All posts by My Farmers Market


Over the years we’ve spent many a summer break in France visiting numerous plum days, donkey days, bread days, basil days and farmers markets.  In fact to be truthful market visiting had been top of our list for places to visit apart from visiting beekeepers too.  We have been known to arrive as a farmers market is being set up to watch how things are put in place and even received a tour by a market manager explaining how the electrics for a market happened.  I’ve even got photographs of their electric boxes used

We noticed that in some of the towns extra farmers markets started to appear in the Summer which took place in the evenings.  The evening events looked very community focussed social events very similar to the farmers markets in England when we became involved in farmers markets in the early 2000s.

For the last 7 / 8 years we had been looking to find a suitable location to run a Summer Evening Farmers Market very similar to those we’d seen in France.  We approached all our existing locations where we run farmers markets about this idea over the years but didn’t receive a positive response. 

About 18 months ago we saw a little facebook post about a local venue looking to expand on the events they offered.  We duly emailed in with some ideas we had for events at the site but focussed on the possibility of the site being used for an evening farmers market.  We were surprised to receive an invite to go and discuss further. 

The site was perfect – lovely location, hard standing for ease of stalls setting up, space for stallholders vehicles to drive in off load items and park.  We couldn’t believe our luck when after all the years of searching an evening events was what was being looked for. 

We met several more times, recruited stallholders and started to plan all the publicity.  With weeks to go til the launch COVID hit with the first national lockdown all plans for the Summer Evening Farmers Market had to be put on hold and no events including the farmers markets could be held for the rest of the year.  We were really disappointed especially as we sat at home on the days the summers evening farmers market should have been taking place in beautiful sunshine.

Earlier this year we received an email to see if we’d still like to organise the Summer Evening Farmers Market in 2021.  Some of the stallholders we’d originally recruited to attend had changed direction with their businesses.  As this was a completely new farmers market we looked to invite some new stallholders who we couldn’t accommodate at some of our other markets plus a mix of stallholders from across the existing farmers markets that we run.

The first Summer Evening Farmers Market at Danson House, Danson Park, Bexleyheath took place on the 2nd Thursday of May 2021.  The Mayor of Bexley attended the farmers market with Council Officers meeting and greeting all customers. The sun shone and it was lovely to see so many new people shopping local and supporting small businesses. 

The Stupid Idea has now become reality

Dates for the Summer Evening Farmers Market at Danson House, Danson Park on the 2nd Thursday of the month are:

  • Thursday 13th May 2021
  • Thursday 10th June 2021
  • Thursday 8th July 2021
  • Thursday 12th August 2021
  • Thursday 9th September 2021

Open between 6pm and 8.30

OUR FARMERS MARKETS April to June 2020 and onwards

As people are aware we took the difficult decision to postpone the farmers markets we operate when the Lockdown was announced on 23 March. It was a hard decision to make however we wanted to honour the Stay At Home message and ensure the health and safety of our customers and stallholders.

Between the end of March and in to June 2020 as a small business we have tried to support many of the stallholders who continued to provide the products which would normally be available from our Farmers Markets. 

A number of the businesses changed to providing home delivery of their products on a very regular basis around the areas of the farmers markets we operated. We’ve helped promote the services they offered, helped set up delivery services, updated the website when we could and used social media to promote items available too.

Following the announcement that Open Air Markets could reopen on 1st June we have spent time looking at how social distancing can be put in place at the farmers markets whilst looking at all the other items like hand sanitizing, gating market areas, stewards, risk assessments etc., that will need to be in place before we can reopen.

Each of our farmers markets has it’s own individual issues relating to social distancing – some of the markets are held in High Streets where we will have to work alongside the shops that surround the market area and ensure queues don’t impact the market – with these markets we will be waiting until mid June with the reopening of more shops to see the impact this has. 

Hall Place Farmers Market  is in a location which is still behind locked gates with no access to the public – when the site reopens here it is likely that a one way system will be introduced, so the farmers market will have to work alongside the measures in place there too. 

Our aim will be to ensure that the farmers markets are as safe for customers and stallholders to attend as possible. We’re busy talking to the different Partnerships that we liaise with to be able to re open the markets with their support

Once we know the re opening dates for our markets we’ll post this on the website

17 years old – West Malling Farmers Market

West Malling Farmers Market was started in 2000 by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council who initially employed a member of staff to run the farmers market.  The Farmers Market was then run for a period of time by Hughmark International until February 2009 when this company went in to Administration.

In March 2009 My Farmers Market put together a proposal to support the operation of West Malling Farmers Market to ensure that the market continued to take place.  The proposal was put together as a number of the producers did not want to see the farmers market close.   West Malling Parish Council secured a small amount of money to ensure that the initial costs of for the road closure was available to ensure the farmers market could operate for a period of 2 years by which time it had to be sustainable and be financially able to support itself.  In April 2009 My Farmers Market Limited took over the management of running the farmers market

West Malling Farmers Market in July 2009

Gradually over the years the farmers market increased the number of stalls attending but continued to have a traditional farmers market feel – this continues in 2017 with a focus still being predominantly on food and drink with a small percentage of craft stalls.  This fits with the original National Association of Farmers Markets criteria (which the farmers market had been an accredited member).  The Farmers Market is currently a member of FARMA in it’s own right.  The farmers market has supported a number of local events which has included the Christmas Light Switch On Events, Community Group Event Day, St Georges Day Parades and Farmers Market month activities.  In 2017 the market regularly has over 35 different producers attending. 

To attend the farmers market the stallholder has to be involved in the production of the item in some way. They should be involved either in the growing ,rearing, catching, brewing, baking or processing of the item. In addition the producer should be based within a 30 mile radius of West Malling or further for products that can’t be sourced as being made locally. Many of the producers supporting West Malling Farmers Market are based within 5 miles of West Malling. The farmers markets really help the local economy and support small businesses.

The farmers market gives an opportunity to talk directly with the producer and to ask them questions about the product they are selling, how it is grown or made or when the item was produced.

The farmers market also offers a pitch space for local charities and groups to promote any special event, service etc., which they would like local residents to hear about.

The farmers market operates an email reminder service on request which gives an update about the farmers market and is sent a couple of days prior to the farmers market taking place

West Malling Farmers Market runs from 9.30 to 1.30 on the 4th Sunday of the month (not the last Sunday of the month). The High street is closed to traffic during the farmers market and there is free parking nearby for those who visit West Malling.

West Malling Farmers Market in March 2017

A number of the stallholders have won Taste of Kent awards or are members of Produced in Kent. Some have also won regional and national awards for their products too. Some of the producers operate loyalty schemes and many producers take orders in advance for their product to ensure the customer gets exactly what they want.

In October 2016 West Malling Farmers Market was announced as the Best Farmers Market In Kent in the Kent Life/Kent on Sunday Food and Drink Awards.  This really was a great achievement as the nominations are made by the public.  In April 2017 the farmers market was also announced as a finalist in the Best Market category of the UK Farm Shops and Deli Awards. 

If you’d like to find out more about what’s available at the farmers market each month you can find us on social media West Malling Farmers Market has it’s own facebook page or if you’re a twitter fan details about the market are tweeted from @mfarmersmarket.

We look forward to seeing you soon!