If you read the press, you may think farmer’s markets are dwindling, due to ongoing price pressure from the supermarkets. Take one look at the number of Oxford’s Fabulous Farmers’ Markets taking place each week though, and you’d think the media were losing the plot!
We have a whopping seven regular farmers’ markets taking place in our wonderful city, offering up a plethora of seasonal, fresh and reasonably priced goodies. Oxford seems to love its markets – and rightly so; where else can you speak directly to the person who grew the veg, hand made the cakes, or reared the livestock? So with this being Love Your Local Market fortnight, we wanted to put the spotlight on each of our marvellous markets and the heroic local producers who deserve your ongoing support – here’s a rundown of the who, what, where and when.
EAST OXFORD FARMERS’ & COMMUNITY MARKET
Every Saturday 10am-1pm, at East Oxford Primary School OX4 1JP
Small but perfectly formed, East Oxford market packs a fabulous range of stallholders into a fairly limited space. If the sun in shining though, the stalls spill out into the playground, offering even more browsing space for those of a more agoraphobic nature.
Stalls include: organic fruit, vegetables, meat & cheese from Coopers Oxford POrk and Sandy Lane Organic Farm; pic ‘n’ mix leaved from The Little Salad Company; Award winning cheeses from Crudges Cheese; beautiful hand crafted breads from The Natural Bread Company; Japanese family food & sushi from I’m Japanese; Indian snacks from The Oxford Delhi; plus many more. Top tip: grab some breakfast sausages from Coopers Oxford Pork (they have black pudding in them – delish!), plus some tasty freash bread from The Natural Bread Company and you have yourself a bangin’ sausage sarnie.
WOLVERCOTE FARMERS’ MARKET
Every Sunday 10am-1pm, at Wolvercote Primary School OX2 8AQ (first turn)
Launched in 2002, this is one of two North Oxford markets, supplying the local residents with a fabulous range of goodies, from meat and dairy to flowers and pottery.
Stalls include: Meat, eggs and poultry from The Meat Joint, Willow Brook, Harlesford Farm, Coopers Oxford Pork and Wychwood Forest Venison; chillies and chilli products from Chillies 2U; coffee from Beecham’s Coffee; plus soaps and oils from Jacob’s Lavender. See their website for a full list of stallholders.
SUMMERTOWN FARMERS’ MARKET
Every Sunday 10am-2pm, on Banbury Road OX2 7DE
As North Oxford’s second market spot, Summertown’s parade of shops plays host to an impressive array of fresh, mostly local food, with a few non food treats on the side.
Stalls include: glass bottles organic milk from North Aston Dairy; organic local veg from Cultivate Oxford; plus Bibury Trout, along with a host of other traders
NORTH PARADE MARKET
Fourth Saturday monthly 9am-2pm, North Parade OX2 6LX
Based on one of Oxford’s latest foodie hot spots, North Parade Market prides itself on selling exclusively food. Along with coffee shop Brew, the Rose and Crown pub, plus produce store 2 North Parade, the market has been gradually bringing this sleepy North Oxford road back to life. From July the market will be fortnightly on the 2nd & 4th Saturdays, plus look out for occasional night markets.
Stalls include: delicious hand baked cakes from Barefoot Kitchen; Award winning jams and marmalade from Well Preserved; whole fish and shellfish from Selsey Shellfish Direct; wonderful baked goods from Degustibus Bread and Palace Cuisine; local cheese and milk courtesy of The Oxford Cheese Shop and North Aston Dairy; plus meat and veg from Callow Farm and Riverford Organic Farm; alongside oils, dinnerware, olives and coffee. Top tip: get there early for bread as it’s the first thing to run out!
SOUTH OXFORD FARMERS’ AND COMMUNITY MARKET (SOFACOMA)
Sundays 9.30-12noon, South Oxford Community Centre, Lake Street OX1 4RP
SOFACOMA started in September 2012 by a small group of South Oxford residents, aiming to promote and support local farmers and producers. Hoping in the long term to enable people to reduce their dependence on supermarket shopping, this is almost the only regular event that is based in the heart of the South Oxford community and is a focus for meeting and socialising, as well as shopping, for the entire community.
Stalls include: fruit and veg from Cultivate Oxford; organic meat and eggs from local family-run Willowbrook Farm; artisan coffee from the back of a 49cc Vespa tricycle from Pukeko Coffee; samosa, pakoras, dhal, dips and more from Oxford Delhi; along with milk, cakes, Italian food and more.
GLOUCESTER GREEN FARMERS’ MARKET
1st and 3rd Thursdays monthly 9am-4pm, Gloucester Green OX1 2BN
Recently under new management and bigger than ever, Gloucester Green Market takes place on Wednesdays and Thursdays weekly, with Wednesday being general market day and Thursday playing host to an antique, vintage, art & craft market. The first and third Thursday of each month sees the addition of a farmers market.
Stalls include: Donington Trout Farm; Wilkes Farm with fresh vegetables; Moreton Mushrooms; Whittle Lamb; D and B Cox poultry; Heath Farm hog roast; Honest Carrots vegan food; Jane’s Kitchens pies; Truly Scrumptious scotch eggs; Alre watercress; Calway Farm meats; Paul’s Chillies; la Parisian bakery; Cornfields Bakery; plus honey, apple juice, cakes and some of the Wednesday hot food stalls. Top tip: grab some of the amazing dumplings on offer from the hot food stalls, the Bitten team are big fans!
HEADINGTON FARMERS’ MARKET
2nd and 4th Fridays monthly 8am-1.30pm, Kennet Road OX3 7BH
This fortnightly event takes over the top of Kennet Road and a small part of London Road, serving the residents of Headington with a feast of tantalising produce from near and far.
Stalls include: Sugar coated bliss from Pippins Doughnuts; beautiful bangers and bacon from Egg House Charcuterie; soft-centred Scotch Eggs from Kirsty’s Kitchen; Middle Eastern & Mediterranean morsels from Feast; as well as fresh fish and shellfish, pies, eggs, beer, cheese, bread and meat. Top tip: Try ALL the Pippin Doughnut flavours.
TALKING SHOP, SANDFORD ON THAMES
Open 9am to midday every Saturday, at The Catherine Wheel pub on Henley Road, Sandford-on-Thames, Oxford OX4 4YP
While development work is done on the village hall, The Talking Shop is camping out in a smaller temporary home – their local pub. The market should be back in the hall from November and hopes to have an expanded market again then. Until that time, they don’t have many producers represented in person, but do buy in the produce to sell on: bread from Cornfields bakery, fruit & veg & eggs from The Old Farm Shop in Harwell, meat from Coopers’ Oxford Pork, honey from Brightwell bees, apple juice from Waterperry. With space for one (or two at a squeeze) local producers, they host Sandford’s own producers – Homemade Tastes (Greek & Mediterranean home cooking), Clive’s pies (savoury pies and pasties) and cakes from Sandford’s bakers. They also have a volunteer team of bike mechanics – Spoke Shop – who run a clinic every 3 weeks, plus Make, Do & Mend – a sewing and alterations service, appearing monthly. In addition, there is a cafe on site serving breakfast sandwiches made with all local produce, fresh pastries from Cornfields bakery, juice, fresh coffee and tea etc.
You can also view all these wonderful markets on our Google Map