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April the 2nd on the cobbles

We are all working hard preparing for our first full market of the year on the cobbles, where we belong. There will be award winning cheese, puddings, butter, fudge, spiced sauces and the most recent, Marmalade for you to choose from, don’t be shy, get tucked in. Be assured, there are superb producers on the market who would get top awards for their produce if they were to enter but they are always too busy selling to happy customers. We will be ready by 9.30 but if you arrive early we never turn anyone away empty handed; don’t forget though, we all turn back into mice at 3pm.

March in the Witham

Thankfully we are booked into the Witham Hall again this Saturday and the doors open at 9.30 till 3pm. If you get to the hall early you may be able to sneak in round the back where we do our unloading but this is not available in wet conditions for safety reasons. We will be at full strength this month so get there in good time as I am always surprised how my favorite treats sell out very quickly. There will be all the usual fabulous food but don’t forget to pick up your Mothers Day gift for the special Lady in your family, the choice should fit most tastes. See you there.


First Market Nerves

 As I’m writing this I look up and see its raining.  Again.  I have rather enjoyed the cold and frost of recent days, I’ve always thought that there’s something rather magical about the low hung winter sun and the way it casts its light through the trees, but this year, coming after so many weeks of rain, it was even more special.

 I’ve also enjoyed my morning dog walk with Barney without getting soaked!  Still, I have much to be thankful for and in 2016 my husband and I are about to embark on quite an adventure.

It’s two weeks into the new year and I am looking forward to the first Barnard Castle Farmer’s Market because it will also be our first.  Jonathan and I have recently acquired Leaside Cheesemakers and, after an extended period of apprenticeship under Brian and Esme Dedman’s expert tutelage, we are being cast out to build on what can only be described as quite a legacy.

 Of course, I’ve helped, or perhaps hindered, at a few markets with the formidable pair on the cobbles before, but this time it’s just us, with product made by us, to the same excellent recipe of course, but made by us just the same, so it’s quite a test.  I feel like an actress waiting to go on stage…there’s definitely some first market nerves here! 

However, we do have two things to be thankful for.  Firstly, the people of Barney Market, the stallholders and the general public, are quite frankly, absolutely lovely, so we’re sure of a warm welcome.  

Secondly, the gods have been kind to us.  This market is being housed in the beautiful Witham Hall building.  There’s an excellent cafe for drinks and lunch, I’ve used it many times so I’m looking forward to that, and if the rain does return…or continue, we will all be in the warm and dry. 

We would all like to extend our warmest congratulations to our newest Dad, Adam Guy and his wife Catherine (Wildon Grange Dressings). James Joseph Guy, weighing 7 pounds 6 ounces was born on the 6th of January and should be fully trained by 2031. I hope both Catherin and James will come and visit us soon. 

Pop along and give us some encouragement on Saturday 6th February from 9.30am.  There’s a fantastic range of fresh local produce created with care and love.  Quality food, what could be better for beating the damp and cold of these winter months? 

Allison Raper

Leaside Cheesemakers

5th December Farmers’ Market

Due to weather conditions, we are moving to Addisons Auction Rooms from 10-2pm. There will be a free shuttle bus from the market place to Addisons from There is also plenty of free parking. Addisons Auction Rooms is situated just off the  A688 Staindrop Road just out of Barnard Castle on the right hand side if you are leaving Barnard Castle,  DL12 8TD.

November Farmers’ Market

November’s farmers’ market gets underway this Saturday on the cobbles in Barnard Castle. Lots of local Autumnal goodies on. Plus make a date in your diary for Taste of Teesdale at Raby Castle on Sunday 29 November

October Farmers’ Market

There’s nothing quite like sunshine on an Autumn day. Don’t miss Barnard Castle Farmers’ market tomorrow on the cobbles from 9.30-3.00. Bring your baskets and sunglasses and enjoy our foodie paradise.

September Farmers’ Market

September’s Farmers’ Market, this Saturday in Barnard Castle, on the cobbles, 9.30-2.30. Still time to enjoy the last fruits of summer.

National Sandwich Month

Did you know August is National Sandwich Month? – No! well, it makes for a great excuse to visit Sue’s Bread (not that you really need one one). All of Sue’s bread is hand made using a range of traditional and less known recipes from around the world. Plus, now being the month to fire up the grill, you can take the opportunity to turn the humble sandwich into something magnifico! We are blessed at the farmers’ market with some fine locally reared meat and game producers including, Deer n Dexter, Mainsgill and Westholme Farm. Although sandwiches were invented as a convenience food, they’re perfect around the barbecue and a good opportunity to pack in the veggies.

So now you have the raw ingredients, it’s time to get creative on the patio. Try adding cucumber and onion to your burger, with avocado and sauerkraut to spice up proceedings or even, a little hummus lightly spread. Smoked trout is another great way of filling your bread and much more interesting than plain old tuna. Bessy-Beck offer some of the finest trout around.

During these summer months we also consume acres of raw watercress, a rich source of vitamins and minerals, containing high levels of bone-building and strengthening vitamin K, and vitamin A, which is also important for eye health.

August being the month of plenty it’s also great for cooking robust Mediterranean-style dishes with glossy aubergines, sweet peppers, courgettes and juicy tomatoes. A visit to Katrina at Bluebell Organics is highly recommended, not forgetting our great leader William with his darkening blackberries ripened on hedgerows, home-grown plums and delightful lighter greengages.

We the farmers’ market would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who visited the Taste of Teesdale Festival at Raby Castle. Once the rain cleared, it turned into a lovely day, where friends and family made the most of the good weather inside the castle gardens and of course the great food, drink and crafts. Did I mention the man crèche?

Enjoy your summer.

Keith Palmer




4th July 2015


Being the 4th July, many of you will be dining by way of the BBQ and what better way to start than the great American classic, the beef burger. Here are just a few ideas to get the BBQ party going.  Most of the ingredients can be purchased from the following stalls. Enjoy.

Deer ‘n Dexter, Mainsgill, Westholme Farm,  Durham Venison & Game and Sue’s Bread, Honey B Company,  Wildon Grange,    Westnewton Artisan Charcuterie, Heartwood Poultry, Teesdale Cheese & Northumberland cheese.

Sloppy burgers: beef filet, diced, sweet onion and green pepper, minced, garlic, hot steak sauce (try making your own), Demerara sugar, dry mustard and of course, brioche buns.

Louisiana burger: with spicy mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, spring onion, white and pale green finely chopped, paprika, thyme, garlic, cayenne pepper thin slices of quality cheese, ham and red onion.

Blue Cheese burger: braising steak mince, sirloin mince, seasoned dry bread crumbs steak sauce, eggs hamburger rolls, blue cheese, sliced rocket and sliced tomatoes.

Chicken sausage burgers: pancetta, chopped onions chopped, bay leaf, ground chicken, fennel seed, lightly toasted, chilli flakes, allspice, zest and juice of an orange, finely chopped rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, honey crusty baps, split, toasted and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil or buttered

Enjoy your day at the market and have a lovely weekend until we see you next time. Don’t forget, it’s Taste of Teesdale at Raby Castle, Sunday 19th July 10am-4.00pm only £6.00 per vehicle.

June’s market setting the scene for summer


I took the pleasure of walking hills during the recent half term in search of both gentian and primrose; the views from Cronkley Fell over Upper Teesdale beyond the power of my pen to describe. The hills have a rare power to sooth, and no man or woman ever planned a foul deed whilst sitting alone on the top of a hill and are we not fortunate that our geographical location offers both town and country within a hop and skip.

Following a scramble down Main Gate to the parked car, within half an hour, I was back in Barnard Castle sipping the last of my tea from a dented flask. We (the market volunteer committee) have been busy planning the Taste of Teesdale event at Raby Castle on the 19th July and a meeting was planned to coincide with the end of my fine day’s walking. That evening as I strolled into town my eyes fell upon the bustling figure of a man marching down the high street. You’re never quite sure if your on the end of a berating or a slap on the back, before Just William’s Hedgerow Preserves, warm hand greeted, and the four of us took ourselves inside a notable establishment and rehearsed both farmers’ market and food festival.

June’s market really sets the scene for the start of summer with some rich pickings. I will never be able to cram all of the glorious abundance of the season into the next few lines, but I will do my best. Nothing at the farmers’ market has been shipped here by way of Holland, New Zealand or some other corner of the far distant galaxy.  Ahead are summer months of an abundance of local produce so diverse it could cause a nosebleed. There’s a huge array to enjoy, including salads and fresh-tasting vegetables, soft fruit and I do confess to being the sort of man not ashamed to eat messy fruit in front of company.

Enjoy your weekend and your visit to Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market.