We try and use Farmers’ Markets when we can, although our budget doesn’t stretch to many of the things we’d like to buy such as free-range meats etc. Part of our motivation is the organic principle, but it’s also partly to break the monopoly of the supermarkets by buying direct, whether organic and free-range or not.

Whenever we ‘do’ a Farmers’ Market, we go round all the stalls, tasting whatever we can, and then discuss our purchases according to our budget. We’ve taught the girls to do the same, and give them an allowance to spend, usually £2 each – and it’s surprising just what they can do with only £2!

So today we took the opportunity to visit ‘Flavour Fest’ (!) , a larger than usual Farmers’ Market type street fair in Plymouth City Centre – 120 stalls, most of them with tasters …

If I were to judge from the stalls present at the market, I would have guessed that our local dishes are cheeses and pickles … for a sea-side town there were disappointingly few sea-food stalls, only two that I remember, yet there were 4 or 5 selling different cheeses, and 6 or 7 selling dips and pickles etc. Food is as subject to fashion as clothing or anything else.

We settled on buying saffron buns (£1 for 4), sausages (special festival offer of 7 packs for £10) of various flavours, and crab pate (2 packs for £7). For lunch we had ostrich – in pasty, burger and a steak in a bun … and I resisted buying steaks to take home as we’d already spent enough.

The girls had their usual £2, and both opted to keep some as extra pocket money, but DD1 still managed to buy another pack of buns and some liquorice, while DD2 bought a bottle of apple juice – and a packet of NikNaks on the way home. She’s obviously not yet fully converted to organic eating!!

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