The moon and the hot cross bun

Sounds a good title for a children’s story, ‘The Moon and the Hot Cross Bun’ but bear with me while I attempt to explain the connection. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, Hot cross buns, are steeped in superstition, the cross I’ve heard said to ward off evil spirits. Sharing one is meant to cement friendships, which is as good an excuse as any to bake a batch.

Although I’ve never been one for fasting, with Easter being so late this year these sticky, fruity treats have been put on hold due to the moon and here’s the connection, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. This year, the first vernal equinox wasn’t until March 20, which is why Easter will take place in late April.

However, if you look carefully you might find a few of these bad boys making a guest appearance at Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market on Saturday 5th April, not to mention our usual array of locally produced food and drink.

Our customers certainly know their spring onions. A recent survey revealed, provenance, quality, and taste are the most important factors influencing the choice customers make about buying from the market and make no mistake, without your support there wouldn’t be a farmers’ market in Barnard Castle. So support your local market and traders this weekend, buy local- eat well.

Don’t forget to take part in Easter chick treasure hunt. Find the names of as many chicks as you can and you could win a special Easter Hamper.

Start the year with a Banger


I am not sure that is possible to showcase the whole of Teesdale in one delicious dish but if it can be done Andrew Rowbotham’s Barney Banger is probably it. I cannot wait to try them and taste what all the excitement is about.

If I needed to encapsulate Barney Farmers’ Market into a sausage I would almost certainly end up in all sorts of trouble, there are just too many delicious ingredients to choose from. To be honest there is already such a wide variety of sausages on the market most tastes are already catered for. We have super old fashioned bumper pork sausages from Christine at Burnhopeside Hall or award winning sausages from Mainsgill Farm Shop. If you are looking for something different why not tempt the family with a succulent Veal sausage from Tricia at Winter Tarn and cook them in some of her 3 Star Gold award winning butter. David at Heartwood Poultry must have the most unusual sausage; his Chicken sausage is simply mouth-watering and nearly always sold out by lunchtime. There are also game sausages and all manner of cured sausages and salamis  and much more besides.

We will be welcoming Taste Italiano to this is our first outside market of the year. They will be bringing their fresh pasta, a first for the market along with their other beautiful products.

We are all praying for a calm day between 9.30 and 3 pm to enable you all to linger among our 29 fabulous stalls and sample a little of what we have to offer before you stagger home loaded with bags full of health and happiness.

Farmers Market Saturday 1st February

Each first Saturday of the month, a dedicated band of workers and volunteers, meet to set up stalls for one of the North East’s most popular farmers’ markets.

Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market is a place where foodies come to celebrate locally-grown foods, freshly-baked bread, puddings, game, meat, cheese and preserves. It’s also a place where people come to chat with the very people who grow, rear, pickle, brew and bake and always with a friendly smile.

At the market, everything is produced for maximum flavor and quality over quantity. So a late visit can often end in disappointment.

Supporting the farmers’ market not only helps the local community and improves the quality of food, but there’s also a unique and special sort of assurance, which comes from buying direct from the producer. As with many small independent traders, our stallholders are not anonymous and take their responsibility to you the customer very seriously.

This time-honored connection between consumer and grower is appreciated by all who attend the market. With your continued support local produces that sell direct are able to cut out the intermediary and receive the full retail price, which enables many of our traders to stay in business. By supporting Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market today, you’re helping to ensure there will be farms and artisan producers in our community tomorrow.

Happy New Year and enjoy your visit.

Happy New Year


Happy New Year to our loyal customers at Barnard Castle Farmers Market. This year we intend to continue providing you with a superb selection of outstanding food and drink from the finest food producers in the North of England. We will endeavour to bring new exiting products onto the market and whenever possible invite guest stalls to attend with  new and fresh products.

The first market of the year will be on February 1st in the newly refurbished Witham Hall and we will have about 22 stalls in warm, comfortable surroundings with all the comforts the Witham can offer. From March 1st  onwards we will be back outside in whatever weather Teesdale can muster. Oh joy

Barnard Castle Farmers Market-December 2013

It’s the final farmers’ market of the year on Saturday 7 December. Last chance to stock-up on all your favorite goodies, including lots of special festive treats. If you can’t make it, be sure to check out our list of stallholders to order last minute goodies. Don’t forget, many of our stallholders will be attending Bowes Christmas Market on Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 December, 10-4. Not to be missed.


Christmas Taste of Teesdale – Raby Castle

For many people the idea of Christmas shopping means long queues, expensive parking, crowds of people and over-priced-uninspiring gifts. Taste of Teesdale offers something uniquely different when Raby Castle play host to this year’s Christmas Taste of Teesdale Market.

What better way to spend the day than in the beautiful grounds of Raby Castle. Following a hugely successful summer market, around 30 festive stalls will be back offering quality gifts, food and drink with the same quality assurance you would expect from a farmers’ market. It really is the perfect opportunity to find a combination of festive treats, with each stall holder specially chosen to offer something individual and unique.

For the Christmas table, you’ll find a wide range of cheeses, chutneys, fudge, preserves, seasonal veg, puddings, cakes, meat and game, not forgetting your chance to pick up your own Christmas tree from Raby Castle. With many items unavailable to purchase in the high street, it promises to be a bustling atmosphere in a Christmas wonderland and the perfect Christmas shopping experience!Entrance is free, and the event runs for two days from Saturday 30th November 10-4 to Sunday 1st December, 10.00am-4.00pm.


November farmers’ market in Barnard Castle

American poet William Bryant, described autumn as, ‘the year’s last, loveliest smile’, words which echo throughout kitchens of Britain, as autumn welcomes the arrival of comfort food. 

From casseroles, sticky puddings and roast partridge, to venison, tomato and apple chutney, the list is endless. No other nation celebrates autumn quite like the British. Our inspirational ingredients inspire creativity and passion and what’s more, the farmers’ markets offer an ideal way to explore autumn’s larder for foodies.

Visit England recently released figures exposing just what a foodie nation we’ve become. Statistics reveal 13 million day visits last year involved a trip to a food festival or farmers’ market, with, 26.2 million of us wanting to go to a food festival this year.

Autumn is without doubt the season of colour. I read somewhere, the more colourful the fruit and veg, the more they are packed with disease fighting phytochemicals. For example, pumpkins and squash are not only delicious, but loaded with antioxidants including numerous nutrients and fiber.

Another plentiful and sustainable addition to autumn’s menu is game, and I’m never sure why we don’t eat more. Game is a delicious and healthy alternative to many other red meats. A favorite dish is venison casserole, low in fat and cholesterol, venison from Deer & Dexter, is high in protein, low in saturated fatty acids, containing higher levels of iron than most red meats.

Pheasant and partridge also contain a high level of iron, protein, vitamin B(6) and selenium, which helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. That’s all comforting to know, but truth is, there’s nothing like a slow-cooked pheasant, from Durham Venison & Game, with wild mushrooms and hearty root vegetables to appreciate the true taste of autumn.

Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market is reconnecting consumers with their local producers, encouraging local trade, giving local consumers fresher, cheaper, and more accountable food.  We hope November’s market puts a lovely smile on your face too.



Apple Day at Barnard Castle Farmers Market



It’s Apple Day at Barnard Castle Farmers Market on Saturday 5th October. Enjoy some of the best seasonal food and drink while you search for as many apple themed products as you can on our stalls. Pick up a leaflet from any stall and the longest list of correct answers will win a luxury farmers’ market hamper filled with delicious goodies.

Raby Castle – Autumn Market

Don’t miss Raby Castle’s Autumn Market on Sunday 22nd September 11.00am-4.00pm Over 25 stalls of local food, craft and artisan producers. Demonstrations from local chefs and children’s entertainment. Live music & hog roast.
Castle open from 1.00pm – 4.30pm.

Admission to maket place and gardens: Adults £6.00
Concessions: £5.00
Children Free

September Farmers’ Market

With many school leavers heading off to college becoming independent for the first time from their parents, the link to healthy eating is often substituted by way of other non-essential requirements of college life.

Managing budgets can be notoriously tricky, especially for those leaving home for the first time. When our own daughter packed her bags to study in Scotland, the food-parcel quickly became a must have essential. Goodie bags filled from the farmers’ market would often travel north of the border by mail or weekend visits. Unsure as to how many flat mates we’re actually fed from dad’s pocket, I will say, they all ate well.

Bringing a farmers’ market into town is a great way of showing the link between the field and kitchen, and the amazing array of local produce on offer. During August, a busman’s holiday took the family to Edinburgh’s farmers’ market where we sampled some delicious, local produce, including Belhaven smoked salmon, smoked over oak shavings from whisky casks, eaten on a park bench with fresh baguettes (we couldn’t stop ourselves). The market was a fabulous festival of locally produced food, and in my opinion, equalled only by our own farmers’ market here in Barnard Castle.

Encouraging our own young children to be creative in the kitchen has become something of a summer success story. Although now back at school and with the final weeks of summer winding down, they can still be found stretching their culinary muscles as we attempt to make our own home-made baguettes with memories of a Scottish holiday and a visit to Bessy Beck to relive a summer’s day in Edinburgh. Dont’ miss our next market on the cobbles on Saturday 7th September.