Reflecting on the Midwinter Market

1Last Friday Lancaster’s market square was bustling with local food producers, community food and craft projects, music and local craft businesses, as LESS hosted Lancaster’s first Midwinter Market.

The market was run as part of LESS’s ongoing ‘Growing Our Local Food  Economy’ project and aimed to celebrate the midwinter, the diversity of local food and crafts, and tried to bring local farmers and small independent businesses into the heart of Lancaster. Based on feedback at the event, the market achieved this aim with all respondents saying they found the event useful and enjoyed the community and festive spirit.

Other comments on the day, from both customers and stall holders, included:

I enjoyed having access to “proper local food”.

“Good mix of stalls and good opportunity for local business to promote themselves” Slip Inn Lane Emporium.

“Its colourful, vibrant and local.”

“I enjoyed the organic apples, the People’s Café and meeting local people and sharing with people of different backgrounds.”

“It was great meeting new customers who didn’t know about us and there was a good variety of stallholders”. Filberts Bakery on King Street

“Great atmosphere and great food”

“Keep going and have a visible presence more often.”

20 local food, drink and craft businesses and community projects attended, the sun appeared briefly(!), and the Faces Behind Our Food art exhibition was strung up across a number of stalls – to raise awareness of those who could not attend in person. Stephenson’s Dairy also launched their new free range butter and cheese at the Midwinter market, which can now be bought through Billy’s Eggs on the charter market. Single Step have also started a home delivery scheme!

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More Music’s Chinese Ensemble, The Hum Holler ‘n’ sing choir, and Folk to Folk filled the square with music as the day got colder and darker (as the sun set) – helping to keep our spirits up. You can see photos and videos from the day by visiting our Facebook page (Growing Our Local Food Economy – GOLFE Lancaster).

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When asked about how the market could be improved in the future, market attendees asked for more stalls, and stall holders asked for more publicity. We will endeavour to take these comments on board when planning for 2017’s seasonal markets. Provisional dates for your diary include 7th April for a Spring Market,16th June for the Midsummer Market, 1st September for a Harvest Market and 15th December for another Midwinter Market. Start spreading the word!

 

If you attended the Midwinter market and have further ideas of how it could be improved, please send your comments to [email protected]

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