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Words and pictures by Colin Smeeton
The Arran Farmers’ Market held at Bellevue Farm last Sunday was a knockout success and exceeded all expectations with hundreds of visitors flocking to the event.
The indoor market proved so popular that many stallholders eventually sold out of produce owing to the overwhelming demand.
The inaugural market was a joint initiative between a number of food, drink and farm organisations, including the Blackwaterfoot farm hosts, Arran’s Food Journey, Arran Eco Savvy and Scottish Food and Drink.
Visitors were treated to a full farm experience from farm tours and meeting the various animals to having a look at the tractors on display and sampling the products from various island producers and farmers.
In a large shed, where long queues formed throughout the day, visitors were able to meet more than 20 Arran producers and purchase their products.
These included a number of large well-known organisations as well as some smaller lesser-known names that offered specialty products.
After browsing the stalls visitors could purchase food from the French Fox van which was incredibly popular with families who enjoyed their food outside on benches and grassy patches.
On offer too was an opportunity to visit the Kilpatrick Community Garden which is part of the Arran Pioneer project which turns unused land into productive gardens where volunteers grow fruit and vegetables.
The land was made available by Donald and Ailsa Currie of Bellevue Farm and despite only starting earlier this year, it is already producing a harvest for volunteers and those wanting farm-fresh fruit and vegetables.
Visitors who went to have a look at the community garden were able to dig up their own potatoes and to take home some free vegetables, fruit and berries from that garden, as well as from the various other community farms around Arran.
Ailsa Currie of Bellevue Farm said: ‘What an amazing day we had at the Farmers Market. A massive thank you to everyone who helped organise the event, all the volunteers who helped on the day, the wonderful stall holders and to everyone who came along and made the day such a success. We can’t wait till the next one!’