to hate people who go to farmers' markets

(155 Posts)
kittensrockmyworld Sun 07-Apr-13 09:39:54

I went past a famers market yesterday and the kids were totally sucked in by the cake stall, it was at this point that i had to drag them away due to the prices!

£5 for some chilly Jam & £10 for some pasta. Maybe I'm slightly jealous of people being able to afford it, however it is just plain annoying that people can waste so much money on the stuff!!!

ChairmanWow Sun 07-Apr-13 09:41:54

YANBU. The stall holders totally see you coming. Sadly I'm a sucker for a nice chutney so I am one of the fools they fleece. I am deserving of your hatred sad

caramelwaffle Sun 07-Apr-13 09:42:10

It's normally good quality food.

Tee2072 Sun 07-Apr-13 09:42:39

You hate them? Really?

HollyBerryBush Sun 07-Apr-13 09:42:49

Do you have any idea how much it costs to make things like jam and chutney from scratch just by ingredients? Factor in the time element plus jars and people do it for love not profit.

Chuckling at 'chilly' jam though!

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 07-Apr-13 09:43:48


You should try and support local businesses whenever possible.

Theicingontop Sun 07-Apr-13 09:44:25

Farmer's markets round 'ere are cheap as chips.

Sparklingbrook Sun 07-Apr-13 09:44:31

I don't hate the people. I hate the farmers markets though. I always think of this bit of genius when they are mentioned. grin

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 07-Apr-13 09:44:38

YABU I buy locally whenever I can.

Piffpaffpoff Sun 07-Apr-13 09:45:44

I 'waste' my money at farmers markets buying locally produced meat that I know contains what it says on the label, for not much more money than I'd pay in the supermarket.

Hate away, if it makes you happy.

Sparklingbrook Sun 07-Apr-13 09:46:02

I do go to the local farm shop for some bits. It's not all that poncey.

Indith Sun 07-Apr-13 09:47:14

Depends on the market doesn't it. There are poncy ones that charge a fortune and cater to Waitrose shoppers and there are ones that really are farmers markets that are jut selling their stuff for good prices. Just like there are farm shops that charge a fortune and then there are ones like our farm shop which is the farmer selling his meat from a little shop and is cheap as chips for well reared aberdeen angus and such.

Startail Sun 07-Apr-13 09:47:26

Round here they are just the same suppliers as the garden centre shops and just the same very affluent pensioners prices.

Sparklingbrook Sun 07-Apr-13 09:49:18

YY round here they are like that Startail. VV expensive. they set up stalls on a Saturday in town.

The ones actually on farms are better.

EuroShaggleton Sun 07-Apr-13 09:49:23

Did they chilly jam have a little scarf?

In London they are pretty much the only alternative to the supermarkets and I am glad that we have one locally.

Feel free to hate me. I have to say, I really couldn't give less of a fuck! smile

BobblyGussets Sun 07-Apr-13 09:50:00

I knew that link would be Armstrong and Miller before I even clicked on it. grin

I will pay for quality stuff and like it even more if it is locally sourced, but famers' markets round here are overpriced. I would love to ask if they are actually farmers too.

ChairmanWow Sun 07-Apr-13 09:51:38

sparklingbrook - brilliant! And a cameo from Morton Harket to boot!

usualsuspect Sun 07-Apr-13 09:52:55

There is a farmers market set up in our town centre occasionally, The woman who runs the cake stall also runs the cafe on my local park. So shes not really a farmer grin

Chandras Sun 07-Apr-13 09:54:30

I paid £1 for an onion in one of them, I think it is expensive to produce food locally but farmshops are becomming this kind of gourmet shops where everything is expensive, whether that is justified or not. Not all the products they sell are good enough for the price.

Sparklingbrook Sun 07-Apr-13 09:54:58

I quite like a Pick your Own place. grin

Theicingontop Sun 07-Apr-13 09:56:09

My MIL has one near her, and pays £5 for a couple of slices of ham hmm

When she came to visit she had the shock of her life when she could buy a massive sack of potatoes for the same price, and crate of meat for £30.

Depends where you live/how gullible the local populace are.

missmartha Sun 07-Apr-13 09:59:55

Mine isn't that much more that Tesco.

I tend to buy our meat there, coz I know it's been cared for and killed properly. None of your battery hens and pigs thanks.

£8 for a shoulder of local lamb isn't taking the piss, and it's what we're having today.

NotMostPeople Sun 07-Apr-13 10:00:57

Thank you Sparklinbrook that link started my day of with a grin.

GinOnTwoWheels Sun 07-Apr-13 10:13:38

Farmers markets sometimes look expensive because supermarkets have hugely distorted what we think food should cost.

As other posters have already said, if you cost up what it costs to make good quality cakes etc with real butter and free range eggs at home, they appear to be expensive, compared with cakes from the supermarket. I once made some rocky road for a cake sale at work and worked out that the ingredients to make a small tray of the stuff (chocolate, nuts, dried fruit etc) had cost about £8 to buy, and that was from Aldi.

Add on even minimum wage for time spent if you're doing it as a business and you start to see how FM costs are arrived at.

However, the quality of the farmers markets stuff will be several leagues above most supermarket produce. Next time you're in a supermarket, have a look at the ingredients in manufactured cake and see how many unrecognisable ingredients they are. Most ready meals etc are produced using imported meat, where animal welfare is very poor. And obviously there's the whole horsemeat issue.

I buy meat from farm shops, some is much cheaper than supermarkets, some might be more expensive, but its all locally produced, I know whats in it and that the animals have been treated well and the producers have been paid fairly for their labours. It is unlikely that any of these points apply to most supermarket produce.

Gooseysgirl Sun 07-Apr-13 10:14:13

HAHAHA Sparkling I hadn't seen that.. PMSL at Morten's Mustard!! And yes, if I'd a pound for every Bugaboo I've seen at our local market I'd be a millionaire

Sparklingbrook Sun 07-Apr-13 10:15:02


JollyPurpleGiant Sun 07-Apr-13 10:15:47

I love the chutney/pickle from our local company. They sell at markets and I'm quite comfortable with paying extra for it as it is better than anyone else's.

Tortington Sun 07-Apr-13 10:16:54

i think they shot be shot

they probably wear posh wellies and read the daily mail

farmers market fuckers

stargirl1701 Sun 07-Apr-13 10:22:10


I think it is important to buy locally produced where possible. It is more expensive than the 'value' range of the supermarket but it should be. I prefer to eat less meat that is more expensive than 'value' burgers or sausages that would appear to be untraceable and full of artificial additives and preservatives.

LadyBeagleEyes Sun 07-Apr-13 10:23:27

I loved that link with a random Morten Harket.grin

Softlysoftly Sun 07-Apr-13 10:25:55

YABU what gin said

VodkaJelly Sun 07-Apr-13 10:27:32

I went to a farmers market and bought some lovely homemade fudge (fnar fnar!) as I had a craving for it. Ate a little bit, then went to get some more and found a long black hair wrapped round some of the fudge - boak

threw it in the bin and have never been back to a farmers market since

AmberLeaf Sun 07-Apr-13 10:28:00

Depends where the are and what sort, farmers markets that have real farmers selling at them...yes fine.

The ones with poncey arses selling to other poncey arses...hmm.

You know that 'loud parenting' I think there is also 'loud shopping' too and some people who go to farmers markets practice it.

StephaniePowers Sun 07-Apr-13 10:34:47

You have to have a bloodhound's nose for farmers' markets. There will always be the eye-wateringly expensive butcher, the novelty jam stall, and the cordials and fruit wines in tall bottles which taste terribly average.

Give them a swerve and buy game for the freezer, meat from the other butcher, one expensive loaf (it is worth £3 once in a while, good bread is sublime) and maybe a hot chocolate. Who cares about bugaboos if the food is good?

usualsuspect Sun 07-Apr-13 10:35:38

lol at loud shopping.

That's so true.

ValarMorGoolis Sun 07-Apr-13 10:40:23

Making chilli jam is a piece of piss smile

CheCazzo Sun 07-Apr-13 10:43:16

I make jams and chutney and lots of other preserves inbetween. I give them away as presents - trying to sell them is a waste of time! I won't compromise on what goes into my stuff so for e.g it costs me around £9 for make 4 jars of lemon curd (incl. brand new jars). Imagine what I'd have to sell that for to make it even halfway worthwhile! If you bought it you'd be delighted - everything's fresh, clean and quality ingredients with nothing unnecessary in it. YABU OP - you want quality, you pay and that goes whether it's a farmer's market or a craft fair stall. My lemon curd v supermarket lemon curd - not even the same product!

Snoopingforsoup Sun 07-Apr-13 10:44:27

Hahaha - thanks sparkling. Sums it up :D

CheCazzo Sun 07-Apr-13 10:45:19

I make chilli jelly in autumn from free apples that I gather from the wild park nearby. Delicious and whilst it's not particularly expensive to make it still needs sugar and pretty jars and time. Lots and lots of time!

AThingInYourLife Sun 07-Apr-13 10:48:28

I want to go to the million Bugaboo market!

It must be enormous grin

flatpackhamster Sun 07-Apr-13 10:56:20


I went past a famers market yesterday and the kids were totally sucked in by the cake stall, it was at this point that i had to drag them away due to the prices!

Butter has doubled in price in 5 years. Eggs are 50% more expensive than they were 5 years ago due to the price of chicken feed. Flour is 25% more expensive than 5 years ago. Sugar is about the same price, but every other component of a good quality cake is expensive. Then there's the time to make them, the cost of the fuel - it all adds up. You can make cakes cheaply, with partially hydrogenated vegetable fats and whey powder and milk powder and high fructose corn syrup, and it'll be a tenth of the price.

£5 for some chilly Jam & £10 for some pasta. Maybe I'm slightly jealous of people being able to afford it, however it is just plain annoying that people can waste so much money on the stuff!!!

I shop at a farmer's market every week. It's more expensive than the supermarket, that's for sure. But I know the people who I buy the food from. I know how the farmers care for their animals. I know where the fish comes from. I know the baker, the couple who run the veg and fruit stalls. I've been down to a couple of the farms to see what their animal welfare is like and to meet the meat. And I know that my food comes from their farms, to me, without any intervening supply chain or multinational.

We could eat much more cheaply, and we'd have more money, but I make the choice to go without some things to have decent local food produced by people who care about it. In ten years there has been a food renaissance. Did you know that we now have more varieties of cheese in this country than they have in France? Kent's sparkling wines are beating the best French champagnes in taste tests. Who do you think is preserving rare breeds? Not industrial food producers, that's for sure. Where did the revival in artisan bread baking come from? Tesco's instore bakery? Pfft.

The quality of our ingredients in the UK is now second to none, and who's done that? Not the supermarkets or Findus or McCain but the farmers and the markets they sell at.

And the only thing that is keeping most of those farmers in business is direct selling. Did you know that the wholesale price of a pig carcass is now less than it costs to rear it? Same goes for lamb. That's thanks to your cheap food and your supermarkets driving the price of produce down, and pushing the small farmers out of business. When you see a 2-for-1 offer at the supermarket, did it occur to you that the person who pays for the free one isn't the supermarket but the supplier?

I've lots more to write about the subject, but this post is already too long.

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 10:58:41

I love them but they are a total rip off but i buy cheese i love cheese , yes they are lovely to browse round but i couldn't afford to shop there, I like a proper market not the new poncey ones we get now a days grin


mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 11:00:22

poncey arses selling to poncey arses has just made me grin

VerySmallSqueak Sun 07-Apr-13 11:00:34

Never been to one.
Think I'd like to though,just for a little look and wander around even if I can't afford the prices.

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 11:03:41

I went to a proper farmers market in spain and the prices for things was normal prices or cheaper than a supermarket we don't have anything round here anymore just the poncy once a month market --where i buy expensive cheese-

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 07-Apr-13 11:06:09

Exactly what GinonTwoWheels has said.

As a knitter, I often hear people say "You should sell your knitting!"

They have no idea how long it takes to knit something and even paying minimum wage plus materials, a nice jumper would be very expensive.

seriouscakeeater Sun 07-Apr-13 11:09:36

I love going to them! the one we go to the veg is amazingly cheap! Much cheaper and bigger that supermarket crap! Also its good to support local farms ect

Trills Sun 07-Apr-13 11:11:10

YABVU to "hate people" because they:
1 - have more money than you
2 - choose to spend their money differently to you

Trills Sun 07-Apr-13 11:15:32

I did a big online order on Friday but now I feel like I want to go to the farmshop and buy something poncey.

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 11:17:48

oh go on trills do it you know you want to grin

TheSecondComing Sun 07-Apr-13 11:22:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bakingaddict Sun 07-Apr-13 11:24:24

I partially agree with some of the comments and although I love to browse around a farmers market some are very overpriced and over-rated. I guess it depends on the ones in your locality but £5 for a jar of chilli jam seems vastly overpriced when I guess it costs around a pound or less per unit to make.

If you are buying jars in bulk off the internet the unit price is around £0.50 -0.80, I know as I have looked into doing this myself and you don't have to order 1000s to get this price.

ihearsounds Sun 07-Apr-13 11:26:04

I have been to 3 in London. All overpriced poncy markets. £25 for a jar of strawberry jam for example, £18 for a piece of fudge the same size as a bar of chocolate.. Much prefer regular markets in London, better quality than the supermarkets.

However, been to farmers markets out of London, and a lot better. You don't feel like you are getting robbed. And unlike the ones in London I went to, the people knew about where all the produce came from, and were very friendly.

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 11:27:06

good god were they hugged and watered wiith angel tears reared strawberries shock

Manchesterhistorygirl Sun 07-Apr-13 11:27:24

Wow OP, you hate people who care where and how their meat was produced?

Do you have any idea of the cost of raising animals for you to eat?

I suggest you may want to do a little research and then come back to us.

As an aside I enjoy baking for family and friends and a couple of Christmases ago someone asked to buy my Christmas cake and was horrified when I said it would be £70. The ingredients cost me £30, the icing etc another £5 or so, plus the cost of cutters and base board, and I had been making it since October half term and this was two days before Christmas! It took me around ten hours just to decorate it properly. Hand made marzipan, royal icing and fondant stars that covered it entirely. They said they could get one for a tenner in Tesco instead!

TheSecondComing Sun 07-Apr-13 11:31:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 11:33:25

hehe thesecondcoming

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 07-Apr-13 11:36:28

bakingaddict, the production costs of the item are only a tiny sliver of it. They also need to be paid for their time - including the time they are sitting at a farmer's market.

Furthermore, the costs of a small business include things you probably don't think about, such as insurance and accountancy.

Even the cost of minimum wage labour includes things like holidays, sick pay, and national insurance. I see people on here talking about how a cleaner should only cost £10 an hour, but I can tell you that if you're doing a truly legitimate business, that's not really enough money. My expenses run to thousands of pounds a year (including insurance on my business and vehicle, accounting, uniforms, supplies and materials, laundry, driving to different clients, advertising, and random basic admin things)... and then there's the matter of needing to allow for my own holidays, sick days, etc.

If the small business employs anyone, then costs can skyrocket. A minimum wage employee working about 20 hours a week will cost as much as £8 an hour.

Toasttoppers Sun 07-Apr-13 11:42:57

Fortunately we have a proper market twice a week where a butcher hollers at passers by from his van a brilliant second hand DVD stall, couple of veg stalls and a huge haberdashery one plus many others. Not a sniff of owt poncey round these ere parts.

LeeCoakley Sun 07-Apr-13 11:47:14

I'm a sucker for cheese and marmalade! But I agree with the op if she lives in my town - dp came home yesterday with a stale loaf (£3.50) and a sliver of cheesecake (tasty but £2.50). He likes walking round farmers' markets but always feels he has to buy something we don't need!

NuhichNuhaymuh Sun 07-Apr-13 11:49:45

Chutney really isn't that expensive to make. I soppose it all boils down to how much you think you time is worth.

There really are a lot of over priced items in 'Farmer's Markets', I think I'd prefer it if they actually were farmers, I'd be more inclined to buy at them.

twentythirteen Sun 07-Apr-13 11:50:34

I like an occassional farmers market for treats. I like that link Sparklingbrook!

PickleSarnie Sun 07-Apr-13 11:51:29


I'm not "wasting" money on them. I'm choosing to spend my money on decent, tasty and locally produced food. I don't have many other extravagances so if I choose to shop at farmers markets then what gives you the right to judge me or "hate " me?

SirBoobAlot Sun 07-Apr-13 11:51:50


My friend organises the local farmer's market. I've also run another friend's local small business stall there before. I know each of the stall holders, and know how bloody hard they work. To stand out, in all weathers, being smiley and positive, for sometimes over 10 hours a day, on your feet, watching people judge the things you have created... It's fucking hard.

And the majority of stall holders you see are the people that not only made, but designed, thought up, and worked through endless batches of before getting the product exactly right. Mainly because they cannot afford to pay someone else to be there. One of the goats cheese I know sellers ins't the individual who makes the cheese - his wife does it. He's the Shepard.

The fish stall at the market I'm thinking of is a family run business. The man must be late sixties, early seventies. He catches every single fish there himself. This market is his biggest selling point in the week. If he didn't go, he wouldn't be able to pay his rent. Simple.

These are people trying to make a living. It's not fun sometimes working as an independent business. If you don't want to pay £5 for a jar of chutney, then don't. But that is the cost of making a decent product, especially when you haven't got mainstream superstore reduction of cost.

So finally, until you have tried the quality of the products, don't whinge about it being cheaper in Tesco. And secondly, don't whinge in general - these people are just trying to make a living. If you don't want to buy it, then don't. But respect the fact that where it might be annoying for you to have to drag your children away from the cake stall, they are on that cake stall nearly every single day, then going home to make more cakes for the following market, to keep money ticking over, just like you go to work every day to achieve the same.

CheCazzo Sun 07-Apr-13 11:52:10

TheSecondComing I'll PM you later - just on way out now smile

RubyGates Sun 07-Apr-13 11:52:53

"boils down"

I see what you did there grin

Toasttoppers Sun 07-Apr-13 11:53:04

Chutney is very easy to make, jam is however an art form

Thanks for the link to the Armstrong and Miller sketch, I still drool over Morten

Oh I'd love to be able to go to a proper farmers market. Am always so jealous of people who can afford to go to them and buy the proper organically reared meat etc. we get what we can through online butchers etc and I would much rather spend the money and eat less meat than make do with the super market crap sad I don't know if anyone else has noticed but the quality of meat in tescos these days is awful, wouldn't serve half of it to a starving dog it's that bad sometimes. Those who have regular access to a good one are bloody lucky and I don't hate tem I envy them.

bakingaddict Sun 07-Apr-13 11:55:51

Katy I do understand that there is many other seemly invisible costs that small business owners are liable for, i'm not without any business guile.

However, at some farmers' markets, albeit not all, I did specify it depends on your locality that there can be a tendency for producers to think they can price with vastly overinflated margins because they believe the buying public to be seduced and gullible by all things 'home produced'

NuhichNuhaymuh Sun 07-Apr-13 11:58:19

Good to see it didn't pass everyone by RubyGates


The farmers market in my town takes place in the permanent Cattle market on a friday when there aren't any animal sales. It's reasonable food at reasonable prices, and local stuff to boot.

And making jam at home can easily cost more than the shop bought stuff but I like making it and I know what's in it is just your fruit sugar water and maybe some spices, etc. No additives.

VerySmallSqueak Sun 07-Apr-13 12:03:30

ihear seriously? £25 for a jar of strawberry jam? shock shock

I'd rather give £20 to charity and get a jar (that'd still be posh stuff in my book) for a fiver.

It just makes me very cross at the thought that people would pay that.

ChunkyPickle Sun 07-Apr-13 12:04:22

Hate is a bit strong, but I do understand. Sorry, but your victoria sponge for 7.50 is no better (and has no better ingredients) than the 3 pound one from M&S although I do concede that it might be better than mine (although mine would have an 'hot from the oven' advantage)

If you're having to charge 5 pounds for a pot of jam (which I get virtually for free by making bramble jelly in autumn), then perhaps, just perhaps this isn't a great way for you to make money and you should try something else.

Meat etc. I can see that going local is better - I always liked the covered market when I lived in Spain because I could talk to the butcher. Luckily there are still butchers where I live, so I don't have to risk some bloke in his van (some with pitiful hygiene/chilling) selling me variable quality meat.

If you want decent homemade jam, just go to a pick your own fruit farm, stock up and cook at home. Not really difficult and I find raspberry jam the easist to make.

But we have a couple of bakers who sell at our market, and their bread is lovely and reasonably priced.

VerySmallSqueak Sun 07-Apr-13 12:06:06

I am definitely very cautious about whether stuff is actually organic/ethically produced etc etc.There seems to be so many loopholes when it comes to labelling.

I would pay a premium for it (if I can afford it) but I certainly haven't got the money to be taken for a mug.

FunnyLittleFrog Sun 07-Apr-13 12:07:54

Round here what you get is the Bugaboo set people doing their weekly shop at Sainsbury's then buying a few jars of jam and some 'artisan' bread at the poncetastic 'farmers' market one Saturday a month and thinking they are supporting local businesses. They are not. Supporting local businesses means buying meat at the local butchers, fruit and veg at the local grocers and other bits and bobs at the struggling local shops.

You don't see many farmer's market types in the proper daily market in the local city centre either. These businesses are local too and most sell local produce - just not from a wooden basket.

quoteunquote Sun 07-Apr-13 12:08:34

British farming is on it's knees, we are very close to becoming totally reliant on imports. At which point food prices will uncontrollable rocket.

Hating people who support local farmers is totally self defeating , you should be thanking them for helping to keep british producers going.

I think people don't really consider the actual costs involved in making something.

I'm working on a one-off commission for a cross stitch picture. It's not something I normally do, and I reckon if I tot it up it could easily cost £70-£80+ once I factor in the time to stitch it. Probably more as I've just remembered the 3-4 hours of designing as well as stitching.

As I enjoy cross stitch and don't plan to make commissions a part of my earning potential, I'll only be charging a friend cost of materials, about £15 in all.

Work out what you're prepared to pay at a farmers market and stick to that. It's always down to your choice isn't it?

We don't have one locally anymore sad, i quite miss going.
I used to quite enjoy buying little treats from there, the apple juice and cakes were to die for and the jam & chutneys delish, much better standard and quality of those such as Tesco etc.

Yes we do live in a world where money is tight and saving money is optimum, but the occasional treat is a welcome and boosts the sellers money making potential. They have to make a living too, so yabu.
Although i wouldn't pay £25 for jam shock!!!

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 12:16:22

I do think people consider cost and decide they won't pay for it ,

Viviennemary Sun 07-Apr-13 12:17:39

YANBU. They must be the most boring places on earth.

VerySmallSqueak Sun 07-Apr-13 12:18:16

Would someone please help me out here.

On one hand I see some very wealthy arable farmers.
On the other hand I hear of tenant hill farmers struggling to survive.
I hear of how supermarkets are paying incredibly low prices for lamb (for example) but the average family can really only see lamb as a treat as it's so expensive.

If you can't afford the prices at these pretty pretty farmers markets (and not always the butchers prices),what is the best way to support the sectors of farming that need our support? (genuine question)

We have taken to eating less meat,bought at a butchers where we can,but this can't really help the livestock farmers. I am confused as to what to do for the best.

AThingInYourLife Sun 07-Apr-13 12:18:48

It's easy to see why they get a bad name in places where the markets are selling £25 jars of jam.

SirBoobAlot Sun 07-Apr-13 12:24:06

ihearsounds is the only person who has said a jar of jam cost £30, in central London. I've seen M&S charge nearly the same for something suitably ridiculous.

Average price for a jar of jam or chutney with post independent retailers, be in a market or a shop, is around £5. Sightly more or less to be expected, depending on what it is.

So not all farmers markets are expecting people to pay £25 a time, for goodness sakes.

I love our local farmers market, there is a buffalo stall, a venison stall, ostrich meat and a couple of local farmers (including the ice-cream farmer) selling locally produced products at reasonable prices.

I have been to some which are complete rip offs and you always get the tat but if you look between that you can get some lovely, unusual products quite reasonably.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 07-Apr-13 12:31:06

Good posts from Sirboobalot and flatpackhamster

Whilst I support local business greatly I do agree with another poster in that some stalls at Farmers Markets sell goods not produced locally but are 'bought in'. Whoever arranges your local market is responsible for vetting the sellers and deciding if they want 100% local handmade or a combination of both. Food will be local and some crafts may be bought in.

I'm a bit funny about buying homemade food stuff as I need to know it was made in hygienic conditions. Having said that, you can't trust the stuff from the supermarkets these days!

A friend of mine used to make chutneys. She would give me a jar or two but to be honest I never ate it. Her kitchen was manky to say the least. She would scrub it on the day of she was being assessed for her certificate but apart from that it was BAD!

Most people on this thread seem to know their producers well though so that's good to hear.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Sun 07-Apr-13 12:31:58

When I visit London I always like to go round Borough Market. Some of the stuff there is amazing.

KobayashiMaru Sun 07-Apr-13 12:32:14

You hate people who buy things that you can't afford to? Is that chip on you shoulder organic? hmm

LeeCoakley Sun 07-Apr-13 12:32:15

I agree with squeaky. How can people on low wages support farmers in an ethical way? I can't afford any traditional 'Sunday' joints at supermarket prices let alone something that is produced organically or locally but I would like to. I definitely would like a farmers' market where I could buy reasonably priced meat, dairy, fruit and veg but my local twice-monthly one has e.g. 6 sausages packaged up with 'smoked for 4 weeks over hickory chips for your discerning palate' printed over them for £15. Turn the pack over and it says 'packaged locally in xxxxxxx', no air miles'. This tells me nothing only that I'd be a fool to hand over £2.50 for one sausage.

TeaOneSugar Sun 07-Apr-13 12:35:52

Personal Choice.

Mrsrobertduvall Sun 07-Apr-13 12:37:41

I love our local one. Great sausages. All the cafes and restaurants open up for breakfast too.

mrsjay Sun 07-Apr-13 12:38:54

if you want to support your local farmers go to a local butcher if you have 1 and ask them where they get their meat from , I do understand not everybody has local shops they can go to, our butcher has his own farm and it really isn't that expensive to go and buy from him

VerySmallSqueak Sun 07-Apr-13 12:47:14

I think the thing is that there can be a big difference between food produced for a discerning palate and basic food produced locally/organically/with high levels of animal welfare at the forefront.Whilst there can obviously be overlap between the two I would rather put my money (if I had it) on the latter.

senua Sun 07-Apr-13 12:53:46

I like the idea of Farmers' Markets but the reality never seems to match the hype. If the farmer is selling directly to the shopper then they are cutting out (several) middle-men and their profit margins - yet that saving never seems to get passed to the customer. If anything, it's more expensive than supermarket.confused
I never buy cakes, jam or similar - why would I, when I can make them myself? I would like good quality, reasonably priced raw materials - like they used to have in the market hall before they knocked it down and moved the 'market' to the high street.

TheSecondComing Sun 07-Apr-13 13:11:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsKoala Sun 07-Apr-13 13:18:12

i think £5 for a jar of jam is shock but i suppose that's because i make my own and it costs pence. (my own greengage trees, collected jars and some bought sugar - i have kilos of the stuff in the cupboards and i have already given loads away any mners in Bucks are welcome to it!).

The last time i went to the farmers market in West Ealing some tomatoes cost £8. £5 for a small punnet of cherry ones and 4 larger ones one the vine. By the time we got home DH had noshed the whole punnet. Everywhere one i have been to has been eye watering. I would love to buy stuff and support them but they are just so expensive, i couldn't justify it.

However, i do think people underestimate how much some non mass produced things cost to make/create. I do oil paintings and collage. For canvas and materials i am £50 down before i even start and then they can take 10-20 hours. Then with tax I would need to sell them for £200 to make it worth my while. I understand that people don't have £200+ to spend on art and there is mass produced stuff for a fraction of the price.

anklebitersmum Sun 07-Apr-13 13:24:48

We go to the farm shop up the road. Literally a farm shop. None of this poncey twoddle. It's a small shop that sells farm veg and some local produce.

Once a month they turn up in town for the farmers market so it saves me the drive to a massive sack of so much more tasty-and-better-to-cook with-than-the-supermarket-fluffy-pish potatoes, a sack of carrots and a dozen or so parsnips and beetroots (yum).

But I don't do the over-priced chutney brigade. Just the nice veg, actual farmer grin

MrsSchadenfreude Sun 07-Apr-13 13:30:12

Make your own chutney, jam, marmalade and chilli jam. It costs pennies, particularly if you use seasonal fruit, and recycle your jars. You can also use frozen fruit. If you can beg windfall apples from someone, you can pick blackberries and make jam for the cost of a couple of bags of sugar - and you don't need fancy sugar for jam making. If you're using fruit high in pectin, like apples, you only need ordinary granulated. I do use jam sugar for strawberries (very low in pectin) and chilli jam, as my recipe doesn't contain apples.

VerySmallSqueak Sun 07-Apr-13 13:30:18

TheSecondComing do you not think that it would be the case that with organic lamb there would be strict regulation as to what goes into the lamb (ie feed etc)?

VerySmallSqueak Sun 07-Apr-13 13:32:45

Oh sorry TheSecondComing I think I misread your post!

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 13:35:09

You hate people because of how they choose to spend their money?

I think you are being unreasonable. Yes.

If they were choosing to spend their money paying people to kick puppies, then maybe.

But an overpriced jar of jam?


I wouldn't waste my cash, but I don't give a shit if someone else wants to.

cantspel Sun 07-Apr-13 13:42:17

If you want to support british farmers then you dont need to go any further then morrisons. They only sell british meat and employ properly trained butchers to prepare the meat instore. No need to pay over the odds in a farmers market.

Sparklingbrook Sun 07-Apr-13 13:45:18

I have never eaten chutney. confused

GrowSomeCress Sun 07-Apr-13 13:46:51

There are some things which are overly expensive but others which are very reasonable given the time and effort put in.

Really high quality and good tasting too usually.

So yeah YABU

AThingInYourLife Sun 07-Apr-13 13:53:20

Me neither, Sparkling.

You're not the only one grin

Sparklingbrook Sun 07-Apr-13 13:54:08

I have got to my forties without a nagging feeling something is missing AThing. grin

LeeCoakley Sun 07-Apr-13 13:57:52

Another chutney virgin here. And I hate the word. In the same league as 'panties' for wince value imo.

Selks Sun 07-Apr-13 14:00:35

Our local farmers market is amazing value. The odd expensive chutney but great value breads, cheese, tarts, quiches, meat and veg. Love it. So hate me! grin

Sparklingbrook Sun 07-Apr-13 14:01:16

I also think marmalade is vile (although DawnDonna's marmalade cake is yum). grin I don't like the look of all the worms in the jar.

fallon8 Sun 07-Apr-13 14:01:22

"Farmers market". More like,some enterprising person has bought a job lot from Lidle,and daft lot that you are,,you fall for it...

thermalsinapril Sun 07-Apr-13 14:04:24

Farmers' markets with decent, good quality but reasonably-priced food - thumbs up.

Farmers' markets with overpriced, overpackaged tat masquerading as from "farmers" but actually from a Londoner who keeps a couple of ducks at their second home in the Cotswolds and visits them every other weekend - thumbs down.

AmberLeaf Sun 07-Apr-13 14:05:25

When I visit London I always like to go round Borough Market. Some of the stuff there is amazing

Borough market is fab.

But it is a victim of it's own success and HFW et al

There is another similar nearby that is like Borough market a few years back. I won't say where or it will end up like BM!

cantspel Sun 07-Apr-13 14:07:50

We have a french market here. I am sure the sellers go around the hypermarket before getting on the boat then scatter a bit of straw around it before some mug comes along and pays 5 times the actual cost of the item which they could have bought in lidl anyway.

CheCazzo Sun 07-Apr-13 14:15:25

Hmmm - well tbh MrsSchadenfreude it shouldn't cost pennies to make your own preserves. I think maybe you exaggerate slightly! It might be very cheap to make a chutney using, say, 29p vinegar and 49p powdered garlic from Lidl grin along with bruised fruit scrumped from the churchyard (something I am not completely averse to grin grin as long as it's not bruised!) and yes, I can and do recycle jars if they look nice but really, you're making something you want to be proud of and that tastes good and for me that means not compromising on ingredients or appearance!

Startail Sun 07-Apr-13 14:17:29

Now asparagus from the farm gate is another patter entirely. Especially as they sell big buddles of all the slightly too small for the green grocers at a £1.

Oooh, good. I needed this thread today.

I went along to the farmer's market this morning, because I've never lived that near one and it sounded quite nice and said there was a stall with someone Japanese doing home-made Japanese food, etc. etc.

I wasn't that impressed TBH.

CheCazzo Sun 07-Apr-13 14:47:48

But did you buy anything LRD?

I did, because we'd gone. I bought cured meat which looked fine, and DH bought - predictably - jelly from the chutney stall. Will see how it all tastes later.

I prefer the selection and the prices at a proper market, but what annoyed me was that if you're going to set up a website with a programme of what stalls will be there on what date, it should be more-or-less accurate. If you say the market goes 10-1, it shouldn't be mostly empty by 11. IMO.

CheCazzo Sun 07-Apr-13 14:51:39

Just as a matter of interest - what jelly was it and how much did it cost?

[nosepoke] grin

Redcurrant (ingredients, redcurrants, sugar, lemon juice - very snob). £2.50.

Mind you I make my own chutney and it's a damn sight nicer than anything I've ever bought, because it tastes how I like it.

blondefriend Sun 07-Apr-13 14:58:33

*sneaking in*

I love a farmer's market. I actually just enjoy going. Sometimes I buy things, sometimes I don't. I usually buy the game which is actually a very good price most of the time as I (and my kids) love venison and I much prefer the idea of eating something that has been wild most of its life. I also eat most of the tasters and then feel guilty and buy something such as dark chocolate for my dairy-free son or a good cheddar. But never the curry sauces - I make better at home. Or the jams/chutneys as my MIL and childminder make those. My childminder makes a fab chili jelly which she sells for £3.50.

Oh and it all fits nicely in the carrier in the bottom of my bugaboo - sorry to be a cliché.

I miss free game. sad

It was the one good thing about going out with wanker farmer ex. Much free game.

Trills Sun 07-Apr-13 16:55:11

I've just been to the farm shop for reasonably-price free range eggs, expensive cheese and and expensive pork pie. They were about to close so I got some seedy rolls and a fruit loaf for free grin

CheCazzo Sun 07-Apr-13 16:58:34

I think £2.50 is pretty reasonable for that jelly - redcurrants are never cheap and when I make it I concentrate them right down so there's actually some flavour in the end product.
I agree with you about making your own chutney - how anyone eats and enjoys supermarket stuff is beyond me! Best one I ever made was from churchyard scrumped apples and some French walnuts. Delicious!

I think 2.50 is pretty reasonable too. DH says it was quite tasty. It was the stuff I didn't buy that I wasn't so taken by (she says, stating the obvious). And the crap organization.

There's a farm shop in the village I grew up in, which is the least pretentious thing in the world as it's being going since the 70s and, erm, sells stuff of the farm. I don't think that's remotely posh. But it keeps normal opening hours and actually sells what you expect it to sell.

VinegarDrinker Sun 07-Apr-13 17:09:11

The one nearest us has strict criteria as to what counts as local and therefore able to be sold there - has to be grown/produced within 50 miles IIRC (we are in London). And it is the farmers manning the stalls.

I don't shop there but it's run by the same community organisation that runs the local veg box scheme which we are part of. We don't use supermarkets, haven't for over 5 years.

Most of our other local markets (not "farmers markets") are as described in the OP though, and we only ever go to window shop or occasionally buy a nice takeaway lunch.

MoominmammasHandbag Sun 07-Apr-13 17:20:30

We have two local farmers markets.

One is pretty much a normally priced market selling locally grown, properly ripe fruit and veg, very cheap garden plants and extraordinarily good locally produced cheese. I am not tempted by the pies and cakes - I can do better myself.

Our other market is a proper poncetastic experience. We do lots of tasting, a judicious amount of buying and make more of a morning of it.

A note of caution. BIL works for a butcher, they take their regular meat to farmers markets and charge a premium - a lot more than in the shop.

One amazing discovery I have made recently is the habedashery stalls in our local covered market. Bloody John Lewis are making a massive mark up there!

GirlWiththeLionHeart Sun 07-Apr-13 17:29:26

Would anyone mind sharing a chutney recipe? I've never made one but would love to try

StoickTheVast Sun 07-Apr-13 17:32:16

Come to ours.

Two heaving carrier bags of veg for £2. Nice tea loaf/cake, 3 for £5. Meat is pricier, but we know where it comes from. Eggs £1.50 for half a dozen. Wish it was on every week!

nkf Sun 07-Apr-13 17:34:11

Love that video. I think of farmers' markets more as an afternoon out rather than a place to do the weekly shop. If you really want to hate something, try Borough Market in London.

ssd Sun 07-Apr-13 17:40:40

couldnt agree more op

that link posted earlier says it all, over priced ostrich steaks and wild boar sausages sold to the middle class


CombineBananaFister Sun 07-Apr-13 17:43:13

Totally agree that there are 2 types of Farmers market - the shithole one with cheap genuine produce that used to be just called a market 10 yrs ago and the pretty ones with the expensive stuff which doesn't always reflect its quality but everything looks nice and twee.
They also tend to attract VERY different kinds of people but I don't hate either. Personally I slum it in the market as that's what my budget allows and I prefer substance over style.
It is depressing though, when something that's supposed to be cheap gets inflated beyond belief because it becomes the 'in' thing like pork cheeks or tripe.We live in York and there is a glut of the overly-expensive stalls during tourist events, I want to whisper that if they just pop round the corner to the shitty market there is a genuine Turkish/polish place selling far superior food at half the price, but each to their own.

Horsemad Sun 07-Apr-13 17:44:20

Sparkling that clip was so funny!! Haven't ever seen that grin
I'm reminded of our first (and last!) venture to a Farmer's Market - pushy farmer's wife told DS1 their burgers were the best and to tell his parents he must have some; to which he replied 'just 'cause you say they're the best doesn't mean they are and they're not as good as my mum's' grin

Out of the mouths of babes!

CheCazzo Sun 07-Apr-13 17:51:03

Girl I'd love to share a recipe with you but I - errr - make them up as I go along! I always have a basic idea of what I want to do - pear and walnut for instance is always a good one. The base is almost always onions, chopped and fried. I add the fruit and pour in enough vinegar to cover the ingredients by about a cm. I always add garlic, fresh, and chilli flakes (to taste) and sea salt. I find chutney takes way more salt than you think you're going to need and almost always more than recipe books tell you. Lemon juice always perks things up - it adds a different dimension to the vinegar. Ginger is another good spice to add - by taste but starting with a teaspoonful. Then cook slowly on a simmer until everything is reduced and the consistency is - grin - chutney like! If you're using nuts add them now. Pot immediately into sterilised warm jars and seal.

See, I don't like salt in chutney at all. Maybe that's why I don't like the supermarket ones. I like lots of spices - ginger and cinnamon and pepper and coriander and a bit of cardamom, usually.

I think it is a bit like making curry, you chuck in what you like yourself.

Bought ones always seem to be incredibly sweet, too.

CheCazzo Sun 07-Apr-13 18:36:57

It's all about tastes isn't it LRD. I don't add salt when cooking normally - or very little anyway - but I find the taste of chutney unbearable without it. And I do add sugar - oops - forgot to say that up there - because I loathe and detest vinegar with a passion which is odd for a chutney maker!

I love vinegar. I drown salads.

That may be a reason I wasn't wild about the dinky little bottles they had out today.

flatpackhamster Sun 07-Apr-13 18:51:48


I like the idea of Farmers' Markets but the reality never seems to match the hype. If the farmer is selling directly to the shopper then they are cutting out (several) middle-men and their profit margins - yet that saving never seems to get passed to the customer. If anything, it's more expensive than supermarket.confused

The reason is the price of the animal. Here's roughly how it works for a pig:

Cost of rearing pig: £60
Price wholesaler will pay for pig: £55ish
Price of slaughter, jointing: £10ish
Price of pig joints as sold to supermarket: £70
Supermarket costs - transport, storage etc: £25
Price supermarket charges for all the bits in total: £120
Supermarket profit: £25 per carcass

Those figures are a bit all over the place, but that's roughly how it works.

So the pig farmer makes, very roughly, a loss on each carcass if he sells to the wholesaler who sells to the supermarket.

A farmer who's rearing for the markets pays for the rearing cost, the slaughter and jointing. Then there's his costs for storing the carcass, his costs for running a vehicle, his time spent at the markets (at least 5 hours including travel), fuel getting to and from the markets, the cost of staff, a website, marketing.

However, he's still able to make a profit because if the pig costs £60 to rear, and all the other work costs about £50, he can sell the bits for about £140 and still make a profit on each individual animal.

So the prices will be more expensive, because you as a consumer are paying the real cost of the whole process, not the artificial cost that the supermarket imposes. With the artificial cost, the supermarket profits, you do OK, the wholesaler does OK, but the farmer goes out of business eventually.

Once you've found a farmer whose products you like, you can build up a relationship with them and stuff will be cheaper. I get decent discounts (5-10%) now from my farmers because they know I'll be back week, because I care about what they do and I'm interested in seeing them succeed.

pointythings Sun 07-Apr-13 20:11:00

We have a farmers market round ours every month. The stalls change, the food is very very good and not much more than supermarket prices - and you can get some things you can't get elsewhere.

Most of all, DH and I bought some cake off a stall once. The list of ingredients was what did it - it was short. Flour, eggs, sugar, butter, lemon juice. That was it. That's what cake should be.

It's not all poncy overpriced shit.

freddiefrog Sun 07-Apr-13 20:20:53

We have 2 types here too

1 which the locals go to, is held in the village hall, has local meat, milk, eggs, fruit, veg, pies, cheese, honey, etc and is fab quality, locally produced food and supermarket-ish prices (our nearest supermarket is 10 miles away so once you've added petrol it's not really anymore expensive)

The other is more touristy and very poncey - eye wateringly expensive cupcakes, handmade cards, crafty stuff, expensive ready meals, etc, etc.

I go to the locals one, quick in/out at an ungodly hour on a Saturday morning.

nooka Sun 07-Apr-13 20:24:31

It's all about what the market can bear though isn't it. Your cheap and cheerful market stall person knows that what his/her customers want is a decent price and a bit of banter. The market has probably run for many years and the customer base probably has mostly shopped their for years, although competition from supermarkets with their huge buying power may have run many of them out of business.

Your fancy pants market aims to offer it's customers a different sort of impression that they are getting a good deal, competition is from specialist stores, high end supermarkets and it's all about added value /social cachet of the specialist product. The premium comes from the 'poncyness' if you like, and products will need to have the appropriate bells and whistles and the price to go with it.

What you pay for products is often not very closely related to the cost of raw ingredients, whether that is food or clothes or fancy goods.

stubbornstains Sun 07-Apr-13 20:35:59

I think it depends where you live, and what your local market will bear, as it were.

Wafty areas of London= insane prices

Chronically skint areas (like where I live)= fairly decent prices.

The cheapest fish I can find are the more unfashionable species sold by the fisherman's wife at the farmer's market in our local town, and the veg at the one in our village (yep, lucky us) is about half supermarket prices.

I once met one of the yummiest of our local yummy mummies in ASDA. She blushed and was at pains to tell me that of course she'd never normally shop at there, she always shopped at the farmers' market, it was just that they'd just got back from their holiday yadda yadda.....I did rather PMSL, as well as LOLing and ROFLing a tad.

GirlWiththeLionHeart Sun 07-Apr-13 21:15:43

Thank you Che the pear sounds lovely. I bought a pear plough mans chutney and it was amazing

According to Wikipedia Morten has a vocal range of up to five octaves - he also now has five children!

How time flies.

[Wanders off before derailing thread]

P.S. - YABU - agree with everyone on the 'proper' vs 'poncey' varieties though - there's one near us with a random mix, (i.e. organic vegetables from far flung corners with far flung prices combined with local meats, cheeses, ciders etc., on a par with or for less than the supermarket)

RevoltingPeasant Sun 07-Apr-13 21:29:49

I sort of agree about the 'little bits of stuff in jars with gingham ribbon for £15.95' that takes up about 30% of my local farmers' market.

But it's hard to know how to support local businesses properly if you don't live in a village and are pushed for time.

We buy bread from a local baker every week and we get a veg box from a local farm, so that's our bread and veggies. We buy pretty much everything else at Sainsbury's. No meat, and we always try to buy local fish (live on the coast). There probably is a decent fishmonger's in town but I haven't found it yet.

I just don't have time to make chutney etc so once a month, buying cheese from a small local shop with a stall on, or chutney, is not the biggest waste of money I can think of.

LisaMed Sun 07-Apr-13 23:59:29

The entire family are just recovering from food poisoning from pies from a farmer's market last Sunday. It was a poncetastic one.

LisaMed Mon 08-Apr-13 00:05:58

I costed it out, and it just isn't cost effective to make jam generally if you have to buy the fruit, even allowing for using recycled coffee jars. As we have jam about once every other month I get the value stuff from Asda.

We go to a farm shop that sells home butchered meat. For anyone in West Yorkshire it is Haigh's Farm Shop - absolutely brilliant and a family run business. I just can't afford to buy the stuff in the farmer's markets. It is not that I don't want to support local - I do, and work really hard to keep my pennies spending locally. It's just that I actually don't have enough money to buy the meat from the farmer's market. The pork pies that made us ill were a massive indulgence.

Horsemad Mon 08-Apr-13 07:06:43

Did you report your food poisoning to Environmental Health?
There may be some flaw in the seller's production methods that is allowing for cross contamination which could be rectified thus saving others from your horrible experience.

everlong Mon 08-Apr-13 07:23:34

They are a bit ' I saw you coming ' but some folk like them <shrug> me

Don't hate them though. Christ. Far mor things worthy in the world than a farmers market.

Khaleese Mon 08-Apr-13 07:38:46

The cupcake stall at our market has a sign saying good cakes use expensive ingredients. Cheap cakes use cheap ingredients.

It made me think about the cakes i make at home, they are expensive to make. You couldn't make them taste so good without quality ingredients.

I bet the stall holders don't make lots on them before you even look at their time.

thegreylady Mon 08-Apr-13 07:45:01

I love farmers markets too. We go once a month. I do my own cake making but the meat and veg are top quality and we usually buy pies and jam too.

Mimishimi Mon 08-Apr-13 08:43:09

You're not being completely unreasonable. When I was small, farmer's markets were for local farmers who couldn't sell their produce to the big chains because it didn't look pretty enough. It was far less inexpensive to buy there than at one of the majors with their glossy, perfect produce. Now it seems to be more of a trendy thing for affluent baby-boomers and prices have risen accordingly. My mum gets a few odd complaints from the stallholders because she gives her plum and apple chutneys away to people around town (she doesn't sell at markets) but, really, it's only tourists buying that sort of thing there anyway, not locals.

ArtemisatBrauron Mon 08-Apr-13 08:44:11

I used to go to one every Sunday before we moved - it was in a primary school hall and had great veggies from a local farm (sold by the farmers, who we got to know and in fact who supplied the flowers for our wedding); the other stuff (bread, cheese, meat) was fine but we went for the veg. Totally worth it for super fresh, local veg and to avoid the hell of the supermarket wherever possible!

Confuseddd Mon 08-Apr-13 08:45:09

I think ihearsounds is exaggerating to make a point. If you've really seen jam at £25 a jar and fudge at £18 a square, do tell us, but I don't believe that for a moment.

My DH sells at a gourmet Market, and his regulars are mostly professionals, affluent middle classes and a few mega rich types. Some people buy as a treat. It's his livelihood so I don't complain!

I totally agree with points about supporting local farmers and eating real food. I used to get brilliant veg for £12 - enough for the week for a family of 4. And the meat was a reasonable price too.

And if you don't like the prices of the condiments, cakes etc. Make them yourself!

We are in the Midlands, and our farmers market is fine. Jams, etc selling at about £3.50 a jar, but I make my own, along with a couple of chutneys.

Butchers sell in the market and are a little more expensive than the supermarkets but the quality is good. However, local butcher in town cooks his own hams and sells sliced hams of a better quality than the supermarkets and it works out cheaper.

Couple of lovely local bakeries sell at the market too, along with other local producers.

A jar of jam selling for £25 would be laughed out of the market.

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