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Peak countdown

Liz Woodward - 14 February 2013

Students at Monyash schoolThe countdown to the first of the Peak District Markets has started. Teachers and pupils alike are a hardy lot here in Derbyshire and despite snowdrifts and blizzards preparations are well underway. Jane came over from the Mid Wales Food and Land Trust to run some ‘planning workshops’ at Monyash, Brassington and Dove Holes primary schools. The pupils proved to be very creative and enterprising with their ideas. A few got carried away thinking about chocolate fountains, Easter eggs and popcorn though! Some teachers had very worried expressions and were starting to wonder what they had let themselves in for.

Monyash are going for a romantic Valentine theme on the 14 Feb, while Brassington are celebrating St David’s day on the 1 March. Pupils have been busy designing flyers, running logo competitions, deciding which buns to make and which producers to invite, planting up bulbs and making up sow and grow kits.

A couple of our newest micro-producers are certainly showing the pupils how to add value to products. After graduating from University, Holly Crossley set up Holly’s Peak Produce in 2011 - making gourmet scotch eggs!  Holly's parents live on a small holding in the Peak District and have a passion for rearing rare breed pigs and free range chickens. It was because of this home-reared produce, that the idea of a free range, filling, quality Scotch egg was born.

After selling a few of the first batches from the wall in the village, to both villagers and walkers, all feedback was positive. Now Holly regularly sells out at the farmers markets she attends. I can’t wait to taste them and stock up myself!

Karl - ‘one time sheep famer, district nurse and school governor’, from the White Peak Herbal Soap Company was inspired by his daughters eczema to produce a natural, soothing, cold pressed soaps which take 8-9 weeks to produce! He uses locally grown herbs, local water-milled oats and Peak District honey to produce his soaps, showing just how versatile food is.

Both Karl and Holly will be attending the first two markets at Monyash and Brassington.

Liz is the Peak District School Farmers Market Project Coordinator at the Soil Association. She is working on a programme of school farmers' markets with primary schools in the area.

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