While traveling through southwest England recently, we had the opportunity to visit two markets in the Cornish town of Penzance – one brand new and the other a longtime fixture in the community. Here's a glimpse at some of the local producers and specialties.
The Penzance Farmers' Market opened just a couple of months ago in this historic seaport and market town. Located at the top of a cobbled pedestrian street and in the shadow of St. John's Chuch, the Friday market has about a dozen vendors selling fresh produce, eggs, meat, baked goods, and plants. All of the vendors we spoke to were excited about this new venture and the growing support for local food.
Cornish "scrumpy cake" chock full of spices and homemade jams and chutneys
Pesticide-free herbs, gorgeous vegetable tarts, and Cornish pasties
We came across this Thursday morning Country Market by chance, and what a lovely thing to stumble upon. British Country Markets have existed since just after World War I, when local Women's Institutes gathered together to share and sell surplus produce from their allotment gardens. Several of the women at the Penzance market had been working for the cooperative since WWII. This was definitely more of a locals-only affair than the farmers' market, but once they realized how excited we were, they welcomed us warmly.
Eggs laid by ducks and hens who live in a meadow
Although most of the vendors and customers were of the senior set, one woman's daughter has been contributing homegrown mushrooms
Marmalades, chutneys, and Cornish saffron buns
(Images: Emily Ho)