The idea for a Farmers Market in Tavistock came out of a project on sustainable food undertaken by West Devon Environmental Network (West DEN) . The first pilot market was held in July 2000, to test the water and see whether a regular market could be justified. Surveys were undertaken at that market and the economic evidence alone was sufficient to show that the Farmers Market was an asset for the town and should continue. There was overwhelming support for a regular farmers market on Bedford Square, which is a perfect venue, set against the backdrop of the Town Hall, the Church and the Bedford Hotel.
The markets are now held on the second, fourth and fifth Saturdays every month. The Association employs two members of staff - a market manager and a stalls assembler.
The Association's philosophy is very much based around local food as well as contributing to the vitality of Tavistock as a market town. As such it has strict criteria that have to be adhered to by the farmers and producers, as well as health and safety legislation, ensuring that the markets are a healthy, educational and entertaining experience for shoppers as well as providing a market outlet for local producers. Entertainment is a key feature of the Tavistock markets and they have so far featured:
- Crab & Shellfish day with crab dressing demonstrations and live crustaceans
- Bee & Honey day with live bees and beekeeping tips
- Fruit tree grafting and pruning demonstrations and growing advice
- Hanging basket demonstrations
- Meet My Animals - livestock encounters
We also support local charities who rely on us to give them space for their annual collections.
The Tavistock Farmers Market Association
The Tavistock Farmers Market Association is a steering group of volunteers who have worked to build up the market. Membership includes farmers and producers, Tavistock Town Council, and representatives from local Community.