Biodynamic apple juice, it sounds like something from a science fiction film, or perhaps a drink Captain Kirk would order before boldly going where no man has gone before. Thankfully you don’t have to go to a distant planet to find it, biodynamic apple juice can be found at the Walthamstow farmers market which takes place every Sunday morning. The market has been running since 2007 and has a variety of produce on offer including fresh fish, meat, veg, cheese and cider.
The biodynamic apple juice is sold by Brambletye Fruit Farm, they also sell biodynamic apples and eggs. The biodynamic association states on its web site that “Biodynamics is a whole farm approach that seeks to manage the soils, crops, and animals on a farm in such a way that the enterprises on a farm strengthen and support each other.” Whilst my understanding of that quote is fuzzy, there is something that I am sure about, the apple juice this stall sells is lovely, the fruit and eggs are pretty amazing too. Through extensive testing (and much eating) we have established that the eggs from this stall make amazing yorkshire puddings. Brambletye isn’t the only stall that’s worth a visit. If you fancy something nice for breakfast try the Parsons Nose stall. One of their sausage baps with onions and a healthy helping of tomato sauce really hits the spot on a Sunday morning, especially if you were out enjoying some of Walthamstows ale houses on a Saturday night. The cider stall is also a treat if you’re a fan of scrumpy, though the stall holder is a little stricter when giving out samples these days. A few Sundays ago he was paid an extended visit by some overly keen locals.
The farmers market isn’t the cheapest place to shop in E17, nor is it the biggest market in London. But for its compact size it has lots if variety and the stall holders are very friendly. At these kinds of markets you get something that a supermarket can never give you, a proper insight into how the goods you are buying were grown or made by the person that grew or made them. It also seems fitting to have a farmers market in Walthamstow, after all E17 was once a rural Essex village with farming at its heart.
All of the stall holders operate farms or businesses that are located within 100 miles of the M25, so whilst the produce may not be exactly local, it is fresh and you are dealing directly with the grower, maker or baker. As London farmers markets are keen to point out, there are no middlemen involved. I grew up in a farming community, and for a short time as a youngster I worked on a farm as a potato picker with my Gran. The farm I worked at sold lots of its produce at a local market, and the extra income really did help to keep the farm going. The market runs from 10am-2pm every Sunday on the town square at the top of the high street. For more information take a look at the Walthamstow Farmers Market website.