Established in 1997, the market is one of the most successful in Sussex, so we were really pleased to be able to take up the egg stall gauntlet from Holmansbridge Farm, Barcombe.
To say the first weekend we arrived at the market was a ‘baptism of fire’ was probably an under statement. It was a cold, wet and windy Saturday in November. We spent a lot of our time trying to hang onto the gazebo for fear of flying off over the rooftops like Mary Poppins, and due to the bad weather the market was a lot quieter than usual. Fortunately some old friends selling their honey on the next stall made us feel at home and everyone else we met who came along to the stall made us feel very welcome, even if they were missing the lovely Anne’s friendly face, from Holmansbridge.
We had gone along with Finty and Oli (who helps us out on the farm) and Florence came and joined us a bit later as she had netball commitments. Like most people we attempt to juggle family and work life (with us, often pretty unsuccessfully) and you can guarantee that whenever a market is booked into the diary, then so is a netball tournament!
Anyway, we all really enjoyed our first market and even got to appear in Viva Lewes magazine, which was an added bonus, although poor Oli was a bit put out that he had to be edited out of the photo and missed his moment of fame. Sorry Oli!
The December market provided the same problems. Driving wind and rain made santa hats come in very useful to keep out the cold, and that’s really been the general story so far. We are looking forward to markets in better weather as we hope we’ll be able to concentrate more on sales and less on hanging on to a gazebo that wants to become an upward parachute.
We have been selling our eggs differently to Holmansbridge too as we don’t grade our eggs into sizes. A lot of customers in Lewes are understandably used to choosing the size of their eggs, so we spend a lot of time explaining that all of our eggs are mixed sizes.
A lot of organic eggs are sold in mixed sizes anyway. We believe it is better for hen welfare not to be forced into producing larger and larger eggs for better profit. Hens lay mixed sized eggs, just like vegetables come in mixed shapes. Unfortunately over the years consumers have been conditioned into thinking large eggs are better, or straight carrots are better than bendy ones etc but it’s been hugely detrimental to farming and we don’t want to encourage that.
There is only one gram of difference in weight between a large and a medium egg anyway. Many people don’t realise that, so therefore a medium egg will be just as good in a recipe.
Our market prices are as follows:
£2 per half dozen
£4 per dozen
Take out one and a half dozen price
£8 per tray (30 eggs)