KENDAL Farmers’ Market celebrated 20 years of supplying quality Cumbrian produce to customers with some very special guests.

Adults and children alike were able to meet livestock and baby chicks, while a cow-shaped jigsaw showed them which cuts of meat came from which part of the animal.

These additions to the market were part of the ‘Farm to Fork Roadshow’, organised by the Westmorland County Agricultural Society. Christine Knipe, the society’s chief executive, said the message of the show was “about understanding the origin of our food.”

Alongside the animals brought in for the day were the usual array of stallholders, selling an assortment of meats, cheeses, pies and more.

Leonie Fairbairn, representing Thornby Moor Dairy, near Carlisle, said coming to the market and selling cheese was a good opportunity “to tell people that Cumbria is a big dairy county,” something she believed visitors to the Lake District did not tend to see.

She added: “It’s a good form of publicity, to actually directly speak to customers, which is nice.

“You’re actually able to hand them a sample and tell them what it is.”

Describing what she liked about town markets, shopper Karen Haigh, of Workington, said: “It’s the produce. I absolutely love that people support local produce.

“I know it’s a little bit more expensive but the quality is absolutely worth the little bit more they have to charge.”

Jake Mallinson, of Lakeland Artisan, was selling a variety of liqueurs. He said: “I really like the market. I think it’s always had a really nice atmosphere, everyone’s really friendly.

“It’s nice to see the little businesses come together.”

Heartwood Poultry’s David Knipe, who has been with the market since its inception, added: “We are trying to get local food in to the town. It’s vital for smaller farms.”

Shopper and Kendalian Bronywyn Caton described the food as “good quality,” recommending the pies in particular.

“They are mostly meat and a lot of pastry whereas a lot of pies are all pastry,” she said.

Kendal Market began in 1999 when Asda made the town’s store one of its first to host a farmers’ market. The venture was supported by the district council and regional food and farming bodies, promoting local produce and supporting an industry struggling with the mad cow disease crisis.

The first six stalls in the car park were soon joined by more, and in October 1999 the market moved to Market Place off Stricklandgate where it has become a popular monthly event on the Kendal calendar.