers market. First up I bought 480 grams of pork sausage meat from Caermynydd, the Penuwch prodcuer are always a reliable source of high quality, delicious pork produce that are often found at vale markets as well as other markets across Wales. You could by a pack of sausages but I find buying sausage meat in one pack is easier to prepare with, which I’ll come to later. Buying half a dozen pullet eggs from Tyncala was the next stop at £1.50 for six which would end up making twelve scotch eggs. You can, as I have in the past experimented with duck eggs as well as hen eggs, the duck eggs have a richer texture which gives the Scotch Egg a richer texture.
Start with hard boiling the eggs, I personally prefer half-boiled, with the hope that the yolk is still a bit runny for consumption, free range eggs take longer to boil than indoor bread hen eggs. Once the eggs have cooled peel the shell and discard, put the eggs to one side after cutting the six in half so you have 12. The bread I used for breadcrumbs was a frozen loaf from the market a few weeks back, after defrosting I whizzed them with a food processer. Cover a pastry board with plain flour, the more the merrier so the sausage meat doesn’t stick to the board nor your hands. Flour a rolling pin and roll the sausage meat out flat with a thickness of no more than 2cm. You can always keep your meat thicker if that’s what you prefer, but the scotch eggs will take longer to cook through and will be denser when eating.Place each half an egg with around 1cm of radius of meat left around it then wrap the egg totally with sausage meat, repeat this 12 times making sure to keep adding flour to the sausage meat and your palms so they do not stick.Whisk an egg in a bowl, then one by one dunk the bare Scotch egg in the whisked egg before covering it with bread crumbs, repeat this for each scotch egg. Cover a baking tray with flour and cook the scotch eggs at a heat of 180C four an hour. Once the bread crumbs have browned and crisped, leave on a cooling tray to cool. They are best eaten fresh because of the crispiness of the breadcrust but keep chilled in the fridge otherwise.
On the whole each scotch egg cost 64p and they didn’t take more than a couple of hours to prepare and bake, which made for a quite a productive and tasty afternoon!
The final farmers' market of the year was held today, 23rd December at Cowbridge, where lots of people came to collect their Christmas orders and pick up their last minute purchases. Presentations were also made to the lucky winners of our loyalty card draw.
1st Prize of a hamper of Farmers' market produce was won by Olwen Handley
2nd Prize of some Teifi Cheese and some Tomos a Lilford Beer was Susan Gatis
and 3rd prize of a hamper of Shellys Foods shortbread biscuits was John Weavers
We hope the winners all enjoyed their prizes.
Keep filling in your loyalty cards, next draw will be at Easter.
In my newsletter this week, I told of the joy of having a pullet egg, it was really well received but resulted in lots of questions. Even though I have had chickens around me pretty much all my life there were lots of questions I couldn’t answer, so decided to do a little research. The following is the result and hopefully it answers everyone’s questions.
Those of you, who shop regularly at the Farmers’ market, will know that one of the benefits is occasionally finding unusual ingredients. One of these is the pullet egg, which you will find this week on Tynycaia Eggs’ stall. They have just had a new flock of hens in, from 16 weeks old, young pullet hens start to lay eggs but they’re much smaller for the first month. There is no market for these little eggs, as the supermarkets will not take them and as many as 1.5 million small eggs laid by young birds are being wasted each year. Fresh from tackling wonky vegetables, Jamie Oliver is now sinking his teeth into the scandal of millions of small eggs discarded every year because of our fussy eating habits. People don’t want these eggs because they’re small but actually pullets’ eggs have a really big yolk and less white, and are brilliant at holding together when cooked. The white is less rubbery, and the yolk far creamier, in my opinion no subsequent eggs will ever taste as good. Everybody believes large eggs are what you need because a recipe says so, but you can use any eggs; all you have to do is weigh your eggs as you go. /crack the eggs before you weigh them and allow 2oz for each egg in the recipe. I cook up to 40 cakes a week, so trust me I know about eggs and baking!
Another treat of a pullet egg is the increased probability of finding double yokers. Double or triple yolk eggs are usually found in young pullets around 20 to 28 weeks old. The probability of finding a multi-yolk egg is estimated at 1 in 100 for young pullets. As the hen matures, she will normally only lay single yolk eggs. Double yolk eggs are in fact a fault that occurs when two or more yolks are released inside the ovary at the same time, causing them to be wrapped in albumen (white) and then an outer shell. Poultry genetics says there should only be one yolk per egg. There would be insufficient space for two chicks to develop inside a shell and the breed would effectively die out.
It takes a chicken upto 24 hours to produce and egg, and she will ovulate again 30 minutes after laying. It takes different times for the egg to pass through the different areas of the oviduct (egg tube), the addition of the shell taking the longest time (up to 20 hours) However hybrid hens have been selected for a slightly shorter time to produce an egg, hence they lay on consecutive days for longer.
You've probably noticed the different colour yolks from gorgeous orange to pale yellow. Does that orange yolk mean it was a free-range egg or that there's something special about it? Does it make it more nutritious than regular eggs? The egg yolk colour is really just an indicator of the hen's diet! If they eat more yellow-orange carotenoids, or natural pigments, it affects and changes the yolk's colour. Hens that are able to graze and eat lots of vegetation naturally consume greater amounts of carotenoids, thus having darker yolks. As for the nutritional value of the yolks, darker, more colourful yolks have the same amount of protein and fat than lighter yolks. Some studies have shown that eggs from pasture-raised hens can have more omega-3s and vitamins but less cholesterol due to healthier, more natural feed.
As the hens age, you may find that they lay more soft shelled eggs, and also the albumen does not hold its shape as well when cracked into the pan. The shell is porous and so it wise not to wash eggs, however for true free range poultry it is not always possible to keep their feet and nestboxes clean during the wet winter months. So if you must wash the eggs, it is important that water warmer than the eggs is used so that the shell membrane expands and blocks the pores. If water colder than the eggs is used, the shell membrane will shrink and draw in any bacteria on the shell.
The humble egg has impressive health credentials. Both the white and yolk of an egg are rich in nutrients - proteins, vitamins and minerals with the yolk also containing cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. Eggs are an important and versatile ingredient for cooking, as their particular chemical make up is literally the glue of many important baking reactions. Eggs are regarded a 'complete' source of protein as they contain all eight essential amino acids; the ones we cannot synthesise in our bodies and must obtain from our diet.
Enjoy your eggs, and make the most of Tynycaia’s lovely pullet eggs while they are still around.
We are so sorry that we had to take the very hard decision to cancel the farmers market on Sunday morning at the Cowbridge Reindeer Parade. With the gales of up to 50mph there was no way our little market stalls were going to stay up. It would have been far to dangerous, no one would have been able to light their gas cookers to cook their delicious food, and peoples precious handmade craft items would have been ruined. Much as we all wanted to be part of the event, peoples safety had to be our first consideration, flying market stalls are not a great idea! Well done to everyone involved for putting on a fantastic parade despite the dreadful weather conditions. We will now look forward to next year and hopefully more favourable weather.
We will be back in Cowbridge next Saturday, 5th December, so hopefully we will see you all there.
As secretary of the Vale of Glamorgan Farmers Market and a regular stall holder I hear time and time again people say they cannot afford to shop at the farmers’ market. They argue only the well-heeled can afford to buy free-range eggs and heirloom tomatoes at the market.
As a huge fan of the Farmers market, local produce and the values it stands for it’s tough to hear it being bad mouthed. I wondered how I might be able to somehow celebrate the Farmers’ Market, help to show that it is not the exclusive rich-person’s club it is often made out to be, and highlight the benefits of the market.
Customers at the Vale of Glamorgan Farmers Market are assured of the provenance of the produce as market rules lay down stringent standards, which must be met before a producer is allowed to sell at a market.
- the products are produced within a defined local area
- the food producer runs the stall
- only products he or she produces are allowed to be sold
I decided to undertake my own very unscientific price comparison between some of the major supermarkets and the farmers market. The hardest thing was to compare products like for like, this is especially difficult with the many artisan products offered at the market such a cheese, preserves, cakes and breads. Unique products of this quality, individuality and freshness are simply not available at the supermarket. Produce at the Farmers Market is always going to be seasonal, and therefore some items will not always be available, and we are never going to be able to compete against the cheapest ranges and BOGOF deals. These are completely different products, and that’s not our target market - we want to convince people that buy the mid to top range products that we are a viable alternative.
At the market on Saturday I asked the stall holders around me for a few random prices and then set about comparing them with the supermarkets. The result was surprising, where I expected the market prices to be comparable or maybe a little more expensive, I felt that the better quality and freshness justified this difference. The reality was that almost all the market prices are cheaper than the supermarkets.
The whole experience of shopping in the farmer’s market makes buying food such a pleasure, supermarkets won’t engage you in conversation about the trials of producing a certain product, or share with you their pride in the end result. The difference between supermarket and farmers market produce goes beyond price and quality. While I agree that you are not going to buy everything you need for your weekly shop at the market, why not come to the market first, see what is on offer, sample the produce, and experience the atmosphere, before you head off to the impersonal supermarket.
Shopping at a farmers market puts money back into the community, helps the environment and makes food buying into an adventure instead of just a chore.
The Vale of Glamorgan farmers Market will once again be holding a market at the Reindeer Parade in Cowbridge on Sunday 29th November at our usual site in Arthur Johns' Carpark.
There will be the usual fantastic fresh produce stalls but we will also be joined by some lovely local craft folk, and there will be a children's play area. So while you are waiting for Father Christmas and his reindeer to arrive in town why not pop in for a chat, to sample some delicious locally produced food cooked on site for you to enjoy, while your children play safely.
The market held their AGM on Saturday 7th November and amongst the other business discussed officers were elected for the coming year.
Anne Loam (Tregwilym Produce) takes over as Chairman
John Fordham (Caermynydd Piggery) becomes Vice Chairman
Nigel Hunt (Drwytho) is the new Market Manager
Myfanwy Edwards and Jan Rees remain as Secretary and Treasurer.