Q: What made you set up Ockley Farmers' Market?
A: As farmers and cheesemakers ourselves, we wanted to support all our true farming and producer friends who we have been associated with for decades. We live in Ockley and love it here, right next door to the amazing Village Greens Farm Shop, so we decided to share all this with our customers. That was five-and-a-half years ago and we've met so many lovely people - both stallholders and shoppers - since then. The market brings them together - there's nothing like meeting the people who actually produce the food and drink; you can learn so much by talking to them and it really adds to the whole experience. It's not like popping to Tesco!
Q: Who's in the team behind the market?
A: That's just me, my husband and market co-founder Neil, and my son Harry who's in charge of strimming and helps us set up every month. It's a bit of a family affair actually as my daughter Betsie usually attends with her partner Matt - they own Nutfield Dairy. They bring my little grandson with them - he's only a toddler but we like to start them young in our family!
Q: How important is local to you?
A: Oh, very! We feel it is so important to buy local and support your local community, not just with our market but local cafes and pubs etc. When people visit, they are in awe of how quirky we are - not loads of stalls but what is there is honest and true.
Q: And we hear there are some added attractions ... tell us more!
A: Oh yes, we keep rabbits, guinea pigs and goldfish, which the children love (and many of the grown-ups do, too).
Q: What do people have to look forward to on Sunday?
A: This Sunday (4 September) we have all our usual producers including coffee, pies, pasties sausage rolls, farm made yoghurt, venison, cookies, jams, marmalades, chutneys, honey (we have bees on site), poultry, eggs, beef, pork, sourdough and sweet treats. Plus handmade soaps, bath bombs and of course our own Norbury Park Cheese Company cheese. And for the first time we have the Raw Honey Gin Distillery from Fetcham, so we're really looking forward to that.
Q: Ockley is in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so there's plenty to discover for a day out, and there's nothing like a Sunday lunch at a country pub. Can you share some local recommendations?
A: Definitely! We love to recommend three of our fantastic local pubs: The Plough at Coldharbour, and The Inn on the Green and The Punchbowl, both here in Ockley. Why not book lunch at one of these (they do get busy so don't leave it to chance), then leave your shopping with us; we'll keep it in the fridge and deliver to the pub at 2pm when we finish. Just let Neil or me know and we'll sort it for you so you can extend the pleasure and enjoy even more local flavours!