Page 45 - MarketTimesAugust2019
P. 45

FEATURE • TAUNTON
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   Martine Ashe sells vegan products made by her and her daughter including vegan cheese made from cashew nuts
Robert Hawker sells venison products which truly are from field to fork. He stalks and kills the dear on estates including Highclere Castle— better known as TV’s Downton Abbey— butchers and packs the meat and sells it on markets and at food festivals
  Mark Higdon sells award-winning farm-produced cheeses on Taunton farmers’ market
Martine Ashe, who sells vegan products on the adjacent stall, is now very much on trend. Her daughter, Kestrel, makes her sweet vegan products and Martine’s pasties and vegan cheese are particularly popular.
And if vegan cheese made from cashew nuts isn’t for you, Mark Higdon is selling award- winning traditional farm-made cheese just along the way.
“Our cheese is made on Batch Farm and we have won quite a lot of awards for the quality and taste,” he said.
Among the fresh vegetable sellers is Duncan Paget who does pretty much what his great- grandfather did more than 100 years — growing high quality vegetables and selling them on the local market.
And no trader epitomises the “field to fork”aspiration more than Robert Hawker, who sells venison products.
Robert and his gun dog called Buff stalk deer on estates including Highclere Castle, which is the real-life Downton Abbey. He culls the deer then butchers them in his unit at home. His wife does the packing and Robert sells the products at more than 70 food festivals and markets in the West Country, including Taunton.
“I can tell you about every product I sell. I know where the deer came from and I know everything about it, from where it grazed to who I have sold it to. It’s the finest quality venison and I do good offers which mean it’s not expensive,”
No supermarket could possibly compete with the product knowledge and quality on offer at Taunton’s farmers’ market.
And if there is one tiny criticism it has to be this — there is no cider seller on a farmers’ market in the heart of cider making country.
 FACTS & FIGURES
 l Market Days: Thursday
l Market Rent: £15 for traders who have invested in a new gazebo or £25 for those needing to hire one
l Taunton’s claim to fame: Taunton in Somerset has a fascinating history. It was a key location in two rebellions including the crowning of a would-be king, and the infamous “hanging” Judge Jeffries passed judgement during the bloody assizes held in Taunton Castle. It is the chosen HQ of a number of organisations and is famous for the production of cider.
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