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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Marley Park Farmers Market

Crisp Winter Saturday mornings present themselves as a good excuse for a trip to Marley Park Farmers Market, with optional brisk walks around the park to work up your appetite.

The newly cobbled stable courtyard provides a wonderful backdrop as you walk between the stalls every one of your senses will be arrested by the smells, tastes, sounds, vision and lively atmosphere created by the interaction between the browsers and stall holders who sell their weekly wares.

Starting with a light snack to browse seems like a good idea, and noses are soon lead smartly to Roy Kingsley’s Italian Sausage Baguettes, served with red peppers and onions with optional mustard and ketchup. Roy has been at Marley for 2years and gives ‘fast food’ an edge with quality at a reasonable price.
The farm fruit and vegetables stall seems busiest of all where buyers are happily sniffing, touching and digging out the best of the seasons organic offerings. Swiftly followed by Vince McClean’s ‘California Market Bakery’ oversize muffins, biscuits and scones capture your taste buds by name alone: Oatmeal Raspberry, Banana Walnut, Bran with fresh Pear Pecan, Apple Raisin Walnut and my personal favourite Apricot Almond.
The International theme continues with pace as Suha’s Palestinian Home Food has world class Falafels with a variety of dips and fresh soup on offer, neighboured by Enrico proudly emphasising the quality of his Italian hams, salamis and cheeses.
The markets central cluster of stalls includes Noirin’s Bakehouse with tempting banana breads and tea brack to name but two. They’re in business for over 6years and Marley is one of seven farmers markets where their produce is sought after. Next door Tommy from Adare Farm Foods displays dry cure pork and bacon to the discerning shopper. Behind them Lindy’s Caribbean Corner has traditional jams and savouries from Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad. Lindy’s enthusiasm is infectious and her samples are popular amongst the uninitiated.

Joseph Feely of Sheridan’s Cheese Mongers also sits snugly in the middle where he displays a variety of cheeses and ensures you procure weekly supplies of compte and Montgomery cheddar at the very least! Beside him is usually Anne Sharples of the Gallic Kitchen whose array of savoury pastries, quiches, plaits, double sausage rolls, potato cakes, fish cakes with tartare sauce, vegetable quiche with goat's cheese, vegetarian rissoles with salsa, chicken roulade, chicken plait, ham quiche, salads and burritos mean that the weekend lunch and dinner menus are sorted!
Also to be found (in no particular order) are smoothies, crepes, organic sausages and chicken, fresh eggs & fish, vegetable samosas, onion bahji’s, chocolate croissants, carrot cake, home-made pasta sauces and sweet pepper relish and much more.
Moving onwards (as the bags are getting heavy) the The Real Olive Co and its aficionado Brendan O’Mahony has the most enviable and colourful display including hummus, feta salad, sun blush tomatoes on top of about 20 different types of olives. He and many others enthused about the atmosphere in Marley and other Farmers Markets “it’s a real community place, all sorts of people come here”
The Saturday market at Marley Park offers a wonderful selection of natural, wholesome foods that were prepared with love. If you haven’t tried the farmers market yet take time out this Saturday from 10am, there’s free parking and a playground for the kids…. – oh and bring extra shopping bags!