Let Christmas begin!

I have just come back from one of my favourite events in the year and the one which, for me, marks the start of Christmas, Yule, Midwinter – call it what you will – The Christmas Market at C&M Organics.

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If you have been following my blog for a while you may remember that Chris and Matt run a market garden with an honesty shop which never shuts and where I buy the veg I need to supplement what I grow here. Much of it is grown by them but they import what cannot grow or to extend the season. All of it is organic and they supply a lot of local cafes, restaurants and shops. Increasingly they also stock a range of dry and canned goods and have a fridge with cheese, butter and yoghurt plus locally made sour-dough bread and some ice cream in a little freezer. They also make a point of supporting small local producers and providing them with an outlet liberally laced with encouragement. As part of that they have held markets where the producers can meet their customers face to face and promote their wares.

I arrived just half an hour after the start and was very glad I had chosen to walk there. The car park was full and the passing places on the single track road were filling up fast. Even with a marquee attached to the large storeroom the place was packed and there was a happy hum of voices. I had taken my phone to take photos but with low light levels and so many bodies gave up! Instead I took photos of the things I bought once I got home.

First stop was Chris’s own stall where she was selling home-made mince pies and mulled wine, tea and coffee to raise money for charity. Her eldest daughter works with refugees in Paris and Chris and Matt support her tirelessly. Another advantage of walking was being able to indulge in the mulled wine!

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Next was Mountain Hall Farm which was one of the first places I visited with the Pembrokeshire Permaculture group. You can read my post on that here and Alex’s own blog here. He was selling their grass fed beef but as I still have some from my friends Phil and Michelle I just had a cuddle with his four month old daughter, Ffion, and bought some innoculant for planting trees which Alex was selling on behalf of one of his friends.

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Next to him was Abby selling her dried flowers. She and her partner Josh keep ducks for eggs and rear lamb as well as developing a flower business. This year she grew things to dry as a way of extending the season and next year hopes to start selling flowers by post. I am in awe of these young people who give up secure, well paid jobs in cities to move out here and follow their passions.

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Linda was there too with beautiful fresh wreaths and decorated pots of narcissi. I visited her place this summer when they were waiting for planning permission to build a home on their plot. It has now been granted and she was bubbling over with delight and plans for the build. You can read about Linda’s floristry business here

There were 2 stalls selling hot food both of which looked and smelled lovely but to carry them home in my rucksack seemed likely to end in disaster so I opted for a savoury croissant filled with leeks and blue cheese instead. I could have had an almond or plain one or one of a range of fruity pastries. Choices! I wanted them all!

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There were stalls selling chocolates, candles, turned wooden christmas trees, hand made cards, beauty potions and all manner of other lovely things. The problem with being a crafter is that there is little point in buying what I can make myself. Plus I have just done a major de-clutter and am trying very hard (very very hard!) to be disciplined about filling the space up again! I succumbed to the temptation of sampling some pickled garlic which was delicious so I bought a pot telling myself that it would be eaten so didn’t count!

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I knew lots of the customers too. We all had time to chat and even though the place was full no-one was getting impatient or rushing – so different from bumping into someone I know in the supermarket. I love the feeling of community, of camaraderie and mutual support at these events which I am sure comes from Chris and Matt’s own value system. I hope they have one next year.

13 thoughts on “Let Christmas begin!

  1. tialys December 7, 2019 / 5:33 pm

    Sounds wonderful. I had a similar afternoon today when I went to a Christmas Craft Fair in an ancient abbey in a beautiful old village here in France. I know what you mean about being a crafter means you don’t want to buy things you can make yourself but I did buy a Christmas wreath made out of hundreds of pieces of festive fabric that I know I’d never get round to making myself as, a) I don’t have much (any) festive fabric in my stash and b) I couldn’t be bothered to cut it up like that if I did.
    I also had my first glass of vin chaud.
    Christmas! Bring it on!

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    • Going Batty in Wales December 9, 2019 / 5:09 pm

      The day before the market I did buy 2 items (they are a present for my daughter who reads this blog so I am carefully not saying what!) from a local craft shop but I do try to make things myself if I can. That wreath sounds interesting and very fiddly to make and sometimes it is nice to support other makers. Mulled wine / vin chaud always makes me feel Christmassy since I never drink it at any other time of year.

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    • Going Batty in Wales December 9, 2019 / 5:10 pm

      Thank you. I was really pleased with my little haul!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales December 9, 2019 / 5:11 pm

      It would be lovely to share it with you! I gather you had visitors and a pub quiz on the date this year!

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      • The Snail of Happiness December 9, 2019 / 7:14 pm

        Sadly the visitors had car problems and so we didn’t see them or make it to the quiz. We did, however, have lunch up in Aberystwyth with my sister and niece, which was lovely.

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      • Going Batty in Wales December 11, 2019 / 12:10 pm

        Shame you missed the quiz again. But lunch in Aberystwyth sounds good.

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  2. anne54 December 9, 2019 / 2:44 am

    What a special way to start your Christmas ~ good food, mulled wine and friends!

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    • Going Batty in Wales December 9, 2019 / 5:13 pm

      What more does one need to get in the mood? As you may have gathered, one of the things I love about living here is the abundance of good food producers and having so many generous friends. Maybe need to up the mulled wine consumption though!

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    • Going Batty in Wales December 9, 2019 / 5:14 pm

      I hope you get to enjoy something that marks the start of Christmas for you too.

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  3. Laurie Graves December 13, 2019 / 4:36 pm

    That market looks wonderful! My kind of place. And there is always some way to support vendors even if a house has been decluttered. Edibles work for me!

    Like

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