Carlow Farmers' Market will be open for an extra day this weekend, December 22 and 23, as producers and suppliers from across the region gather together to offer the freshest, tastiest and best produce to their loyal supporters just days before Christmas.
An extra date has been added and the market runs on Saturday, December 22 and Sunday, the 23rd to ensure everyone has crispy, fresh vegetables, fabulous fish, the very best, locally produced and fully traceable meats, treats, breads, cakes, cheeses, tapas and so much more for the traditional festivities.
It’s been a phenomenally busy year for the 16 different stall-holders, all of whom will be on site from 9am up to roughly 3pm on both days, Carlow Farmers Market Chairman, Liam Ryan, said.
He added: "It’s an extremely busy time of year for us traders but also for our customers. That’s why we’ve decided to open for a second day. Nobody has to panic – we’ve everything they need from starters to desserts and it’s all fresh, all local.
"There’s a lovely Christmas buzz around the Potato Market where we’re located. We’ve free calendars for our customers. We’re selling Farmers Market gift vouchers inside our own, special Christmas cards in €10 denominations.
"They’re a lovely gift and buying them means money that stays in the local and regional economy. They make a distinctive present for a foodie friend or relative.
"We love chatting to our customers. We all have helpful tips on how to best cook or present our produce. A lot of customers meet and share their favourite tips, recipes and health information on food with one another, as well as with producers. It all helps create a community of people who care about how their food is produced, prepared and enjoyed."
"There’s always an extra special buzz around the Carlow Farmers Market at Christmas time. Carlow is a real market town and all of us really appreciate the support we get throughout the year – but especially at Christmas time,” the Moyleabbey Organic Farm owner said.
And while some vegetables – particularly sprouts and parsnips - are expected to be in short supply after Christmas, there’s plenty still in the fields and they will be harvested at the last minute to ensure customers savour every single bite, Mr Ryan promised.
Carlow Farmers' Market started trading in July 2004. It was set up to respond to the local people who wanted fresh, local and traceable food.
Producers from across the region were only too keen to come on board and were delighted to sell locally and directly to the customer.
The range continues to grow and typically includes local fruit and vegetables, fresh fish, organic fruit and vegetables, jams, chutneys and juices, organic meat, free range meat and dry cured bacon products, crepes cooked on site, chocolates and truffles, country style butter, quiches and savoury tartlets, traditionally crafted breads and cakes, speciality breads, sweet fare, a range of locally produced cheeses, olives and pesto, fresh fish, free range eggs, summer and winter bedding plants and vegetable and herb plants and other seasonal products.
The market also includes products from other Irish producers, as well as some high quality European products that either cannot be produced, or are difficult to produce in Ireland at some periods of the year.
Carlow Farmers' Market is considered unique in that it is one of a few authentic farmers' markets where producers are all local, produce their own products and sell mainly their own produce.
This market supports the local economy and provides opportunities for other food producers or farmers to set up small food businesses and meet the growing demand.
For more on Carlow Farmers' Market, visit their home page, http://carlowfarmersmarket.com/ or check them out on Facebook.