Country Mouse on farmers’ markets

After two years of waiting, I finally got the nod and was allowed to sell Tunworth, our delicious cheese, at Winchester’s farmer’s market. After all the hard work that had gone into perfecting it, my wife, Stacey, and her partner Julie were clearly reluctant to let a buffoon such as me loose with their precious commodity, but the combination of a Pony Club event and a goddaughter’s confirmation meant that no one else was available.

The list of instructions and orders would have exceeded those of most military campaigns, but in the end, it was pretty easy: I provided a tasting and the cheese sold itself. The banter with the regular customers, who consider it ‘their’ cheese was fantastic, but don’t, as I did, get carried away and offer a ‘regulars’ a plastic bag it’s considered the ultimate insult. The other stall holders all help each other out, and many of them took the trouble to come over and tell me that ‘by now, the girls had normally sold out’. In the end, I did, too.

It was a wonderful experience: local people buying local food. If you’re worried about food miles, go to your farmer’s market. It really is miles better than a supermarket.