St Paul’s Church Court Yard
Stoke Newington Road, N16 7UY
020 7502 7588
This market has been supplying organic and locally produced food to the citizens of Hackney since 2003. The market is run by Growing Communities – a Hackney-based social enterprise who promote local farmers and sustainable food production. The organisation also runs a vegetable box scheme supplying produce from its own urban gardens and Dagenham Farm, as well as other local organic farms and makes effort to insure that the food sold at the market is both locally produced (within about 150 miles from London) and 100% organic.
The application of all these principles might sound a bit worthy and pious, but the market that takes place in the grounds of St Paul’s Church, Stoke Newington, is a lot of fun. Over the years the market has acquired a loyal following among the residents of Hackney, who enjoy the food and have got to know and trust the traders. The Saturday market has a really friendly atmosphere and all the stall holders are keen to discuss their produce and explain their work with lots of small-scale farmers including Sarah Green’s Organics who always make a real effort to display their seasonal produce.
Another small holder is Peach and Pippin who have a small Essex farm and bring a selection of their fruit and flowers as well as delicious cakes, james and chutneys, all made from their farm produce.
The mushroom stall run by Matt is also a regular here, selling all kinds of cultivated and wild fungi and also preparing delicious mushroom sandwiches from a small gas ring which a very popular. Like all the stallholders here he is enthusiastic about what he does and is always eager to talk about his produce and dispense advice.
One of the jewels in this market’s crown is the wonderful Longwood Organic Farm stall offering delicious organic beef, pork, lamb and chicken, all reared on their Suffolk farm.
Visitors are spoilt for choice for take-away food with the Turkish making traditional street food using ingredients sourced from the market and plenty of cakes and pastries on hand to satisfy those with a sweet tooth. The organisers have thoughtfully provided a large seating area so people can enjoy their food in comfort and perhaps get a shot of caffeine from the busy coffee stall. Leaving the market after a delicious snack and with a bag full of fresh organic produce, it’s not difficult to see why this place has become a permanent and much loved part of Stoke Newington life.
this in a feature taken from our forthcoming book:
by Andrew Kershman