A day in the life of
A farmers’ market
Pembrokeshire produce at its best.
If you really want to discover the flavour of Pembrokeshire and all that its fabulous farmers and local producers have to offer, why not take a trip to Haverfordwest Farmers Market?
Gather a feast for supper, or find a tasty treat to take home with you to remind you of your stay in Pembrokeshire.
The county town of Haverfordwest has an award-winning farmers market every Friday from 9am to 2pm on Castle Square.
We went behind the scenes of the market to discover its recipe for success, and to give you an insight into the produce on offer and some of the stories of the Pembrokeshire producers.
The day starts early for the traders who arrive to set up their stalls before the early-bird customers appear.
All producers at the market are from a defined local area no more than 50 miles from Haverfordwest, and all the produce on sale has been, grown, reared, baked, brewed, caught, pickled, smoked or processed by the producer.
The market runs all year round and produce on offer is varied and, like the market traders, changes throughout the seasons. What is guaranteed is a glorious display of fresh produce to delight the eye and make your mouth water.
Talking to the producers and traders, one thing many of them said was that their customers become friends. And they all have loyal customers who just can’t help but keep coming back for more – a sure sign of quality and value for money.
When Anne Evans and Pete Seggar arrived at Blaencamel Farm in 1974 looking for better health and for themselves and the environment they had no farming background. “We were looking for a new way of doing things,” Peter told us. Today they run a pioneering organic, carbon negative business that grows vegetables all year round. And you can find them at Haverfordwest every Friday selling a wonderful array of seasonal organic veg. When we visited that included new season strawberries, new potatoes and mixed salad leaves. Yum!
The irresistible smell of freshly baked bread – there’s nothing quite like it. The Anuna Craft Bakery really does craft its range of breads, croissants and brownies, lovingly by hand, from a 100% sourdough starter and using only organic ingredients. If you miss Anuna at Haverfordwest , you’ll find them at the market in Newport on Mondays.
Ali and Kelly don’t see why humans are the only species to enjoy baked goods. They’re the firm friends behind the Pembrokeshire Pet Bakery which makes cakes and bakes for dogs, cats and horses, using pet-healthy ingredients, locally sourced where possible.
In 1958 young farmer’s wife, Margaret Davies hatched turkey eggs and reared her first turkeys and thus started her successful Cuckoo Mill Farm poultry business. For many years Margaret manned (womanned?) the stall at Haverfordwest Farmers Market but these days she leaves that side of the business to her family and it’s still going strong.
There’s nothing like a fresh free-range egg to get your day off to a good start! Euros Harvard-Evans and his wife Vanessa own Pennsylvania Farm, an 8000-hen free-range farm at Crundale . “The modern customer is one who genuinely cares about the welfare of hens and wants to know that eggs have been laid in welfare friendly conditions,” said Euros. And this is why their motto is ‘Happy Hens are Free Range Hens – the quality is in the taste’. They also sell duck and goose eggs in season.
Cheese, gin and chilli relish may seem like an unusual combination, but that’s exactly what is on offer at the Caws Teifi Cheese stall. These artisan cheese-makers, who moved to Wales from their native Holland, have won many awards over the years since starting up in Llandysul in 1982.
Their farm is also home to an organic distillery. Da Mhile Distillery began by making an orange liqueur and has expanded to produce gin, whisky, rum and more. Their seaweed gin has quickly become a top seller.
Organic meats are always a popular buy at the farmers markets. Beef and lamb specialist Paul Oeppen of Hazelwell Farm, manages 350 acres of farmland, producing organic, native breed beef and lamb and he told us that farmers markets are a great place to buy meat: “we use native breeds because they taste good – they are not necessarily the heaviest or biggest, but the taste is the most important aspect.” That’s probably why he’s won four True Taste of Wales commended awards.
It wouldn’t be a farmers market without a craft stall – and Pembrokeshire Beach Tree doesn’t disappoint. Inspired by beachcombing and walks in the Pembrokeshire countryside, Andrea Hill makes wonderful jewellery and other crafted items using sea glass, sea-tumbled pottery and sterling silver. You’ll also find greeting cards, funky felt and hand-knitted socks, and carved spoons and clocks made from reclaimed wood. Perfect for holiday souvenirs and presents!
Sadly, we don’t have room here to feature every stall we visited- and besides, we want to leave you to discover some for yourselves. But where else but a farmers market would you find goods as diverse as alpaca throws, vegan baked treats, goat meat and Welsh-grown blooms and bouquets – all in one place?
We left as the stall holders began to pack up after a long but successful day, our bags full of goodies. We certainly enjoyed our time at Haverfordwest Farmers Market and we bet you will too.
As well as the weekly market held in Haverfordwest (every Friday, 9am-2pm), there are a number of other markets held around the county:
St Davids – Thursdays.
St Dogmaels – Tuesdays, 9am-1pm.
Newport – Mondays.