Kinvara will hold its final farmers’ market of the season next Friday. Organiser Rosaleen Tanham spoke to The Clare Champion about the initiative’s first summer on the streets of the South Galway village
THE farmers’ market made its debut at the rear of Johnston’s Hall on May Day. This breakthrough came after two years of negotiations between market representatives and Galway County Council about holding the weekly event in the village’s Market Square.
“We gave up after two years when we were told we would have to wait until the bylaws were changed and when we were offered another local premises,” explained market secretary Rosaleen Tanham.
Organisers are generally happy with the response to the market from stall holders and customers alike. At its height, the market had 25 stalls, though this has waned slightly in recent weeks as the end of season beckons and the weather deteriorates.
Farmers’ markets have become more common in recent years with ones in nearby Ballyvaughan and in Clarinbridge as well as other locations across Clare and South Galway but Rosaleen believes the Kinvara market has proven it has what it takes to succeed.
“We feel our market has been extremely successful considering that it is in its first year but also think that we need to do more publicity to get the word out to more people that it is there,” she said.
“It is a genuine farmers’ market with all produce being produced by local people living within 30 miles of Kinvara, the only exception being when we cannot source certain products locally. Stalls are selling produce as varied as fresh fish, shellfish, locally produced cheeses, seasonal vegetables, plants, flowers, baked goods, potted goods and preserves, oils, honey, eggs, breads, meat from the friendly farmer such as chickens, sausages, rashers and other pork products, an Italian stall with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, Parma ham, salamis and much more,” she explained.
One-fifth of the stalls can be craft so the market also features jewellery, paintings and hand knitting but a further distinguisher of the market is that there is live music every week provided from local musicians Johnny Moynihan, Frank Hall and John Martin.
Rosaleen herself is a stall owner. She and Matti sell teas, coffees and light lunches to satisfy the other stallholders as well as those who just want to relax, sit down and enjoy the atmosphere.
According to Rosaleen, the market has become a key tool for producers and consumers because it serves a different purpose to shops.
“The market is important as it gives local producers and growers a chance to sell directly to the public. Also, it gives buyers a chance to get goods that have been hand-produced and to get a variety of goods that may not be available in the supermarket,” Rosaleen claimed.
The final market of the season on October 30 will be Hallowe’en-themed with stallholders in fancy dress as well as some treats for trickers, young and old. It is open from 10am to 2pm. The market will then take a break until it opens again at Johnston’s Hall on April 2, 2010. The annual Christmas craft and food market will take place on December 5 and 6.