Elm Court Farmers Market
Sunday 7th February 2016 & It’s Scallop Sunday
As well as being Produced in Kent Farmers Market of The Year 2013 & a finalist this year, Elm Court Farmers Market with over 25 producers booked in, is now a regular shopping destination for fresh local produce in the Medway area.
February at Elm Court Farmers Market
It’s always a favourite month when the Scallops come into season, so come and try them. If you haven’t tried them before why not give it a go on Sunday. We will also have all your favorite producers at the market for your Fresh Local Produce.
You can find all your favourite producers at our other markets in February .
Tonbridge Farmers Market – Sunday 14th &
Aylesford Farmers Market – Sunday 21st
What to buy in February.
The weather this autumn and winter has given us a taste of almost everything so far but local producers have to get their products to market whatever the conditions so it’s up to us to support them and make that extra effort even of the weather tempts us to stay an extra hour in bed. You know you’ll feel better if you get out and about, and come home with some special goodies to enjoy at their best.
If it’s February then it really should be fish on the menu. Buying produce when it’s in season means you get the best quality at the best price and for fish that means when they are also at their most abundant. Stormy seas make for challenging conditions for the fishermen but bring some species closer to shore. Choosing to shop at a farmers market also allows you the chance to check with the fishmonger from where his catch has originated. For more information before you visit check the Marine Stewardship Council’s web site at http://www.msc.org. The MSC is the world’s leading certification and eco-labelling programme for sustainable seafood with a global programme for fisheries that assesses wild catches of seafood.
Lemon sole, halibut, skate (more properly called ray), monkfish and sardines are all good now, and for it’s a great month for shellfisher lovers with clams, mussels, oysters and cockles all good. Local Kent and Sussex coast scallops come in this month – and have their very own festival to celebrate the season so make sure you don’t miss one of the region’s most enjoyable treasures. Try them wrapped in local streaky bacon and baked or with cooked on a griddle with slices of black pudding or chorizo. Make in a risotto or just cook with chilli, garlic and plenty of chopped parsley and toss with spaghetti.
For meat eaters looking for comfort eating, try mutton for its rich flavour or a lovely piece of rare breed pork – stuff a shoulder joint with rosemary, garlic and slices of lemon and slow cook for 12 – 14 hours (find a recipe on the internet) for a Sunday celebration. Rich beef stews and braises are also wonderful now so make up a large batch with meat from the market and freeze some for future meals. A freezer is the market shopper’s best friend. Locally caught game makes an excellent choice for healthy eating. Venison, guinea fowl, wood pigeon, partridge and hare are all good in February. Most modern game is lean and full of flavour so cook steaks or breasts simply on the griddle or quickly stir-fried, or braise tougher cuts or older birds with wine and bacon and serve with pureed celeriac.
Veg & Fruit
Serve your meat with steamed kale or Brussels sprouts, both at their best this month. Savoy cabbage and purple sprouting broccoli work perfectly in stir fries and curries, and go well with rich meats such as duck and pork. Main crop potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips and turnips provide the starch that keeps us going in the cold so mash them together to go with your game dishes. Or try a mix of roots roasted in rapeseed oil or lard for really good flavour and scattered with sea salt and rosemary.
Local fruit is sparse this month but there are still apples to be enjoyed – the storing varieties keep well until April so make sure to go on buying local when you see them. The flavour is still sweet and fragrant for many crops. Early forced rhubarb is the cook’s friend now – wonderful in traditional crumbles, compotes and pies. Make into chutneys and jams or cook with Chinese spice to go it also goes well with rich flavoured meat and fish such as grilled mackerel.
The Market Eatery
We have a fabulous selection of food at the Market Eatery. You can sit in our covered area, have a chat, watch the band or the cooking demonstrations. Hot, cold and alcoholic drinks can also be purchased. Supplying us all these mouth watering treats include:-
The Eatery Food Stall.
Burgers, Sausages, Bacon & Fish in a roll & more. Most of the produce is supplied from our producers, including: Hemings Bakehouse, MB Farms, PJ’s Farm Shop, Pure Kent Oils, Stour Valley Game, Two Suns Quality Fish, Winterdale Cheesemakers.
Jo’s Cakes. Tea, coffee and of course, cakes, baked just down the road in Halling.
Pinetrees Farm. Award winning Cider & Apple Juice
The Cherryberry Co. Fresh fruit juice and in the colder months hot juice.
The Market Kitchen
As always we will have Matthew Kearsey-Lawson from Kent Fine Foods who will be showcasing some of his fabulous goodies in a variety of dishes. Also becoming a regular at the kitchen is Paolo from Kent Collection. He is Michelin trained and does some wonderful stuff with the Charcuterie that his company makes. Call by his stall to see if he is doing a demo. It will be worth watching and tasting.
John the Baker will be baking something special. If you want him to show you anything in particular let him know and he will try and demo it next month.
He is still very busy doing group demonstrations in customer’s homes. If you like the idea of this his contact details are-
All our demonstrations will be featuring local drinks this month.
Our monthly charity.
The market gives a free pitch to a charity each month, so please contact us if you would like to take advantage of this. These pitches are going quite quickly so do please get in touch if you are interested.
The market will run from 9.30am – 1.30pm at Elm Court (formerly Wyevale) Garden Centre, Capstone Road, Gillingham. ME7 3JQ
By supporting your local markets you are supporting small and micro businesses, the backbone of the economic recovery.
If you need a bigger fix of Farmers Markets and local produce please come and see us at –
Tonbridge Farmers Market, 14th February and the 2nd Sunday of every month.
Aylesford Farmers Market at the Priory, 21st February and the 3rd Sunday of every month.
Next month is our Marmalade Month at Elm Court Farmers’ Market 6th March.
Future dates for the Elm Court market are
6th March 2016…Month is Marmalade Month
3rd April 2016…The Big Curry
1st May 2016…Real Bread Month
5th June 2016…Our 4th Birthday and it’s Kent Farmers Market Month
3rd July 2016… A Berry Bonanza
7th August 2016…The Chilli Circus
4th September 2016… A Jam Jamboree
2nd October 2016 …Pink Sunday
6th November 2016…Love Cheese
4th December 2016…Christmas Drinks Special
1st January 2017…No Market-It’s new years day.
5th February 2017….Scallop Sunday
Contact details are
Steve Wood 07876 685853
Elm Court Farmers Market
PO Box 325
Thanks to Mary Gwynn for her input in this news letter and other Kent Farmers Market Association literature. A recipe from Mary is below. http://trufflehound.wordpress.com
Stuffed slow roast pork belly with prunes and apple cider gravy
Time to prepare: 15 minutes
Time to cook: 4 – 5 hours (or longer – see recipe)
2 kg piece boned free range belly pork
250g soft prunes
1 to 3 fresh sage leaves
1 lemon, sliced
4 eating apples, peeled, cored and sliced
300ml local cider
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
300 – 400 ml chicken stock
1 tbsp really good local cider vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 200C/fan oven180C/ Gas 6. Pierce the skin of the pork all over with a skewer then pour boiling water over it and then pat dry with kitchen paper. Push the sage leaves into the centre of the prunes with a slice of lemon. Make slits all along the side of the belly pork where the flesh meets the fat and push the stuffed prunes in as far as possible.
2 Place the pork in a sturdy roasting tin that fits it snugly. Roast for 20 minutes. Lower the temperature to 150C Gas 3. Cook the pork for a further 3 – 5 hours until the skin is tender and golden. (The pork can go on cooking for up to 12 hours or even longer and will get richer and more meltingly tender). Two hours before you remove the pork from the oven add the apple slices around the pork and baste with the juices.
3 Remove the pork from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for at least half an hour for the juices to settle. Add the flour to the pan juices and cook for a minute then add the cider and mustard to the pan, place over the heat and scrape up all the juices, mashing the apples into the sauce. Boil until thickened then check the seasoning and add the vinegar. Slice the pork and serve with the pan juices.