Wye Farmers' Market
The Green in the center of Wye
Contributed by Project for Public Spaces
The quaintest of farmers' markets, located in a beautiful Kentish village. It runs on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month, 9am-1pm.
The market provides a heart to this small village (3,000 approx inhabitants). Wonderful product range, good location, lots of colours and a range of events. Energetically managed by Richard, a passionate advocate of community spirit and environmental sustainability.
What Makes Wye Farmers' Market a Great Place?
Reached by train, bicycle, bus, foot or car. It's in the heart of the village and can be accessed by all.
The market is located adjacent to a small green where people can sit in the summer, either on the grass or on benches. The Green could definitely do with Bryant Park-style movable chairs though. It's a place that is so pretty, yet under-utilised, except when there is a market.
There are usually 15-20 vendors selling a range of produce. Otherwise, activities vary, always low-key and enchanting: boules, music, apple bobbing. Latest U.S import is cherry stone spitting.
Students mingle with the elderly and kids - it's probably the only time I've seen these crowds unite in the pursuit of good food and great atmosphere.
History & Background
There's always a million reasons why one can't/mustn't start a farmers' market - among them: regulations, bureaucracy, retail opposition and apathy. Richard wasn't going to let any of them get in his way - he's a classic example of what PPS calls a "zealous nut." So he started the market in 1999 and the village hasn't looked back. On a good summers day, the place is packed with people; on a English grey rainy day, the market has a gentle, solid air to it. It's tough being a farmer in Kent - and the ones who come month after month to sell their goods at the market give a wonderful air to the village.
Richard Boden, WyeCycle: 01233-813298