Market members who know their spuds

Visitors to November's farmers' market in Diss on Saturday, November 8 (9am-1pm), will be entertained with live jazz from Ross Bradbury of Music for Measure.

Visitors to November's farmers' market in Diss on Saturday, November 8 (9am-1pm), will be entertained with live jazz from Ross Bradbury of Music for Measure.

There will be free cake and the usual raffle of a bumper hamper of produce all donated by stallholders.

Stallholders of the Month are Barry and Alison Garner who have been growing potatoes for over 30 years, selling to local village stores, farm shops and passing trade and, since 2000, at farmers' markets. As the years have passed they have added more and more lines of vegetables as well as some soft fruit, mainly strawberries.

Attending three markets a month - Diss, Wymondham and Watton - they take great pride in the way they grow their products. Most of the work is done by hand, with little and sometimes no chemical input, although they are not organic. Barry and Alison believe that flavour is the most important factor with vegetables, so they choose to grow varieties with this in mind, and not just for all out yield. Their potatoes are un-irrigated and grown on much heavier land than most commercial growers that, in their opinion gives a better flavour. They also strongly believe that vegetables should not be washed until they are ready to cook, because pre-washing not only spoils the flavour but also reduces the shelf life.


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In 2004 Barry and Alison entered the Waitrose Small Food Producers Awards with their potatoes - and made it through to the final 12.

Next Saturday they will be selling their usual variety of winter vegetables including leeks and parsnips.

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