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Saturday, 26 February 2011

Chepstow on a wet Saturday

Maybe it was the wrong day, perhaps a wet February morning is not the best time to visit, but Chepstow Farmers Market was an immense disappointment.

Just five stalls, one empty an hour and a half after the official start. Of those that were there three sold bread or cakes, one home-made chutneys and jams and the last plants and flowers.

Yet Chepstow is in an area of really good producers, it should have been bustling and with a wide range of produce on offer.

Fortunately the trip was not wasted as there is a really good Farm Shop just a couple of miles away on the A48 to Newport in the grounds of the Chepstow Garden Centre and run by Newhall Farm. The shop was set up with the express intention of supplying local seasonal goods and reducing food miles and CO2 emissions.

The goods were local and seasonal, Parsnips, Carrots, Broccoli (standard and sprouting) and Kale (both green and purple)

and some wonderful early forced Rhubarb.

Stored vegetables included Onions and several varieties of Potato. My veg basket rapidly filled.

Two concessions also operate within the shop, HJ Edwards butchers, more about them when I write about Abergavenny, and Wigmore’s Bakery from Monmouth – one of South Wales’ finest.

Though I make my own bread these days and did not take advantage of Wigmore’s – not even their brilliant Cobber Cob- I make my own using Wessex Cobber flour

I did get a really nice piece of Brisket from the butcher and was delighted to find Horseradish to make the accompanying sauce.

Lunch tomorrow should be good if I can show the ingredients the respect that they deserve.

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