The Oval Farmers’ Market opened in October 2007 as the result of a local initiative between the Oval Partnership, the London Borough of Lambeth and Saint Marks Church. The market is run by the City and Country’s Farmers’ Markets.
Local shopping parades were in decline and traditional food shops had all but disappeared from the area. For the first time in years, the market enabled people to shop locally. It has proved to be extremely popular not least with the farmers and other food producers who prefer over other markets they attend. Even when the weather is bad the market is well attended. and Since opening, it has become a coand is a great place to do your weekly food shopping and meet friends and neighbours.
Why Saint Marks Churchyard?
In 2005 a number of possible sites for the market were examined including car parks, school playgrounds, Oval House, Oval shopping parade etc. The grounds of St Marks church were the clear favourite but it was unclear whether permission would ever be given. The building was grade II listed, part of the site was a cemetery, Lambeth Parks manage the grounds but any changes required the permission of the local Diocese. Temporary planning permission was also required. The Oval Partnership worked hard for this and finally, all of the necessary permissions were in place and the market could open. The grounds are managed by Lambeth Parks without whose support this local initiative would not have been possible. The market has proved very successful and plans are now being developed to improve the grounds and facilities for the local community.What’s available
Each week at the market, come rain or shine, there is a wide range of fresh seasonal produce on sale including fruit & vegetables from Kent, organic bread, pressed fruit juices, local rare breed pork & sausages, handmade pies, traditionally made cheese, cakes & biscuits, salt marsh reared beef & lamb, freshly marinated olives, fish and much, much more. You can have a tea or coffee and meet up with your local neighbours. Ready to eat food on offer includes handmade crepes, barbecued sausages and delicious toasties made with Somerset cheddar cheese.
In addition to the regular stall holders like the Giggly Pig, Grove Farm, Taste of the Algarve, the Old Post office Bakery etc. some stall holders alternate or come just one a month. Arts and crafts and plant stalls also feature regularly. Every week is different but one thing is for sure. You can always shop sensibly, eat healthfully and socialise locally at the Oval Farmers Market.