Not only will we have our usual wonderful regular stall holders and guest stall holders at the Christmas Market this Saturday 20th December, there will also be carol singing, face painting, mulled wine supplied by (Leeds Lions club), mince pies and a chance to buy the 2015 Friends of Roundhay Park Calendar .
To help you remember all the forthcoming market dates why not download a copy of our 2015 leaflet which not only gives you the dates for each market and informs you about the market ethos, but also is very attractive thanks to Toni Driver the local artist who kindly painted the picture.
You could always give a copy to a friend or neighbour or maybe take one into work.
Download a copy of the 2015 Farmers’ Market leaflet by clicking the picture or clicking here.
This month’s Q&A is with Jane Boocock of Country Pies.
How did you come to have a business making pies?
When I first met my husband Gavin I was the farmer and he was a butcher and had a butcher’s shop. After we got married, however, we seemed to have a role reversal! In addition to the butcher’s, we decided to start a bakery and whilst Gavin looked after the farm, I looked after the bakery. Today, on the farm, we have approximately 1000 sheep and 150 cattle. My son Jeff has a pig business on the farm with approximately 2000 pigs.
How many pies do you make a week and how many varieties of pie do you make?
Each week we make approximately 400. We make 30 different pies including a vegetarian pie which includes vegetarian pastry.
Do you make all the pastry by hand?
I have a large commercial Hobart mixer (which is actually taller than me) and I use that to make all the shortcrust and hot water pastry for the pies.
When did you start attending Farmers’ Markets?
The first Farmers’ Market I went to was Leeds Farmers’ Market back in 2000.
How many markets do you go to now?
Four – Oakwood, Headingley, Horsforth and York Auction Centre.
Which are your most popular pies?
We make three sizes of pork pie and they are all very popular. A couple of years ago, we won the best pork pie award in York, voted for by the members of the public. At this time of year, the other two favourites are my Turkey with Cranberry and Stuffing topping and our Pork and Black Pudding pie. We make all our own black pudding.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Being farmers, we don’t take holidays because the animals need to be looked after and it’s not something you can simply hand over for a couple of weeks.
What other interests do you have?
Our other interests are taking our British Blue bulls and heifers to shows like the Great Yorkshire Show. We are very proud of them and it helps to promote the breed.
I also like to go eventing with my daughter Megan and her horse, Sportsfield Ricky.
What’s a typical day for you?
If I am not going to a Farmers Market, I can actually have a lie in, till about 6:30 am! But if I am at a market, I get up at 4:45 am in the morning. I am usually in bed by 9:30 or 10 pm because I have to get up early to help feed the animals and livestock. We also mill all the feed for the animals, so we know what goes into it. All in all, there’s not much free time but it’s a life that I enjoy.
What is your favourite bedtime reading?
Life of Pi by Yann Martel. (Editor’s suggestion)
What is your favourite TV programme?
I do not get much time to watch TV but I suppose it would have to be Monty Piethon!
I know you are busy so I must let you get on.
Thanks, I will see you on Saturday for the Christmas market.
Thank you very much to Des McLernon of Rhythm Aire for entertaining us at the November market. I know everybody enjoyed the music; some customers even danced.
We look forward to next year when we are sure Des will be back but this time with vocalist Charlotte.
But if you cannot wait till then you can always see them on YouTube videos.
RHYTHM AIRE Details: –
We are an experienced duo (keyboard (Des)/vocal (Charlotte)) called RHYTHM AIRE. We play weddings/bars/restaurants/parties/festivals/charityy events/cocktail parties/etc. and have our own PA. Our repertoire (over 100 songs) is jazz/blues/Latin/pop – but often songs with a chilled R&B/jazz feel. We adjust our play list to match our audience/venue.
We also have a repertoire of more traditional jazz/blues standards (not shown on videos).
See also recordings at (needs at least IE 10): https://soundcloud.com/rhythmaire
We know it seems a long time until Christmas but it’s just one market away! We hate to see disappointed customers so this month is the time to place your orders with the stall holders to make sure of your special Christmas goodies.
To jog your memory, here are some of the items you might want to pre-order:
Pies; hams; cakes; fish; venison; cheese; vegetables; beef joints; mistletoe; jam and chutney; eggs; bread; sausages.
All delicious and can be collected from the market on Sat 20th December – just in time for Christmas!
This month’s Q&A is with Bruce Salt of Salt’s Catering.
How did you get into the catering business?
Although my professional training is in accountancy, I have always had a passion for food particularly Spanish hams and the like so when the opportunity came to open my own deli, I was delighted. I wanted to let Leeds have a really good, proper deli. You know the sort that sell lovely hams and other artisan food which could not be bought elsewhere. And that is what I did; in fact we opened two shops. However, the catering side became more successful and we concentrated on this and a few genuine markets, such as Oakwood Farmers’ Market from 2012.
Where are you now with your company?
We have just moved to larger premises and are building our customer base in Leeds and Bradford. We employ fourteen staff and at present feed on average 150 people a day making 98% of the produce ourselves.
You still have time to attend farmer’s markets?
We like meeting the public and our customers. We can always find time to spend with people who appreciate good food and that’s why we are at the farmers’ markets at Headingley, Horsforth and of course Oakwood Farmer’s Market.
What is your best selling product?
That is difficult to say but at Oakwood Farmer’s Market our arancini (risotto balls) are very popular and are a big seller.
What other interests do you have?
I like watching sport particularly cricket and golf. I was lucky enough to see the European Team beat the USA at Medinah Country Club, Chicago in 2012 – that was a thrill. I like all sorts of music and reading. I used to like running, but now running around looking after my business, and young family, seems to take most of my time.
What is your favourite track?
Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty.
What is your favourite film?
Clearly, The Fabulous Baker Boys
Do you just service corporate events?
No, we are more than happy to cater for parties, picnics, and weddings.
Who do you think would play you in the film of your life?
We are always trying to improve Oakwood Farmers’ Market and you can help us by filling out our on-line questionnaire here. It will only take a couple of minutes and all your answers will be anonymous.
This month’s Q&A is with Vicky Whiteley from Whiteley’s Farm and Farm Shop
How long have you been farming?
Amazingly, this year will be our 30th anniversary. I know – I don’t look old enough!
How many acres does your farm cover?
We have just taken on some adjoining land which will double the size of the farm and bring the total area up to 60 acres.
What types of farming do you do?
As well as growing vegetables and salad greens, we also have a nursery where we grow herbs, plants, shrubs, bushes and trees. We keep free-range chickens and ducks and an apiary for our bees to produce honey. We sell all the produce in our on-site farm shop as well as at local farmers’ markets. As if that isn’t enough, we also run a landscape gardening business.
That seems to be a lot of work. How do you manage to keep on top of everything?
Honestly? Some days I have no idea! There are always jobs to do – planting, tending, watering, weeding as well as harvesting, loading the truck and selling in the shop and on the markets. In the summer we are working 12 to 16 hours a day which is a long hard six months. Winter means only working in daylight hours but it can feel longer especially in the cold, wet and snowy days.
As a farmer you are obviously at the mercy of the British weather to produce your locally grown produce. How does that affect your business?
Well there is only so much we can do to protect against bad weather conditions. The winter in 2011 was so hard all are vegetables just froze in the ground and then this was followed by a summer that was so wet we could not sow the seeds. We do what we can by growing under polytunnels, and choosing varieties that cope with our British weather.
What is your all-time favourite TV programme?
Have you had any odd requests at the farm?
Some time ago we were asked to provide all our scarecrows (we have eight at the moment) for a film set on some nearby allotments as they thought this would add a bit more interest to the scene.
Do scarecrows work?
Yes, we make them out of old clothes and use them to make the wood pigeons think there is someone in the field. Old, traditional methods have their uses, especially in the garden.
What is your favourite song?
Lettuce from America by the Proclaimers
Christmas is coming but what is next on the agenda for you?
Well, Christmas is a bit away for us just yet. Halloween means harvesting our pumpkins. There’s something fantastic about seeing a field of bright orange pumpkins and knowing they’ll be bringing joy to children. Pumpkins are becoming more and more popular – not only decorative but a great edible vegetable too. Don’t waste the flesh you cut out to make the lantern – make a delicious soup to serve on Bonfire night. So, if you want one, you can get yours this week at Oakwood Farmer’s Market.
What is your favourite Film?
Pumpkin Iron starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
Thank You Vicky