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                        Living in America vs England



April blog 2018

Posted by dawngriffis on April 12, 2018 at 11:05 AM

I’m late again, the only excuse I have is, the day I planned to put this together, our dog Sam died, and so getting my head together to write was out of the question.

Now on Markets as promised, I didn’t get as much as I’d hoped on US markets, but hopefully what I have will be interesting. I asked Beverley Coleman to write a poem on markets to start us off, here it is:



By Beverley Coleman


In days of old story goes

In a good old English Town

The market was the place to be

With stalls both up and down.


You’ll hear the voices calling

Come all just gather round

A pound of this ..a pound of that

A bargain to be found.


Everything from buttons

Ribbons, cotton and thread

Plates and Cups and Saucers

Cakes and even Bread.


Material and Wallpaper

Handbags by the score

Suitcases ..all sizes

You couldn’t ask for more.


There’s fruit and veg and salad stuff

Potatoes by the sack

You’d need a hand to lift it up

And put it on your back.


The smell of Fish...Cockles and Whelks

Crabs and Lobsters too

Plants ...yes for the garden

Flowers. Red White and Blue.


Then in the Seventeen hundreds

A decision it was made

To make a covered market

Just like a big Arcade.


Now over years these wooden stalls

Have doors and windows too

Just like shops on High Street

The tradition grew and grew.


From Coventry to Birmingham

And good old Camden Town

They popped up everywhere you went

In Cities up and down.


Now Oxford in the Midlands

Has one to this day

Was formed to keep our streets clean

We hope it’s here to stay.


The oldest covered market in the UK is the covered market in the City of Oxford here is what they say about it and how it came about.

The Covered Market was officially opened on 1 November 1774 and is still active today. It was started in response to a general wish to clear 'untidy, messy and unsavoury stalls' from the main streets of central Oxford.

John Gwynn, the architect of Magdalen Bridge, drew up the plans and designed the High Street front with its four entrances. In 1772, the newly formed Market committee, half of whose members came from the town and half from the university, accepted an estimate of nine hundred and sixteen pounds ten shillings, for the building of twenty butchers' shops.

Twenty more soon followed, and after 1773 meat was allowed to be sold only inside the market. From this nucleus the market grew, with stalls for garden produce, pig meat, dairy products and fish.

Today the covered market is still home to numerous traders, around half of which are food retailers, including traditional market shops selling fresh food such as greengrocers and butchers (including some who produce the distinctive, local Oxford sausage). There are also newer gift shops, bakeries and sandwich shops. Most of the shops now are quite a bit larger than the original stall sizes, and so the number of businesses in the covered market is smaller than in the past. It is a bustling area, especially on Saturdays.

The Covered Market may be accessed via the four entrances on the High Street, via Golden Cross (from Cornmarket), and from three entrances on Market Street.

Here are some of the old and new pictures of the market.

Oxford Covered Market early 1900s

one of the High Street entrances to the Covered Market

Back entrance to Covered Market sign welcoming first year students to the University.

Black & white picture of the covered Market today;

Some of the butchers wares. Including Haggis!

Veggie in the Covered market

Fishmongers in the Covered Market

One of several walk ways in the Covered Market

Another walk way in the Covered Market

Covered market butchers today

A much smaller market but more like the ones we have here in Vermont is the Deddington Farmers' Market, in north Oxfordshire, one of the largest farmers' markets in the country. Featuring over 40 stalls, it offers the very best in locally produced beer, bread, crafts, eggs, fish, flowers, fruit, meat, preserves, and ready-made meals including foreign cuisines, vegetables and much, much more.

The market is held the 4th Saturday of every month except December, from 9am - 12.30pm, when we lived there it was only 3 miles from where we lived so went there every time it was open. You could fill up just on the food they were cooking. Sausages and bacon to make your mouth drool!


Deddington Farmers Market held in the village square.

Deddington Market 

Activities with dogs at Deddingtom Market

Baker at Deddington Market

Veggies in Deddington

Meat at Deddington

Bread and more at Deddington

Flowers and more in Deddington

Now for an American one located here in Vermont, its about 5 miles from where we live.

The Norwich Farmers' Market is one of the oldest and largest farmers’ markets in northern New England. The market was founded in 1977 as a collection of local growers and craftspeople interested in selling their products directly to consumers. We missed the first one, but none since during the summer months.


For 40 years the Norwich Farmers' Market has offered the very finest in homegrown and homemade products in the Upper Valley. Their vendors sell only items grown, raised, created, or prepared by their Upper Valley-based business. Every Saturday from May through October, and twice a month from November through April, vendors offer a rich cornucopia of fresh farm produce, delicious baked goods, and exquisite handcrafted items.


In the summer, you'll find them at their outdoor setting on Route 5 South, about a half mile from Exit 13 off 1-91. In the winter, you'll find them indoors at Tracy Hall in the village of Norwich.

The market is operated by a nonprofit Vermont corporation, Norwich Farmers Market Inc, established for the purpose of providing a sales outlet for local farmers, craftspeople, bakers and producers of prepared foods. The corporation is run by a volunteer board of six directors, who are elected each spring at the annual meeting of the corporation.

Here are some pictures of the summer and winter markets:

The Norwich Farmers Market is been held in the same field from the beginning many have permanent structures, built by vendors. Center ones are temporary 


Rain does not stop buyers to the Norwich Market.

There are entertainers at the Norwich Market most weeks.

Winter Norwich Market inside Tracy Hall

Winter Market two. 

Early offerings at the Summer Market is fiddleheads a very popular delicacy tastes very much like fresh asparagus, costly but so good!

Spring bedding plants at Norwich Market

Early tomatoes and beans at Norwich Farmers Market

Selection of summer peppers at Norwich Farmers Market

Selection of Cheese made locally and sold at Norwich Market

To round it off a craft stand at Norwich Farmers Market.

Many of the same farms that attend the Norwich Farmers Market have their own stands at the farms. Some you have already met

Here are a few early pictures posted so far from the Farms this year


Pricking out at Crossroads Farm

Spring pot container at Crossroads Farm

Guernsey calf born at 4 Corners Farm

First lambs born 23 Feb at Sunrise Farm

Brugmansia blooming at Edgewater Farm early February

The tomatoes are coming at 4 Corners Farm

So much to do at Edgewater Farm! But it smells like spring in there. 

That’s it folks just hoping spring wont take to long getting here! Enjoy your spring and hope for no more storms, Mother Nature owes us biog time!!!


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