Enjoying the farmers market in Ballyhale. Picture: Dylan Vaughan
The Irish Farmers Markets returned to Kilkenny at a new venue on Sunday, in the beautiful surrounds of Ballyhale’s Mountain View.
Food lovers of all ages turned out to savour its return. The market, which will be a regular Sunday attraction in the South Kilkenny village over the summer, showcased craft products as well as wonderful local food. There were over 30 stalls at Mountain View on Sunday, serving an indoor and an outdoor market.
Attractions included cookery and craft demonstrations — and once a month — will have an interesting culinary twist. Two chefs from local restaurants will each be given a stall and asked to create a menu from food bought in the market that day.
There was also a big emphasis on keeping everyone safe. Stalls were set two metres apart, with customers at a two-metre distance from the front of each stall. Staff on the stalls wore visors and gloves, contactless transactions were encouraged, and attendants helped people with shopping and information. A one-way system was in place, and hand sanitiser available.
Irish Farmers Markets Director Sean McArdle said he was “delighted” with the positive response to the event.
“It was a fantastic day and I would like to thank all of the producers and people who came for complying with social distancing and hygiene measures to ensure it was a safe event for all," he said.
Mr McArdle acknowledged it has been an ‘incredibly difficult time’ for the food and hospitality sector over the past few months, but praised the huge effort many producers have been making to adapt to the new circumstances.
He said the Kilkenny Farmers Market is a good example of the Irish spirit of survival that will ensure innovative producers have a bright future ahead.
The Irish Farmers Market returns to Mountain View Sunday, and every Sunday for the rest of the summer, from 11am to 4pm.