Topsham's market heralds in Spring

THE smell of garlic will be wafting through the streets of Topsham thanks to its seasonal market.

THE smell of garlic will be wafting through the streets of Topsham thanks to its seasonal market.

Carolyn Bellinger will be out in her woods at Ottery St Mary, picking the first of the wild garlic shoots to bring to market.

"The new season wild garlic is always the best - it's great to liven up soups, stews, and casseroles, or to add to mince to make your own wild garlic burgers. I love it - for me it's the start of Spring," says Carolyn.

Nick May of Bread of Devon, meanwhile, will have some wild garlic bread to celebrate the start of warmer weather and brighter months.

The market takes place on Sunday, March 15, in Matthews Hal,l from 10.30am until 1.30pm.

Nick and Carolyn are two of a range of top quality producers from around Devon, all of whom adhere to Slow Food's philosophy for food and drink that is 'good, clean and fair'.

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This month there will be more than 20 local food and drink producers coming along, offering artisan breads (Bread of Devon and Tadebridge Sourdough); an array of the freshest, just picked vegetables (Carolyn and Paul Bellinger); cheddar cheeses (brought to the market by the Quicke family of Newton St Cyres); locally farmed meat and poultry including Dartmoor lamb (Alastair Wimberley), Gloucester Old Spot pork (Ellises Farm) and chicken and poultry (Ark Chicken); special preserves, marmalades and award-winning jams (Shute Fruit Farm and Cranfield Preserves); healthful chocolates (Feeding Your Imagination); beers and ciders (Red Rock Brewery, Brimblecombe Cider); local oysters and seafood (Seafares from Paignton), and much more.

Freddie Dudbridge, leader of Slow Food Devon and Market co-organiser, said: "In these difficult economic times, it's never been more important to eat and enjoy locally produced foods. Not only do these foods taste better, your support helps our local and rural economies to survive and to thrive. That is important for all of us. Please come along to the market and enjoy some great food and drink."

Slow Food Devon Topsham Market dates for 2009: March 15th, April 26th, May 17th, June 14th, July 19th, August 16th, September 20th, October 18th, November 29th, December 20th. The market opening times in 2009 are 10.30am until 1.30pm